It’s not unusual for me to be asked “how to find the best agent to sell a house in Tooele UT“. I am always surprised, since I’m sure the expected answer is ME!
I may be surprised by the question, but I’m not bashful about my answer. (which is … ME).
But, rather than give that same answer over and over again, and run the risk of being thought of as a horn blower, I thought I would put together a post that would justify my horn tooting.
To do that, I’m going to borrow a post written by G.M. Filisko an attorney that specializes in real estate law. MS. Filisko suggests in the article 10 questions that should be asked when interviewing agents to market your home.
I’m re posting it here and adding some comments of my own to give local direction to the process.
Here’s what she had to say.
Find the Best Agent to Sell Your House
Ask detailed questions about their experience and skills to help you find the right agent for your home sale.
Working with the right real estate agent can mean the difference between getting prompt, expert representation and feeling like you’re going it alone when selling your home. Here are 10 questions to ask when you’re interviewing agents.
1. How long have you been selling homes?
Mastering real estate requires on-the-job experience. The more experience agents have, the more likely they’ll be able to handle any curve balls thrown during your home sale.
2. What designations do you hold?
Designations like GRI (Graduate REALTOR® Institute) and CRS® (Certified Residential Specialist), which require that agents complete additional real estate training, show they’re constantly learning. Ask if agents have designations and, if not, why not?
3. How many homes did you sell last year?
Agents may tout their company’s success. An equally important question is how many homes they’ve personally sold in the past year; it’s an indicator of how active and aggressive they are.
4. How many days on average did it take you to sell homes?
Ask agents to show you this data along with stats from their local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) so you can see how many days, on average, their listings were on the market compared to the average for all properties in the MLS.
5. How close were the asking and sales prices of the homes you sold?
Sometimes sellers choose their agent because the agent’s suggested listing price is higher than those suggested by other agents. A better factor is the difference between listing prices and the amount homes actually sold for. That can help you judge agents’ skill at accurately pricing homes and marketing to the right buyers. It can also help you weed out agents trying to dazzle you with a lofty sales price just to get your listing.
6. How will you market my home?
The days of agents putting a For Sale sign in the yard and hoping for the best are long gone. Look for an agent who does aggressive and innovative marketing, especially on the Internet.
7. Will you represent me exclusively?
In most states, agents can represent the seller, the buyer, or both in a home sale. If your agent will also represent buyers, understand and consent to that dual representation.
8. How will you keep me informed?
If you want weekly updates by email, don’t choose an agent who plans to contact you only if there’s an offer.
9. Can you provide references?
Ask to talk to the last three customers the agent assisted. Call and ask if they’d work with the agent again and if the agent did anything that didn’t sit well with them.
10. Are you a REALTOR®?
Ask whether agents are REALTORS®, which means they’re members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR). NAR has been an advocate of agent professionalism and a champion of home ownership rights for more than a century.
G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who’s worked with many real estate agents in the past 20 years. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.
My Comments Regarding The List
I agree with almost everything MS. Filisko has to say, but would add one very important task. Make sure all of the agents being interviewed are local agents. In the Tooele County market only consider listing with someone that lives and works in the area. I have written extensively about this and encourage you to read my post about hiring local Tooele Agents.
Here are my comments on the rest of the article.
- Longevity: Time in the business is not a sure fire indicator of competence. But a realistic amount of time with a full time commitment is a great place to start. I know it may be harsh, but I would not suggest you hire someone that will use your transaction to “learn the business”. Training is NOT your responsibility.
- Designations: I feel the same way about designations. It has been my experience that often agents collect designations rather than knowledge. I would look deeper and evaluate continuing education credits, that offer classes designed to enhance competence. The State requires a certain number of hours. I suggest looking for a Tooele agent that exceeds the required hours for obvious reasons.
- Number of Sales: Pretty good indicator. However a word of caution. Many agents create a team and list all team sale as their own. Two things to beware of here.Are you comfortable working under a team concept, and is your contact person the one you are contracting with?
- Days on Market: Don’t necessarily give too many points to the agent with the fewest number of D.O.M. in the Tooele County market.
- Asking Price: Pretty good indicator of pricing skills and Negotiating skill set.
- Marketing Plan: Would be helpful to see a well written plan similar to our plan “what we do to sell your home”. Also this is where you evaluate websites and social media expertise.
- Exclusive Representation: Read this post about dual agency and draw your own conclusions about the way you want to be represented.
- Communication: The way you communicate with your agent is your call. Be sure you have that conversation and determine up front things like the way, the frequency, what needs to be passed on and hours they can expect you to be available.
- References: Any real estate agent dumb enough to supply a recommendation less than positive is probably NOT someone you want watching your money. With the internet their are many ways to check on performance and client satisfaction. Use them! I would wait however until my selections are down to a couple.
- Hire a Realtor: As with most things, there are no guarantees. But, by subjecting themselves to the rigors of belonging to the national organization they have pledged to uphold a variety of standards that contain many benefits for the public.
That should keep you busy. No need to ever again ask the question. All the info you need is right here. If you want to talk about any of sections I’d be happy to. Call me Berna Sloan, 435-840-5029.