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Finding Realtor
Old 01-07-2012, 04:28 PM   #1
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Finding Realtor

Maybe a silly question, how do you find a realtor to sell your house? None of my friends are any help as we all have been settled in area for long time.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:39 PM   #2
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This is such an important choice, and I'm glad you are thinking about it before listing your house.

What most people would say is to interview three realtors about selling your house, show it to them, and see what they want to list it for, what they promise to do in order to sell your home, and how well they communicate with you.

But for me, that isn't good enough. I'd first go to some open houses and talk to a number of realtors without revealing that I want to sell at any time soon. Don't encourage any of them to pursue your business, but just talk about real estate in the local area and so on. (Also, you can be getting ideas about staging and so on just from looking at the houses.) It used to be that the big, well established real estate agents didn't do open houses so much, but at least in my area that is no longer true. Even they are doing everything possible to sell homes, including personally handling open houses.

My opinion is that you should make sure the realtor you choose works full time, knows the area well, and has been one of the top sellers for one of the top real estate groups in your area for a decade or more.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:50 PM   #3
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In addition to W2R's sound advice, I would look at other houses on the market and do a cold objective assessment of how your house compares and what the relative strengths and weaknesses are. When interviewing potential agents, I would focus more on what they see as selling points and how they would market the property.

I would also look for a mix of top agents from big agencies and new agents from smaller ones to interview.
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:06 PM   #4
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When I sold my mother's house in 2004. I used one of Dave Ramsey's Endorsed Local Providers. Two ELP's contacted me shortly after I had submitted my request at the Dave Ramsey website. The realtor I selected had been working in the local area for many years and had his own firm. He had an acceptable buyer with a contract 3 days after placing the house on the market in an as-is condition.

The buyer's title insurance company insisted that I obtain a conservatorship for my mother, who was suffering with advanced dementia, from the chancery court in the proper jurisdiction before approving the buyer's loan. My realtor and his lawyer stepped me through that process as painlessly as possible. The total cost for the conservatorship was $500 deducted from the proceeds at closing and the lawyer did all of the legwork.
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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I would invite the real estate agent to your house and have them spend as much time as they are willing to [which is a clue in itself], telling you about the pro's and con's of selling in your area, and your house in particular. Like any other relationship, first impressions can be misleading, and the longer you spend together, the better idea you'll have if you and that agent will "click."

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Old 01-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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Try looking for a house for sale in your neighborhood. Often there are a small number of realtors who represent most of the houses and know the neighborhood best. Interview them.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:43 PM   #7
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I wish I knew about redfin.com when selling (& buying) my house.
It would save me significant commission.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:04 PM   #8
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I believe in finding a realtor with in-depth knowledge of a particualr neighborhood and similar (competing) neighborhoods. I woul survey the area and find 2 or more of the most active realtors in the area (e.g. have the most signs out). Sometimes they adverstise in the free weekly papers (pennysaver), etc. Next thing is to find someone you are comfortable with. Some of the top sellers in my area have several assistants that do much of the legwork, so it would be good to know who is actually available to contact once the listing contract is signed
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:52 AM   #9
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As some have posted find the highest producing most (#of sales ) listing agent realtors in your areas . Your local board of realtors may beable to help you with this. May also want to look at which ones sold the most number of houses in your price range and specifc neighborhood. Would not go with some just because they thing they think they can sell it for the most $$. I did that once and found no sale. Changed to a more active listing agent who was brutally honest about the price. In fact would not take the listing unless I priced as she saw fit . I took her advice sold in a week.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:42 PM   #10
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Word of mouth by people connected to the RE business was how I found my realtor. It was a small agency. She worked angles, followed leads and within a month sold the house with two offers meeting my asking price. One was someone with a no-money-down, building equity using other peoples money shyster. The other was cash.

The extra money I received paid her commission 4 times over from the do-it-yourself route. Her negotiation skill got me away from the initial low-ball offer, past a second and third offer with price held firm where it sold. The house that I sold is surrounded by "for sales" from the big RE agency that specializes in the area. Those houses are sitting month after month. This house was priced slightly below comparable houses. I'm not saying that a sales agent couldn't or wouldn't do as well, but the right agent makes a big difference. Good luck on your search.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
What most people would say is to interview three realtors about selling your house, show it to them, and see what they want to list it for, what they promise to do in order to sell your home, and how well they communicate with you.

But for me, that isn't good enough. I'd first go to some open houses and talk to a number of realtors without revealing that I want to sell at any time soon. Don't encourage any of them to pursue your business, but just talk about real estate in the local area and so on. (Also, you can be getting ideas about staging and so on just from looking at the houses.) It used to be that the big, well established real estate agents didn't do open houses so much, but at least in my area that is no longer true. Even they are doing everything possible to sell homes, including personally handling open houses.
What a great idea in blue, that hadn't occurred to me. And I would have just interviewed a few to decide. I'll be making use of this suggestion in the next year or two...thanks!
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:03 PM   #12
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I would make sure the agent you select is very knowledgeable re: internet postings on redfin, trulia, zillow,craigslist, neighborhood newspaper sites, etc. Also, get a 90 day contract or less if you can so you're not locked in a long time if possible. DW liked an agent in the neighborhood, I didn't care for her, she tried to take the website photos herself (she ended up using a professional), would lie about potential buyers when she got us virtually no appointments when the 90 day contract was ending. 90 days was too long! All she did was have open houses which a lot of people don't go to anymore. Seems to be more online viewers before they'll ever step into your house.
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:47 PM   #13
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We interviewed three agents - it is important that you get along with your agent as you will be working together - different people have different ideas regarding what is necessary and what they are willing to do.

What was so odd about our situation was that I had used one of the agents we interviewed to buy the house - we had included her as an interviewee just as a favor - turns out we liked her the best and she did a great job in the significantly decreasing market in northern CA in 2008. We sold the house in 30 days.....we worked together to price it correctly and stage it appropriately.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:11 PM   #14
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I've heard that in most area, 10% of the realtors sell 90% of the listings. You need to identify those. Ask around. These aren't shy people, so it is probably in their ads.

Like someone said above, make sure that the big-dog realtor is the one that will work with you, not an assistant or partner.

Interview them & invite them to give you ideas on what needs to be repaired, the best time-frame to put the house on the market (spring is usually the best), a ball-park of the price for those repairs/staging, the listing price. They should also have a stable of contractors with good reputations available at short notice to prep your home. You need to feel that they are honest. You're not looking for a buddy, but you are looking for someone who will represent you honestly & vigorously.

We followed the steps above and found a top notch realtor. We sold earlier this year in about 2 1/2 weeks. It was a good house in a great location, so that helped a lot.

This is a pretty stressful task, so take it easy and don't be rushed into anything.

All the best.
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