First steps to hiring a REALTOR® By Ben Geanetta, REALTOR®, Team Lead
When my wife and I sold our first home, we had no idea what we were doing, or even what to expect since we had never sold real estate before. The REALTOR® we hired was recommended to us by one of my coworkers in the Police Department. We selected him without any interviewing process or asking questions to ensure our huge investment was in the right hands. Fortunately, we got lucky, and it worked out well; but this isn't always the case.
Let's state the obvious: Selling your house is a big decision, as hundreds of thousands of dollars and, in some cases, even millions can be involved. The REALTOR® you hire can make all the difference. Their knowledge, expertise and timely communication skills should all be factors in choosing the right individual to meet your real estate needs.
First, let me take you to a different scenario to help you put your selection process in perspective. If you needed brain surgery, would you ultimately go with the first recommendation from a friend or family member? Maybe you would select a friend or family member in general just for the sake they were someone you knew. Would you go under the knife without looking into the doctor’s background, skills or knowledge? Likely not. You would choose a doctor who you're confident with their skills and knowledge.
Your house, which is ultimately an investment, deserves the same due diligence.
These are a few steps you should consider taking when selling your house:
First, you should get organized and collect a few names of local real estate agents. It doesn’t matter if you find them online, see an ad, or a friend tells you their REALTOR® is the best. Compile a list. Next, find reviews online and see what others are saying about them. Find their bio page and read the “About me” section.
If they pass YOUR initial interview, reach out to schedule a meeting. If you don’t receive a response from them within 48 hours, some concern should be raised.
Once the REALTOR® and you connect, it’s now time to schedule a meeting. At the appointment, they should arrive with a digital or paper presentation that highlights their marketing and their work.
Be on the lookout for how detailed and complete their presentation is. Often, this will be a reflection of the quality of their professionalism and a demonstration of the listings they provide. Think of the REALTOR® as an artist and their listings as their canvas; choose the one who speaks your language visually. Chances are if you like their work and would buy a house based on their presentation of it, then it’s likely others would too!
The goal is to leave a memorable, visual impression on the potential buyers. Ask to view their past listings and pay attention to the details. Are they using professional photo/videography, aerial photographs, 3D tours and floor plans? Are their photos in a sequence that makes sense as not to confuse the potential buyer as they scroll through? Are the public remarks accurate and distinguished?
Ask to see their marketing material, and don't settle on just an explanation. You should not be settling for what I call the “wait and watch” response of “I’ll put a yard sign up and it will be in the MLS which feeds Zillow, Trulia and like websites.” Do they have an integrated marketing system? Do they use a referral network of real estate agents across the country?
Also, it's important to ask how many buying and selling clients they are currently working with. If they have a heavy workload, ask how much individual attention you should expect. Are they part of a team they regularly work with? What support staff do they have?
The ultimate objective for anyone to sell their property is to get the most favorable terms and achieve their goals while doing so on your timeline. Partner with the best REALTOR® for you by following the steps outlined above.