With spring around the corner, and yes, it will be here before you know it, what should a seller look for when hiring a Windsor real estate agent. With many homeowners looking to list their property in the coming months, it’s important that they get off on the right foot by hiring a professional, full-time and experienced agent. Why? Selling your home can be one of the biggest financial transactions you make. Not having the right representative throughout the entire process can end up costing you thousands of dollars.
A client hired a friend to be her real estate agent. The friend listed the property for a price that was way too high. In fact, it was tens of thousands of dollars above the nearest comp. Of course, the house never got an offer, and only two showings in 6 months. By the time the contract expired, home sales had further plummeted, which means when the client re-listed her property, she had to do it several thousand dollars below what its original price should have been. Needless to say, the client was not happy after losing many thousands of dollars that may not have happened had she listed her home at the right price.
Another problem is so many homeowners think they can do the job themselves because of the availability of online information. But again, you are hiring a professional that has education and experience to get the best deal for you that they can. Take into consideration the following when considering a real estate agent:
1. Education and experience
You don’t have to know everything about the real estate business. But your agent does.
2. Agents seek qualified buyers
If selling your property yourself, you will have more people just looking at your property rather than those serious buyers.
3. Pricing Guidance
You can either over price your home and lose money like the client above, or you can under price it and lose money as well. While agents don’t pick the price, as that is what owners do, they do offer good competitive listing prices that will generate interest.
An agent works with other professional agents throughout the day. They often have the inside knowledge of what properties will soon be listed and other good information.
By removing himself or herself from the transaction, an agent stays away from the emotional aspects of a sale. They are professionals who represent their client’s best interests.
It’s no surprise that the volume of paperwork has increased ten-fold in the past few years in a real estate transaction. One little mistake can cost a seller thousands of dollars or even a court case.
Also, it’s important to hire an agent that has a business plan or strategy. They need to listen to their client’s goals, budget and present a clear and concise marketing plan where the property is promoted to its target audience.
So here are some questions you should ask when you interview a real estate agent. And always interview at least three agents.
1. Are you a full-time agent? How many clients have you had in the past year?
A full-time agent should always know the latest up-to-date information, what properties are coming on the market and have a large contact list.
2. How many sales have you had in my local neighbourhood?
A seller wants someone who understands and knows their community, school district and the recent real estate deals in the neighbourhood.
3. Have you ever had a client lodge a complaint? If so, why?
Sometimes relationships between a real estate and client don’t always work out. See if you are a good fit with your agent.
4. What is your commission and is it negotiable?
The seller pays the agent a percentage from the proceeds of the home when it sells.
5. What services do you offer?
Make sure that your agent has a successful marketing program as well. Find out how they will promote your property,
6. Do you have a staff that is available in case you are not?
An agent often has a team of people working for him or her. But the agent you hire should be doing most of the work.
7. How often do you return phone calls, emails or other correspondence?
A seller wants an agent that is easily accessible. Either the agent or his staff should return all communication promptly.
8. Why should I hire you and what sets you apart from others?
A seller wants an agent that is professional and has expertise. You want an agent that is a go-getter and will promote and sell your home like they would their own.
If you are selling this spring, now is the time to start looking for a real estate agent.