Hiring the best real estate agent near you is critical when you decide to sell your home. But before hiring a professional, there are certain questions you should ask. The answers they give you will make the difference between a frustrating transaction or a great one.
1. How will you price my home?
Price is the number one factor most homebuyers use when deciding which homes to view. As a result, while the seller ultimately decides their home’s asking price, the actual value of a home is determined by buyers. In other words, what matters is how a home stacks up against other homes currently on the market or similar homes that have recently sold.
The best real estate agents will provide a comparative market analysis (CMA) for your home. This report compares the price of recently sold and currently active homes that are similar to yours in terms of location, style, and features. However, while market research can determine a certain price range, only an experienced agent who knows the local market will be able to price your home correctly to achieve the most success.
2. What advice and/or help will you provide to prepare my home for sale.
It’s never too early to prepare your home for sale. Your real estate agent should offer advice on how to prepare your home, give you home preparedness checklists, and suggest improvements that will make the biggest impact.
Staging a home can be a powerful tool when it comes to selling real estate. Potential buyers can imagine themselves living in the home when spaces are re-imagined to better showcase the property. Staging options typically include using your own furnishings, hiring local staging professionals, or having your home staged virtually. The best real estate professionals work closely with sellers offering suggestions on how to stage their home prior to going on the market.
3. What is your marketing strategy?
Never select a real estate agent based on only the price they suggest for your home sale. Always factor in their property marketing plan. The most effective marketing strategies combine a property's unique story with leading edge technology.
Overall, 44% of home buyers begin their search on-line. This means that today’s listings must be marketed on agency websites, home sale sites, social media sites, and search engines like Bing and Google. Be sure you know where your home will be featured.
In addition, ask if the agent provides other marketing assets such as property brochures. Look at examples. Check out property photographs, videos, and home descriptions for their other listings.
4. Will you use professional photography and/or video?
Professional photography and videos are a key component to attracting the highest number of buyers.
According to the National Association of REALTORS:
Both home buyers and sellers report that photography is critical to marketing a home successfully. In fact, 87% of buyers report photography was critical in their home selection process.
Real estate listings with video receive 403% more inquiries than listings without.
It’s important to hire a real estate agent who provides professional photography and video services as part of their marketing strategy. But even though agents hire a professional, there can still be pitfalls. Pictures should represent your home in the best possible light and feature the best assets. On the flip side, sometimes agents will photoshop pictures until they misrepresent what the home really looks like. The last thing you want is for buyers to arrive and feel disappointed because the pictures look completely different than your home. A good photographer will know how to represent your home correctly without extreme edits.
5. Do you use social media to market properties?
Traditionally, the real estate industry has relied on older marketing methods, i.e. print advertising and postcards. But this is changing fast. During 2020, social media has become a go-to source for the real estate industry. Homebuyers are searching for homes that meet their preferences on social media sites. The best real estate agents know how to use these platforms and post properties for sale. Sites such Facebook and Instagram are ideal to maximize exposure.
6. Will you hold an open house?
Even though buyers begin their home search on-line, open houses are still an excellent way to showcase a home. They increase grassroots visibility for a property to further expand the marketing campaign.
7. What is your real estate agent’s communication plan?
Do you prefer phone calls, text messages, or emails? How often do you want to hear from your agent? This is a very personal choice and one you should understand before signing on with a particular agent. Make sure they are there for you when you need them. That their communication is clear and concise.
Real estate transactions can be emotional. At all times, two-way communication is essential. Top real estate agents will know how, when and with whom to communicate in every scenario. They should have experience dealing with many different situations. For instance, sales with siblings, divorce situations that require separate attorneys, or emotional sales such as when a client decides to sell their beloved family home after many years.
The best real estate agents will know when to listen and when to act. They will understand your goals. They will guide you through every step of the process from listing to closing and beyond.
8. How do you follow up with interested buyers?
Today’s competitive market has created scenarios where homes receive multiple offers within a few short days of being listed. The best real estate agents near you should have a dedicated system for keeping track of serious buyers. They should be experienced negotiators and know how to navigate multiple offers. They will know your goals and be able to move quickly with confidence to secure the best possible outcome. In addition, it's important that the agent you choose has a good sense of the most qualified buyer, particularly in a multiple offer situation. The highest price is not always the best offer. A seasoned agent knows this and understands there are many factors to consider before accepting an offer such as contingencies, time frame for closing, etc.
It’s never too early to hire a real estate professional. Selling your home in the South Shore real estate market will go smoothly if you take the necessary steps and hire the right person with the right skill set. Click below to answer a few simple questions and get a custom home report created specifically for your home.