Selecting A Real Estate Agent
Real Estate Agent Needed: At some point during your search to buy or sell real estate, you will need the services of a real estate agent. Selecting an agent can be confusing. There is a way to determine who is most likely to succeed in helping you get your price and terms when selling, or finding the perfect house when buying.
Questions to Ask a Prospective Realtor
- Do you work as a full-time Real Estate Agent?
- How do you market your property?
- Do you have a full-time Assistant to see that no details are overlooked?
- How do buyers contact you?
- Are you marketing real estate on the internet?
- If I choose to do a tax deferred exchange, are you experienced in such transactions?
- In what ways will you encourage other Real Estate agents to sell my home?
- Do you have a system to follow-up with other agents so that we get valuable feedback after every showing?
- How many properties have you sold within the past 30 days? 90 days? 6 months?
- Do you have a list of references that I may check? Are you on the internet exposing my property to millions of buyers instantly?
- What is my property worth? What listing price do you recommend?
- How did you arrive at that price?
- How will you assist in my relocation plans?
- Do you have a written Specific Marketing Plan designed to sell my property quickly and for top dollar?
- Are you affiliated with a Mortgage Broker with over 300 wholesale lenders & have underwriting experience?
- Will you offer 24 hour Marketing on my property, for any prospective buyer who drives by?
- Do you guarantee my satisfaction by allowing me to exit the listing agreement at any time, if I am not happy?
If the agent you are interviewing does not answer the above questions to your satisfaction, you should probably find another who does!
Setting the Price on your Home: The three factors to consider in selling your home: Location – Condition – Price.
- Location: Your home’s location and setting influences its value. A home inside a quiet subdivision sells for more that the identical home on a busy street. Remote areas typically sell for less than close-in areas. Views, streams and trees usually enhance value. You obviously have no control over location.
- Condition of the Property: New homes enjoy a marketing edge over resale homes because they are shiny and clean. Builders enhance their appeal by offering model homes (clean, bright, decorated in current colors and amenities) for buyers to examine.
- Pricing: If IBM stock is trading between 110 and 120, it does no good to insist on selling at 150. Likewise, your home must be priced within the appropriate range. You must actually “sell” your property twice: first to a buyer and then to an appraiser. The buyer is more subjective and compares the amenities of your home to those of other homes in the same price range. The appraiser is more objective and compares age, size, and cost-identifiable features in your home against other properties that have sold. Your agent must use his experience and expertise to fine-tune the price by taking into consideration all of these variables.
Pre-qualification: Most home buyers go about the pre-qualification process completely backwards! That is they spend several weeks, months and sometimes years, looking at real estate ads, driving neighborhoods and attending open houses looking for the perfect home. Once they’ve found the house of their dreams, they place an offer to purchase it subject to obtaining financing. Then they shop for a loan. More often than not, it is above their means and they lose the sale because they can’t finance it. Not only are they frustrated but so is the inexperienced agent who chauffeured them around for a year. The savvy buyer of today shops the loan first and then knowing exactly how much they can afford, will then seek only properties that are within their reach. There are two methods of doing this. The standard way is to call or meet with a loan officer, tell them their financial and credit history, have the loan officer “run the ratios” and then tell the borrowers about how much they will qualify for. The flaws in this scenario are that the borrowers often forget to tell about their 5 late credit card payments, their new boat payment or push their income figures beyond reality. The preferred method is to complete an application, provide income and employment records, have the loan officer run a credit report then actually submit the file to a wholesale lender for underwriting then receive an approval and commitment for a loan for the borrower. This is also a powerful negotiating tool when presenting an offer to purchase. I don’t know of a single seller who would prefer to accept an offer from a buyer subject to obtaining financing over the buyer who already has a loan commitment! This can and will save you money when negotiating the contract. Get a loan commitment first, then find your dream house.