Becoming a Best Seller |

Becoming a Best Seller

Sharon Beattie

The second most important decision in your life … choosing a realtor

By Sharon Beattie

Choosing a realtor is one of the most important decisions a seller can make. It’s equivalent to hiring a competent general contractor to build your dream home. Both realtors and contractors are responsible for coordinating a lot of different “subs” to get the job done. Instead of working with excavators, carpenters and electricians, your realtor will be involved with advertising reps, realtors, buyers, title companies and lenders. If you’ve chosen well, the next months will go smoothly, and your next decision will be which company to hire for your move.

How do you find good prospects?

The first step is to narrow the field to two or three realtors and interview them so you have a basis of comparison. How do you find good prospects to interview? You locate realtors with a track record you can verify. There are several ways to accomplish this.

Ask your friends for recommendations. Another source is to remember realtors you’ve worked with on other projects who have impressed you. Finally, look for real estate ads that stand out and contact the author of your favorites.

Think about what you want to learn

Before you sit down with your top realtor picks, think about what you want to learn from interviewing them. Here are some sample questions:

1. How long have you been in real estate or a related business?

2. How long have you practiced in the Roaring Fork Valley?

3. How many listings do you normally represent?

4. Will you represent me as a seller or transaction agent? (I’ll explain the difference in a future article.)

5. Do you have any areas of specialization? (These can be particular types of real estate, neighborhoods or representing either buyers or sellers.)

6. Have you furthered your real estate education since you became licensed?

7. What is your marketing plan for my home?

8. How often can I expect to hear from you? Do you return calls promptly? (Quick follow-up is essential.)

9. What price would you recommend for my property? What is the factual basis for your recommendation?

10. What makes you stand out as a realtor?

11. Do you have references from customers?

Does the agent inspire confidence and trust?

By the time you’ve concluded your conversation you’ll have enough information to make an informed decision. Of course there’s more to choosing a realtor than collecting background information. Your decision will also be based on your overall impression of the agent. Ask yourself the following questions: Was the agent able to communicate clearly with me regarding my concerns? Will the agent be able to negotiate effectively on my behalf? Does the agent inspire confidence and trust? Does the marketing plan sound comprehensive enough to effect a sale? Was there adequate information to support the agent’s conclusions about pricing my home?

A word of warning: Don’t decide to list based on who comes up with the highest asking price. You are better off pricing your home realistically, based on comparable sales in your neighborhood. Correctly priced homes motivate buyers to compete for them, which often translates to higher prices. Most important, can I imagine working comfortably with this person for the next six months?

Do your homework

You may be thinking to yourself, “This sounds like a lot of work; I thought hiring a realtor was supposed to make selling my house a breeze.” Well, I don’t know that selling a house will ever be a breeze. Experts put it at the top of the Richter scale for inducing stress.

But taking the time to do your homework so you make a knowledgeable decision will go a long way toward simplifying the process. Pretty soon you’ll be checking the yellow pages for a good moving company.

Sharon Beattie,

Broker/Owner of Sharon R. Beattie Co.

932 Cooper Avenue

Glenwood Springs, CO

Sharon R. Beattie Co.

932 Cooper Avenue

Glenwood Springs, CO

(970) 945-6266

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