Author Topic: Choosing a Realtor..double check my questions, what am I missing?  (Read 2320 times)

alewpanda

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DH and I will be going to an appointment on Monday to meet with what might be the first of several meetings with potential realtors.  We are using this meeting to both interview the realtor and see if we like/want to work with him, and to get some perspective on the local market. 

My questions are as follows.  What am I missing?  This will be the very first time we will be selling a home, and the market in this area isn't great, so we want to do all we can to be well prepared for selling in a timely manner.

-- How long has he been a realtor and what kind of experience does he have in the area?  What kind of work load does he carry regularly, and how many homes has he sold so far this year?

-- Would we communicate directly with him, or would the work be spread out over a team of realtors?  How would he communicate with us (email, phone, text)?

-- How will the home be marketed?  What sites, social media, marketing methods will be used?

-- What fees are involved and what types of contracts do they have?  What additional expenses should we be prepared for during the course of a sale process?

-- Just based on general specs, what price range would he expect for our home?  Is there any particular features we should look to improve?

-- Do they provide/include with contract professional photos?

-- What is the best season to list in our area?  (we want to list sometime in the next 6-8 months...we just haven't nailed down when we want to yet)

-- Finally, who is our market?  (This is a military town...I'm pretty sure we will be marketing more to locals than the military families, based on size and age of the home, but DH wants some other perspectives)



Most importantly, we want someone who will shoot straight, have a good understanding of the market and what (if anything) we need to do to the home ahead of time to appeal to that market, and someone who will help us make the house look really good.  Part of the reason we are meeting with this Realtor first is because the photos for all of this company's listings are professionally done...which isn't the norm in our rural area.  Its also a national company, which means a broader audience and potential to appeal to a military family if our home is the price range they are looking for. 

So, am I asking the right questions?  Are there any I should add or re-phrase?

lifeofourown

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Re: Choosing a Realtor..double check my questions, what am I missing?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2017, 01:09:51 PM »
You could also ask him what his sales price to list price ratios are and how long his houses typically sit on the market. So not market level stats, but his personal stats. Then you can compare that to the market stats he gives you or double check on Redfin or Zillow.

On your question regarding the communication. Don't be alarmed if he says he uses a transaction coordinator or a co-listing agent. Lots of successful agents use transaction coordinators to help them keep all their deals organized. There is a tremendous amount of paperwork involved with selling a home, and having an assistant to keep track of it all actually can help an agent serve you better.

Good luck selling your home, it's a tough process for sure!

Zero Degrees

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Re: Choosing a Realtor..double check my questions, what am I missing?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 05:00:52 PM »
Your questions are all good. I just hired a realtor team to list my house.  A pair of brothers who are top agents in the area.  They have a marketing assistant and a transaction coordinator. I believe that can be good things for a successful team and probably why they can outsell the average realtor. I could have gone with someone else that is a friend, that is not very experienced and pay a smaller commission. I think my "property brothers" will be worth the price. Ha ha.

- I second the list to sales price ratio question. Make sure it is HIS stats and not area stats.
- I also second the Days on Market for HIS sales, not the average for the area.
- Are you a full time agent?  You don't want a side hustle guy, you need to sell your house, right? Will he be available when needed.
- Ask how many homes did YOU sell last year. The average agent sells 9.  Make sure your guy does more than that! 

Any realtor who refuses to answer any of your questions...you should be saying NEXT, immediately. I sent an email to one person I was considering using and asked her my list of questions. She had been responding to my emails very quickly until I sent her the interview questions. That was a month ago and she never replied. I sent an inquiry email to the next one and he called me within 30 minutes.  He had been leaving me marketing material for months, so I figured he deserved a shot. I asked my questions and he rattled off his stats like it was no big deal. No big surprise who I signed with.

Good luck to you!

Jon Bon

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Re: Choosing a Realtor..double check my questions, what am I missing?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2017, 11:07:40 AM »
I would seriously consider going without a realtor. You can google "flat fee listings" And get your house into the MLS (multi listing service, basically realtor.com and alike) for about $500 bucks. This is much less than the 3% off the top a realtor is going to charge you.

Just an FYI the amount of work a sellers agent puts into a normal house sale is probably <8 hours of work. So its obviously something that can be done by yourself.  Most of the work is done by the buyers agent.

I have sold 2 houses on my own and bought six. Honestly its not all that different from selling a house with a realtor, accept you get to keep the money at the end!

Good luck out there.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Choosing a Realtor..double check my questions, what am I missing?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2017, 11:49:37 AM »
I would seriously consider going without a realtor. You can google "flat fee listings" And get your house into the MLS (multi listing service, basically realtor.com and alike) for about $500 bucks. This is much less than the 3% off the top a realtor is going to charge you.

Just an FYI the amount of work a sellers agent puts into a normal house sale is probably <8 hours of work. So its obviously something that can be done by yourself.  Most of the work is done by the buyers agent.

I have sold 2 houses on my own and bought six. Honestly its not all that different from selling a house with a realtor, accept you get to keep the money at the end!

Good luck out there.

Really interesting. Could you let us know how it is done? Maybe in another thread so that this thread does not get hijacked.

Jon Bon

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Re: Choosing a Realtor..double check my questions, what am I missing?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2017, 01:48:39 PM »
Yeah I should probably post something about it but the alarm will go off at board of realtors headquarters and they will come and tear me limb from limb!

Its shocking how easy it is. Remember to become a realtor you need a whole 2 weeks of classes! No pre-reqs no degrees, oh and you need 2 weeks of classes at a for profit college so yeah these guys are on the level with doctors and rocket scientists!

Basically the entire thing revolves around the residential offer sheet aka purchase contract. its a piece of paper that EVERYONE uses. All you do is fill in about six our eight spaces (price, terms, financing, inspection etc) nothing to exciting. Finding the common document in your state is a good first step. Some states post them online for everyone to see, other states mine try to keep them under lock and key so only realtors can use them (which I obviously do and im not a realtor)

Again most real estate deals are brokered between 2 people with a combined 4 weeks of classes between them, so this is something your average MMM fan can knock out of the park on their first try.




birdiegirl

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Re: Choosing a Realtor..double check my questions, what am I missing?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2017, 03:31:40 PM »
One other thing to look at are his previous listings.  Look at the pictures & the written descriptions to make sure the listing looks professional and represents the property well.   I'm frequently surprised by how bad some listings look on the MLS (dark/blurry pictures, lots of clutter shown, not bothering to write a property description).  You'd think it would be common sense but I guess not always. 

solon

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Re: Choosing a Realtor..double check my questions, what am I missing?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2017, 03:37:52 PM »
A realtor is a sales position. The best realtors are the ones who are the best salespeople. It's true the technical details of conducting a standard residential transaction can be learned pretty quickly. But the realtors who actually get transactions done are the ones who are loud, backslapping, Cheshire-cat-grinning, dorks. I can't stand being around them, until I need to sell/buy!

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Choosing a Realtor..double check my questions, what am I missing?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2017, 03:44:21 PM »
Quote
what am I missing?

List it on Zillow yourself?  For almost every MLS listing I look at, I always think, wow, I could have done a much better job taking the photos and writing up a description.  It's like they were all done by your great aunt who can barely figure out how to send an email.


Jon Bon

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Re: Choosing a Realtor..double check my questions, what am I missing?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2017, 07:35:56 PM »
Quote
what am I missing?

List it on Zillow yourself?  For almost every MLS listing I look at, I always think, wow, I could have done a much better job taking the photos and writing up a description.  It's like they were all done by your great aunt who can barely figure out how to send an email.

Zillow is not a bad choice, but I feel its much more for the "casually looking" types then getting onto the MLS which of course gets you onto zillow anyways.

The key is to get onto everyone's alerts when your house is posted. Everyone just sets up their criteria and waits until matches hit that and they get the houses emailed to them. Kind of why a realtor "marketing" your house is a myth.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Choosing a Realtor..double check my questions, what am I missing?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2017, 08:04:16 PM »
Quote
what am I missing?

List it on Zillow yourself?  For almost every MLS listing I look at, I always think, wow, I could have done a much better job taking the photos and writing up a description.  It's like they were all done by your great aunt who can barely figure out how to send an email.

Zillow is not a bad choice, but I feel its much more for the "casually looking" types then getting onto the MLS which of course gets you onto zillow anyways.

The key is to get onto everyone's alerts when your house is posted. Everyone just sets up their criteria and waits until matches hit that and they get the houses emailed to them. Kind of why a realtor "marketing" your house is a myth.

Funny thing is the MLS listings don't have the Zillow listings.  If I'm a buyer, Zillow is a one stop shop. 

I guess the need for a realtor depends on how hot your R/E market is.  Buyers around me pretty much know they need to be checking Zillow or they might be missing out on something.  People are practically begging to buy houses.  If your market isn't so hot then I guess you might need a realtor.

ender

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Re: Choosing a Realtor..double check my questions, what am I missing?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2017, 06:28:16 AM »
Zillow is also fairly out of date and not really realtime.

When we looked, realtor.com was considerably more accurate since it actually pulled data from the MLS system.

I would seriously consider going without a realtor. You can google "flat fee listings" And get your house into the MLS (multi listing service, basically realtor.com and alike) for about $500 bucks. This is much less than the 3% off the top a realtor is going to charge you.

Just an FYI the amount of work a sellers agent puts into a normal house sale is probably <8 hours of work. So its obviously something that can be done by yourself.  Most of the work is done by the buyers agent.

I have sold 2 houses on my own and bought six. Honestly its not all that different from selling a house with a realtor, accept you get to keep the money at the end!

Good luck out there.

If you do this too you can also make sure to put "willing to work with a buyer's agent" as that will help anyone who has a realtor and is buying know they can buy your house (aka their realtor won't get stiffed, which is what will matter to them).