Hiring a Realtor to sell your property can be a huge decision. Here are a few questions that you may find helpful.
“How will you market my property?” Running a few classified ads in the local paper and listing it on the company website shouldn’t be the only answers. The majority of buyers in the Adirondacks are second home buyers and your agent really needs to have an idea of how to reach an audience from outside the area. With so many websites out there, you really can’t afford to be on just one. To get a good idea of how much marketing an agent is doing you may want to consider Googling the address of one of their current listings, if the property doesn’t come up at least 20 times the agent isn’t doing nearly enough.
There is a difference between a Realtor and a Real Estate agent, only Realtors can advertise on the local Multiple Listing Service. Your property should be listed on the Realtor.com as it is the most well known real estate website in the country, ninety-six percent of Buyers visit Realtor.com. Your property should also be on the Multiple Listings Services which is essentially a shared database between Realtors. Your agent should be willing to share their commission with an agent that brings a Buyer; part of this process is providing other agents with the information necessary to discuss your property with the Buyers they are working with.
“How many years have you been in the business?” Just because someone’s been in the business for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re good at it. You don’t want an agent that’s just been skimming by for the past 15 years. Has this agent been working full-time or just pulling together the occasional deal for family and friends? It is in your best interest not to overlook the agent who is just starting out – they can be more excited and motivated, and more willing to give you personal attention. The question that should be in the back of your mind is “What is the agents level of commitment?” Feel free to ask the following questions: “How often do you do floor time?” “When are you usually in the office?” You may also get a better idea of the agent’s commitment level by considering how he or she has behaved thus far; did he or she respond to your initial inquiry in a timely fashion? Did they provide you with a cell or home phone?
Does this Agent have another career? Being a successful Realtor is not a part time job, this is a CAREER that often requires working nights and weekends. Successful Adirondack Real Estate agents can easily put in an average of 60 hours a week between the months of May and September. We have a very short selling season and you need someone who recognizes the need have your marketing materials available to the public ASAP. An agent that has other obligations during the busy season might have a hard time pulling this off.
Look at the agent’s current inventory; does your home fit in the mix? An agent that currently markets homes in your price range and area will be the best fit; they will be more likely to add your home to the list when going out with a Buyer. When your agent receives a call about something in their inventory of course they should make every effort to satisfy the possible buyers question regarding that property. A motivated agent will then ask the possible buyer “what type of property are you looking for and what is your desired price range?” This is when the agent should pitch YOUR property as well. Most of the buyers we work with in this market are from outside the area and they will be much more likely to make the trip if there are several appealing properties to see.
How much is my home worth? Agents should be able to provide a market analysis and recommend a selling point for your house before you make a decision. If two agents say $500,000 and the third says $580,000, it’s possible this high number is an exaggeration to attract your business. This maneuver is often called “buying a listing”. The high asking price will likely scare away potential buyers. We have a short selling season, timing is crucial. In the end, a house will only sell for what it is worth and your time will have been wasted. Also ask the agents what repairs, if any, they think need to be made in order for the home to sell in your desired time-frame. If an agent can not be honest with you about the less-desirable aspects of your home; are they really being honest regarding your pricing strategy?
It may sound like a lot of factors to mull over but careful consideration in this process will be well worth your while. Please feel free to call me at anytime if you would like to hear about the benefits of listing your property with Timm Associates. I would be happy to prepare a comparative market analysis on your home or camp.