How To Move Handbook
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How to Talk Mortgage Talk
How To Save $$$ on Moving
The Insider's Guide to
Expert Advice on
Moving With Your Pets
The Truth About
Home Equity Mortgages
Answers to FAQs on Planning
& Making a Household Move
How To Chose a
Real Estate Agent
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FREE copy of the
Handbook's next edition
What's in the Handbooks
What Others Say About
How To Move Handbook
Choosing A Real Estate Agent To Help Sell Your Home
(from Chapter 6 - Steiners Complete How To Move
Order at 800-444-2524 Ext 1
(Recommended in Cosmopolitan Magazine )
first step in finding an agent is to ask for referrals from neighbors.
It's an old real estate adage that there are three keys to a good real
estate buy--location, location, location. Although I'd have to add
timing, timing, timing to that list, location specialization is the key
to a good agent for selling your home. If your aunt across town has a
fabulous agent, talk to the agent, but only to find out who's
recommended in your neighborhood. If your uncle sells real estate in
your area, consider a policy of not using friends or family--it may keep
you from some nasty internecine strife.
Listing Presentations --Your Inside Track to Marketing Know-How
Other good methods for developing your agent short list are to take down
names and telephone numbers from area signs or area newspaper ads. If
you know an agency name, but not which agent is right for your
neighborhood, ask the agency office manager whom she would recommend.
Looking agencies up in the Yellow Pages is difficult, because you
usually can't tell which agency specializes in your area. Don't call
your local Board of Realtors. They may confirm whether or not someone is
licensed, but they do not recommend.
Yellow Pages are good for finding discount agencies--one way to go, if
you're willing to shoulder Open Houses and/or other traditional agent
responsibilities for a lower fee. Help-U-Sell, a large, national
franchiser, offers a menu of choices that range from set fees starting
at $500 and paid whether or not your sale closes, to a reduced
commission rate. Other agencies have other plans. Discounters should be
interviewed like any other agent as you are making your listing
Points to Cover When Interviewing Prospective Agents
- Talk to five or six agents on the telephone to get a feel for
people who seem easy to work with and knowledgeable. Take control of
the conversation early by asking questions, rather than answering
their questions. Phrase your queries so their answers won't reflect
what they think you want to hear.
- Don't start scheduling presentations with them immediately.
Instead, take notes on their responses on the "Seller's Real
Estate Agent" evaluator provided in Appendix A of Steiners'
Complete How To Move Handbook. You'll be able to see who the top
candidates are by totaling their scores.
Evaluate all of your contacts, then call back the three you felt best
about, and set up listing presentation appointments. Try to schedule them
for different days, so that it will be easier to assimilate their
information. These presentations can give you vital insights into your
local real estate market, but rarely do all the facts assemble themselves
coherently without your stopping to think them through.
Ask all three to include in their presentations:
- A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your property, listing:
Background Information on their agency and themselves with references.
- a. All the homes which have sold in your neighborhood in the past
year, their prices and attributes. Some people like the agent to weed
out the complete sales list, and only present three or four of the
ones the agent feels are "most comparable," i.e., the homes
appraisers likely use as comparisons when they set the lender's
appraised value. We prefer to do our own weeding out.
- b. All the homes which are currently listed in your neighborhood,
their prices and attributes. Again, your preference may be to have the
agent give you only a short list of "most comparables."
- c. A three- to five-year quarterly tracking of median or average
sales prices, number of homes sold and number of Days on the Market
for your neighborhood and several others in your city. As outlined
earlier in this chapter, these are the numbers that will help you
analyze the market, whether or not you should try a high asking price
and how long before you may have to consider reducing your price. If
you get your price right at the outset, you can figure you'll close
the sale in the average amount of time. - A Marketing Plan outlining
any changes they think you should make--paint the exterior, clean out
the garage, etc.; who she feels best fits your Buyer Profile; how to
analyze when a price reduction is in order, etc.
Look for at least two years in operation for the agent, five for the
company. Although every year of experience can mean better skills at
selling and solving problems, many times newer, but established, agents
and companies try harder. Some agents can be very good after only six
months of experience. Copyright (c) 1998-2000 by
Independent Information Publications - All rights reserved
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