You’re thinking of selling. So how do you know which Realtor to work with? Your boss gave you the name of a Realtor. You met a Realtor you liked at an open house. Your sister-in law just got her license and says she’d love to help you. And what about the one who sold you your house 8 years ago (what’s his name again?).
Selling a home can be a very emotional decision. After all, this is your LIFE we’re talking about. The place where you created LOTS of memories. AND it’s your FUTURE we’re talking about. What happens with the sale of your home affects what options you have moving forward.
And it’s likely one of, if not THE BIGGEST FINANCIAL DECISION OF YOUR LIFETIME. So you want to get it right. How do you do that?
1. The Personality Factor:
You’re not looking for a new BFF here. (If you don’t have kids – that’s “Best Friend Forever“!) But you DO want to make sure you “click” with the person. After all, this person will be advising you on factors that affect you and your family’s life to a great degree. So the person needs to understand you and your needs. You need to “get” each other and trust each other and be able to speak openly & directly. And so while having a relative or friend in the business may be nice as far as the “clicking” part goes, sometimes the “speaking openly & directly” part may be an issue. You may not want to tell your relative or friend all your personal financial information. And even if you do, you may not want to have the kind of open & direct conversations that are often part of selling your home. Preserving your friendship or family relationship may take precedence over doing business together. (Worst case scenario: Something goes wrong. Wouldn’t you rather fire the Realtor you hired as a business decision versus firing your best friend or sister-in-law?)
So once you decide to make this a business decision. How do you find a Realtor you can trust? Google them! In this day & age it’s a great way to find out all sorts of things – including what Realtors’ pasts client think about the service they received. When you travel, don’t you read hotel & restaurant reviews? And when you are sent to a new doctor, don’t you check her out online first? Well, you can do the same thing with Realtors. But don’t just read the comments on their own web sites, check them out on 3rd party sites like Zillow or Trulia or Yelp. (Here’s an example of what you would see if you google “Real Estate Reviews for Terry Belt“). What you read here will tell you a whole lot about trust.
2. The Communication Factor:
The most common complaint we hear from people who hire us after they have tried unsuccessfully to sell with another agent, is that “after the sign went up, we never heard from her again until she called to ask us to reduce the price.” So when you are looking at Realtors, ask HOW they communicate, WHAT types of information they provide and HOW OFTEN they do so. And make sure that what they do works for you. Your Realtor should have systems in place that provide you with ALL the information you need to make smart decisions.
3. The Expertise Factor:
Your Realtor should be an expert in real estate AND an expert in your market. Did you know there are more than 1.2 million Realtors in the U.S.? And almost 10,000 Realtors in Northern Virginia? So make sure you have one with experience. The more homes they have sold, the better their skills are likely to be. (We call this the “Are you really a Realtor or do you just play one on TV” question.) More experience normally translates to a faster sale and a higher sales price for you!
You also want an expert in YOUR market. So how do you find out how much of an “expert” someone is? ASK FOR THE STATISTICS! They may be “boring”, but they could save you TIME and MONEY.
Here’s an example:
Last year in Vienna, The Belt Team sold 58 homes. That is 3 times as many homes as the next best agent. The “average agent” in Northern VA did not even sell 1 home in Vienna. Not only did we sell more homes, we sold them 15 days FASTER and for MORE MONEY than average (1.4% more). So in this example, if your mortgage payment is $4,000/month and your home sold for $800,000 – The Belt Team would have saved you $2,000 by selling your home 15 days faster (1/2 of one mortgage payment) plus $11,200 by selling it for a higher percentage of list price than average.
This is why you need to ASK FOR THE STATS (in other words – “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”)
Contact us if you would like a FREE copy of “41 Questions You Need To Ask When Interviewing A Realtor To Sell Your Home” or “90 Tips To Prepare Your Home For Sale”.
If you’re ready to list your home NOW, call (703) 242-3975 to schedule an appointment.
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