If you’re selling a home this spring—before you even begin to think about that next home—you need an experienced REALTOR® who knows the local market well. One who can help you prepare for listing, determine a fair asking price, market your home, and represent you in final negotiations. You need a real estate agent you’re comfortable with and who understands your financial goals right from the start.
Do Your Homework
When it comes to finding a qualified REALTOR®, family, friends, and neighbors are all good sources for recommendations. If you can’t find a referral, start by looking around your neighborhood. Take note of the properties up for sale and the agencies/REALTORS® promoting the listing. Check online to see how long these properties have been on the market. Note how the properties are being marketed—is the description appealing? Are the photos professional? Is there video or a virtual walk through? Attend an open house to observe the real estate agent in action. Is the home well-staged for viewing? Is the agent attentive with prospective buyers?
Interview Candidates and Check References
Set up interviews with multiple candidates (no less than three) and ask for references. Ask about current market conditions and which homes nearby they’d consider good comps. How will they market your home and through which channels—in print, online, etc? Don’t be afraid to ask about their commission, including how it is determined and split with the buyer’s REALTOR®. A good real estate agent is worth their commission, but you don’t want any surprises at the closing. Make sure the REALTOR® is properly licensed to operate in your state. Check with the Better Business Bureau and go online to look for additional customer feedback if your still have doubts.
Prep and Staging for Selling a Home
Don’t wait to find the right real estate agent to begin prepping your home for sale. Here’s where to start:
- Clean the house thoroughly including attic, basement, and garage
- Declutter and put away personal items
- Use paint to freshen the look of an entryway or brighten up a room that gets less light
- Make sure your home has curb appeal and that the yard is in good shape
- Make a list of any updates or renovations you’ve done over the years including bathroom, kitchen, roof, siding, painting, electrical, heating, and AC. Dates of when the work was done is important.
- Make any necessary repairs. If you have concerns about repairs that will surface during an inspection, or there are updates you haven’t made—think kitchen or bath remodeling—work with your REALTOR® to determine a price concession should a potential buyer raise the issue during negotiations
- Set a date for an open house with your real estate agent once your home is ready and think about staging. You want to show your home in its best light. Make sure everything is in its proper place. Fresh flowers can brighten up a room, and the smell of baked cookies or an apple pie can make potential buyers feel at home.
- Another great way to get feedback on the property and its presentation is to have your agent hold a special open house for just REALTORS®. This is a great way to acquaint them with your listing and get the word out.
Selling a home can be a challenge. Having the right REALTOR® to show and market your home can make all the difference. Now, to find your next home…