Even in the current, low inventory housing market, sellers are resisting the urge to sell it themselves and still seeking the help of a real estate professional. It may be more important than ever and there is too much at stake to risk going it alone.
The number of people attempting to sell on their own has been in steady decline since 2003 from 14% to 8% in the latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers produced by the National Association of REALTORS®.
The most frequently mentioned difficulties that owners who decided to sell it without the benefit of an agent included preparing the home for sale, understanding, and performing the paperwork, getting the price right and selling it within the length of time planned. Another commonly cited challenge was having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale.
The other nine out of ten homeowners who are selling are many times faced with the question: “How do I determine which agent to use?” In some situations, owners know more than one agent and the dilemma becomes picking the right person for the job.
To get the answers that will lead to selecting the right agent, an owner needs to ask the right questions. Open-ended questions will give you a more descriptive answer that can bring clarity to your decision. Questions that begin with who, what, when, where, why and how will elicit a much more robust answer.
The following suggestions should be helpful for homeowners considering selling:
- How long have you been selling homes and is this your full-time job?
- What designations or other credentials do you have?
- How many homes did you and your company sell last year?
- What is your average market time compared to MLS and your top competitors?
- What is your sales price to list price ratio?
- When will you report to me on the progress of my transaction?
- Who can you recommend for service providers like mortgage, inspections, repairs, and maintenance?
- Why do you want to work with me?
- Where are the opportunities to expose my home to the largest market?
- What is your marketing plan for my home?
In today’s market, homes, on average, are selling in 17 days and sellers are seeing an average of five offers. It is not uncommon for homes to sell for more than the list price, assuming they are not priced dramatically over the market in the first place.
Specific to today’s market, additional questions to help you identify the best agent for the job could include:
- With the shortage of homes on the market, is it necessary to update in advance?
- In this competitive market, is staging the home important?
- What are your thoughts on professional photography and video?
- Is there a way to stimulate competition among buyers?
- Explain to me the range of pricing and how it applies to home search on the Internet.
- Can you profile the most likely buyer for my property?
Don’t think of these things as being an interrogation but more like an interview. That is exactly what it is; you are trying to find out how this prospective agent is going to handle some of the intricacies in the selling process that can affect the successful sale of your home.
After evaluating the answers you receive, you will either move forward to have this agent represent you or you move in a different direction. A third option, from our perspective, that occasionally develops is that we determine that we may not be able to manage the outcome that you are expecting.
Selecting the right agent to represent you, even in a Seller’s market, is an important decision and you need to have all the help you can get making the right one. We’re happy to provide the answers you want and need and will disqualify ourselves if we believe that it is not in your best interest. Our reputation depends on satisfactory results from every transaction we handle.