Finding the Right Realtor to Sell Your House
Not All Realtors are Equal
When I learned that only 12,000 of the 40,000 homes would sell one year in our seller's market, I was quite surprised the number was so low. So, selling your house with the right Realtor is about getting your home sold!
Unlike most cities, Houston homeowners are very fortunate to have an excellent, technologically progressive organization for Realtors to use as a vehicle to help buy and sell houses. HAR offers free and required classes for Realtors to learn how to post information. Not only do they offer the support to enter full virtual tours but they actually require Realtors to post a minimum number of pictures when entering a listed home.
You would think that any homeowner wanting to sell his or her home in Houston, http://www.har.com/, could choose any Realtor and have the job done right, but that's just not so. If you are thinking of selling your home in any city, do some research first.
How to Search for a Realtor
1. Do a computer search of homes for sale in your area to find out where the most MLS homes are represented. In Houston, Texas, the most homes can be found at HAR. In your city you may need to look at individual real estate companies. Think to yourself, "If I were moving to my town, where would I find the best information about houses for sale?"
2. Next, search for homes for sale in your specific neighborhood. Who are the Realtors that regularly list and sell homes there? If your previous search showed that a particular real estate company had the best available display of homes in your town (no central service like Houston), then only research Realtors who work for that company
Room Photos That Work
3. Look at the presentations on the website you have chosen for the best ones. Are there a lot of photos; are they bright and clear; is the house described in an alluring way (gorgeous, perfect, unique), and is the description adequate. Do you get a clear picture of what the house looks like or are you confused?
This Room Photo is too Dark
The Best Realtor
4. In order for you to be selling your house with the right realtor, invite three of your top picks to your home to be interviewed, individually. Ask each how aggressively they will market your home, how many years they've been a Realtors (the more the better), how do they rank in sales among their peers, and how often they will contact you.
5. In addition to getting your home put into MLS (Multiple Listing Service), the company (that the Realtor works for) representing your home should have an easy method for setting appointments for other Realtors to show your home. If that company only sets appointments through their office, and their office is only open until 5:00 each day and closed on Sunday, plan to keep your home on the market a long time.
6. Find out if your Realtor is willing to change the pictures, map, and write-up if they aren't presented the way you would like. (Be sure to check the map yourself. Your home won't be shown often if the buyer's agent has to put in extra effort to fine your home.)
Questions for Realtors
7. Make sure the Realtor has a communication plan for you. How will you know when someone is planning to show your home? How often will your Realtor contact you and how: phone, email? How will you receive feedback after someone has viewed your home? You should communicate with your Realtor at least twice a week, once by phone and once by email. If she says, "I'll call you every Friday," respect that, but still email her. If you are not getting weekly calls, make the calls yourself. Keep your home on her mind.
8. During the interview process, ask for specific information about the best way to present your home. Your Realtor should be able to tell you what to remove, rearrange, or clean. She knows what sells and what doesn't, and she should be able to convey that information to you. In fact, your Realtor should not list your home until you have it ready--according to her expectations.
9. Don't be cheap. Your agent and the buyer's agent need to know they will get a full commission for selling your home (unless it is a very, very expensive home). Realtors sell houses with full commissions first. I've seen buyers' agents look at a listing and say, "Two percent commission," then throw it in the trash--never to be seen by the buyer.
Of course, selling your house with the right realtor means getting one with good negotiation and contract writing skills, but if you have chosen a top agent, you are bound to get those qualities. They needed those skills to get them to the top. So, choose well.
- Change Anything with Paint. Once I learned that paint stains, it changed the way I looked at everything. Another gem: white on white is always less noticable than black on white. It sounds silly, but these two concepts have saved me tons of money over the years.
- Selling Your Home Advice. There are lots of little things people overlook when they live in a house--more than just clutter, like hiding valuables and removing photos. Put the best face on your home, easily.
- Organizing Your Home. Organizing your home is a process. Before you get into your new home, consider what you will need to do to be organized. Have a plan.
- How to Start Buying a House. Most people walk into a Realtor's office with only a vague idea of what they want to buy and how to go about it. The more informed we are, the better prepared we will be to face the house buying challenges.
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