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Finding a good RE Agent
Old 02-19-2012, 07:20 PM   #1
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Finding a good RE Agent

DH and I are finally ready to look for a RE agent to sell our home. Yes, I know we're slow pokes, but hey we're retired! Here's the basic info: We're moving into our former rental place which is about 6 miles from our current home we want to sell. We're in the DC metro area. Our current place is in a nice area and close to major communter routes. Homes in our development sell pretty well if priced right.

There are many agents in our area and we'd like to pick out 3 or 4 to interview to represent our place for sale. We've gone to a couple of open houses in our area and have already identified one agent we'd like to consider. Question: how can we identify good RE agents to interview? We've thought about asking neighbors, friends and looking at ads in local newspapers to find agents who seem to be good.

We need some advice on fixing up the place. It's in pretty good shape, but we'd like to keep the budget tight and do those things that will really help move the place. Things like stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, professional staging for sale, landscaping, etc. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this.

Thanks.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
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When I was looking for a real estate sales person I eliminated all part timers and only looked at successful agents then I interviewed a few of those and found one I liked . As for what to fix up I would listen to their recommendations .
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:47 PM   #3
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Stick with full time agents who answer the telephone promptly, and fit your personality. Ask for a market analysis of your home. Beware of "successful agents". They like to make a lot of sales, sometimes at below market value, or at giveaway prices. Do not do any fixing up of your place until you list the home with your chosen agent.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:45 AM   #4
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I think you've already done the best thing by going to open houses and observing them in their native habitat.

As to fixing things up, the advice to just listen to your chosen agent's recommendations is also spot on.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:59 AM   #5
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...Question: how can we identify good RE agents to interview? We've thought about asking neighbors, friends and looking at ads in local newspapers to find agents who seem to be good.

We need some advice on fixing up the place. It's in pretty good shape, but we'd like to keep the budget tight and do those things that will really help move the place. Things like stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, professional staging for sale, landscaping, etc. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this.

Thanks.
You probably see certain agent's signs around your neighborhood more than others, so you might want to pick one or two of them to interview. But asking friends and neighbors is definitely a good idea. We interviewed 4 - one recommended by someone in the business, one recommended by my hairdresser, one who goes to our church, and one who sells a lot of the houses in the neighborhood. We got good information from all.

In terms of updates, the three major things we did that made a huge difference were:
1. Painting - we did the whole house, every room the same color (Sherwin-Williams Kilim Beige was the specific color recommended by two of the agents) with white ceilings, and painted all of the doors white.
2. Landscaping - pulled everything that was scraggly looking and mulched the beds. Planted colorful flowers near the front door and had a hanging basket there as well.
3. Professional staging. We were moving within the same general area, so we were able to use a combination of our own furniture / accessories along with some pieces from the stagers.
Some of the agents suggested other (expensive) work such as replacing all of the faucets, which I'm glad we did not do. FYI, we already had granite countertops but we did not replace the white appliances.

We ended up with a contract in 8 days for full price. That was in 2009, not exactly a strong market. Of course, YMMV.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I've identified 3 agents to interview. DH and have set a budget of about $30K to fix the place up for sale so we'll focus on sale preperation. The house was built in the 80s and could use some fixing up for sure. Just want to get the biggest bang for our bucks.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:17 PM   #7
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Ours was an 80's house also, however we had remodeled the kitchen a few years earlier. We did no bathroom updates other than painting over the wallpaper and updating light fixtures.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:27 AM   #8
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I think you've already done the best thing by going to open houses and observing them in their native habitat.

As to fixing things up, the advice to just listen to your chosen agent's recommendations is also spot on.
+1. Seeing the agent at work at some open houses has to be worth far more than what they say in an interview or other "talk."
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:31 AM   #9
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Up next: "Finding A Good Annuity Salesperson", followed by "Finding A Good Used Car Salesperson"...
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:52 PM   #10
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Up next: "Finding A Good Annuity Salesperson", followed by "Finding A Good Used Car Salesperson"...


Not by me, but be my guest. BTW, we've got three realtors scheduled to come by the house within the next week. Why do I feel like sharks are circling us?
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:01 PM   #11
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Not by me, but be my guest. BTW, we've got three realtors scheduled to come by the house within the next week. Why do I feel like sharks are circling us?

Because they are.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:57 PM   #12
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Because they are.
Yeah. I know

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