04
Aug 2011
Selling your Home? How to Choose a Realtor-
By admin

Interestingly enough the founder and once CEO of ForSalebyOwner.com, Colby Sambrotto recently chose to hire a New York real estate broker due to little activity on his listing.  The decision quickly led to a closing for $150,000.00 over the original asking price.  This speaks to the power and visibility that a real estate agent can provide while listing your home for sale.

Many home sellers try and do the work themselves, but 80% of FSBO’s turn their listing over to a real estate agent to get their house sold.

The real issue is how to choose the right realtor, whether selling or buying.

I would look for a Real Estate Agent that is: Knowledgeable, Familiar with the local market, Full Time Real Estate Agent, Honest, Communication, Licensed, Technology Savvy and one with Integrity.

Knowledgeable

I want a real estate agent that knows how to pull together a real estate purchase from the negotiation to the contract preparation.  I want an advocate that understands the local lending standards, zoning ordinances and best practices. Just because a real estate agent is licensed does not mean they understand what it truly takes to handle a transaction from soup to nuts. I also want a realtor that specializes in the area I am buying or selling in. A residential real estate agent for a residential property, A commercial real estate agent for the purchase or sale of a commercial property and a short sale real estate agent for a short sale property etc.

Familiar with the local market

I would also want a real estate agent that is familiar with my neighborhood and local market conditions. Notice I emphasized “local” market conditions. Listing and sale prices can fluctuate significantly from block to block in urban areas and mile to mile in the suburbs.  I want an agent that knows the local businesses, which have stability and which do not.  This can particularly effect the way one should evaluate a specific piece of property next to or near the business.  I want an agent that knows the town I am looking in, inside and out.  I want an agent that knows the players, that knows all the homes on the block, the builders, the neighbors, etc.

Full Time Real Estate Agent

Real estate sales isn’t a part time job. There are a lot of homes in Philadelphia, I want a real estate agent that knows the market inside and out.  Just as important I want my real estate agent to be available when I or a potential buyer is. I wouldn’t want to wait until my REALTOR gets off his/her “other” job before he/she could answer a potential buyer or offer. In my experience, this is where a real estate agent with a team can be important as other team members can cover for each other, this way I can get the service I deserve.

Honesty

I want a agent that is going to tell me the truth – good and bad, whether I want to hear it or not.“Yes, Patrick that  ceramic tile is ugly and needs to go” or if I am getting my home ready for the market “Patrick, the moose head in the den could turn off a segment of buyers”.

Communication

You would think that communication would be one of the basics to be a real estate agent but it is not always a realtors best trait. Some real estate agents are simply not very good at returning emails or phone calls. This may be why the #1 complaint in the real estate industry is lack of communication.

Real estate sales is a service, and like most services, relies upon good communication. I want my Philadelphia real estate agent to communicate in the method I prefer. [phone calls, text messages, email, facebook, twitter, google +] whatever my preferred method may be. Because buying or selling a home can be stressful, I would also like a regular schedule of check in’s – even if there is nothing to report. Trust me, doing so will cut down on anxiety.

Licensed Real Estate Agent

I want my  real estate agent to not only be licensed, but in good standing. i.e. NO complaints from past clients. This is where Google will be beneficial. Visit Google.com, and enter the name of the Philly real estate agent  in quotes[“”] like this:   “John Doe Philadelphia Real Estate” doing so will deliver results related directly to that particular real estate agent and if you are lucky, will also show you what other consumers have to say about him/her.

Technologically Savvy

A realtor that is technologically savvy would be a non negotiable item for me. I would require that my REALTOR that has a strong, powerful website, and also understands  search engines like Yahoo, Bing, YouTube and Google. Social media is valuable but not as important as getting my home found online. Remember, 94% of consumers start their home search on the Internet, I want my real estate agent to know HOW to get my home to stand out online – where an overwhelming majority of the buyers are.

Integrity

Integrity is one of the things that people “say” they have. However, integrity is demonstrated not necessarily spoken. I would want my agent to put my interests above their own. If I am selling a home and an offer comes in at $430,000 versus my asking price of $460,000 equating to a reduction of $900 in the real estate agents commission but obviously a $30,000 reduction to me. If I was looking for a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home, I would want to see them all, even the ones offering a lower commission and the ones listed by a competing broker. The interests of myself and my family simply need to come first.

Buying or Selling a home effectively in today’s competitive real estate market includes many factors. Internet visibility should be one of the top priorities for anyone selling a home. Some real estate agents may tell you they have top web visibility. Ask them to prove it. Have the realtor SHOW you how their real estate listings are at the top of the search engines.  A technologically savvy real estate agent will know how to attract a buyer to your home – online.  Chances are, the buyer for your home is likely to come from the Internet.

For more information about choosing a real estate agent or for a referral to a  REALTOR please fill out the form below.

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