Does it Really Matter What Agent I Choose to Sell My House?
Yes, it does. So much can go wrong in a real estate transaction, and it’s important that your agent is knowledgeable and experienced enough to help you avoid pitfalls. Sales contracts are very complicated. You really need to hire an agent who knows the contract and is a great negotiator. It also matters that they know how to price and present your property to get you the most money and the quickest sale. That includes marketing your property and taking the time to correctly enter it into the MLS so it will be found in buyers’ searches. It also includes spending money to get your property the most exposure.
Does it Matter What Brokerage My Agent is with?
When you list your home for sale with an agent, your listing actually belongs to their brokerage, and they are not all created equally. If your agent changes brokerages while your property is listed, do you get to stay with your agent, or will the brokerage reassign someone else to help you? Larger, nation-wide brokerages offer many more services to their agents which can help them sell your property faster and for more money. Coldwell Banker offers their agents and sellers many helpful programs including:
Listing Concierge – marketing package including professional photography, professionally printed marketing materials, a magazine ad, a TV spot, and more.
RealSure® – a system where I can often give you a cash offer at the time of listing yet still market your property to try and get you an even better offer.
RealVitalize® – a program to help sellers make home improvements to list the property but not have to pay for them until closing.
Reward Programs – There are several reward programs available to Coldwell Banker customers including a Military Rewards, AARP Real Estate Benefits and more.
How Do I Tell a Good Agent from a Bad One?
Start with Google. Read their reviews on sites like RateMyAgent, RealSatisfied or Yelp or property sites like Realtor.com and Zillow. While on Zillow, see what they’ve sold recently.
When you call them, do they answer or return your call quickly? Do they listen when you talk to them or do you feel like you’re getting a sales pitch?
Ask them to email you some of their previous or current listings. Do they have fantastic pictures and complete information?
Ask how they will market your property. Do they use professional photographers and materials? Do they mail out postcards or run any social media, magazine or TV ads?
Does the agent have any certifications or designations? That’s a good way to know they take their job seriously and really want to know what they’re doing.
Are they telling you your home is worth a lot more than every other source? That’s a red flag. If the agent is good at pricing strategy, their suggested listing price shouldn’t be that very different from everyone else’s.
Why are Real Estate Transactions So Stressful?
Nearly all real estate transactions hit a snag somewhere in the process because there are so many people and steps involved. It's nearly impossible to get a large number of people to do a l lot of things exactly right and exactly when they need to do them. Add to this the fact that not everyone involved has the same desired outcome, and you have a recipe for problems. There are things you can do the lesson the stress, however.
Hire a great agent and trust their advice. After all, that’s why you hired them.
Stay out of it. Le your agent deal with the problems until they need your involvement.
Don’t panic. Good agents can resolve most issues.
Do what is being asked of you as quickly as you can.
What About the Ads I See Offering to Buy My House?
Those ads are from iBuyers (instant buyer) – companies who buy homes directly from sellers without the process of listing the homes. It's a convenient alternative, but it often comes at a very high price. A MarketWatch investigation of multiple transactions involving iBuyers showed the iBuyer offer would net the seller 11% less than sellers who listed on the open market.
If you think you'd still like to pursue this method of selling your home, I can help with that. Coldwell Banker offers an iBuyer program called RealSure® which is the best of both worlds. I can often give you a cash offer up front AND still list your home on the open market to try and find you an even better offer.
Whose Online Estimate is More Accurate?
None. The best way to get an estimate of the market value of a home is ask a Realtor®. There are many services that create estimated values of real estate, and I can assure you no two are ever the same. They are all just looking at previous sales numbers and data. They’re comparing price per square foot of recent sales, but that’s not what Realtors do. None of those estimators are able to look at the condition of the property. None of them know subtleties of the market or look beyond the basic information to estimate the value. It takes a great deal of time, effort, and knowledge to accurately estimate the market value of a property, and it certainly takes more than any algorithm can produce.
Then How Do I Know What My Home is Worth?
Ultimately, what your home is worth is whatever someone is willing to pay you for it. Realtors® are trained to compare other properties on the market and ones that have recently sold to your property to come up with a listing price. Experienced agents are usually pretty good at estimating what the market will pay for your home, especially agents with a PSA designation.
Should I be Home When Buyers are Looking at My House?
No, you really shouldn’t. It’s not comfortable listening to people talk about what they don’t like about your home. You may have spent a lot of time and money decorating a room only to have to hear someone say it’s awful. From the buyer’s point of view, it’s just uncomfortable. They feel like they’re intruding on someone’s time and personal space and they can’t say what they think. They’re likely to leave quickly and very likely won’t be able to imagine themselves living there. The object of a showing is to allow the buyer to see if the house works for them. Can they make the space home? By being present for showings, you’re making that very difficult to do and ultimately making your home harder to sell.