Owning a home is one of the largest investments you’ll ever make. When it’s time to sell your home, it’s important to protect your investment by hiring the right Realtor®. It’s very important that they have experience, know the local area, and have a thorough marketing plan. The last thing you need is someone who will just put your property on the state MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and call it a day. So let’s cover what to look for when you are vetting potential realtors to represent your property.
Experience and Knowledge are Key
When you’re interviewing Realtors be sure to find out if they have experience doing business in your area. Most real estate transactions are local after all. Many factors affect home prices and circumstances can vary in nearby towns, neighborhoods, school districts and more. Your real estate agent should know your neighborhood and everything about it. A great first indicator is that the prospective agent should have a written, comprehensive market analysis for you which will compare similar homes in your area. They should know the average list price to sales price ratio in the area, the average time on the market for homes in your area. Most of all looks for their experience in negotiation. This will be the key professional aspect of the agent that will help you secure the highest price for the sale of your home.
Preparing Your Home For Sale
Something all good realtors should advise you on is staging your home, and have someone who is reputable and reasonable that they can refer you to. Staging a home, which is decorating it to maximize market appeal, has consistently been shown to reduce time on market by as much as 20%. They will also encourage you to make sure that all repairs that can be made are done. This will obviously help the appeal of your home but it will also allow the realtor to wield more leverage during negotiation of the sale. But reducing the sales price based on anything that needs to be done that will not pass the home inspection can be devastating for your overall net return for you and your realtor are looking to get from the home’s sale.
This is where you come in. As a fully prepared property can save you as much as 10-15% on overall return. Though a good realtor will be able to tell if the extent of the repairs would be worth it based on the area you are trying to sell in.
Multiple Listing Service and Other Sites
This should go without saying but another part of your Realtor’s marketing plan should be that they upload your property to your state’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This will make it visible and searchable for every real estate agent that is licenced in the area. By doing this it also automatically places your property on other property listing sites like Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com. Increasing your home’s visibility dramatically.
Professional Quality Photos and Videos
It’s important that your Realtor® plans to have professional quality photos taken of your home (with staging of course). Well done photos just grab your attention, and something to look for specifically if the photos were done with a wide angle camera lens. This can perceptually increase the available space in the home by as much as 30%. Though this is a white lie the industry accepts quite frankly it just looks more appealing and your realtor’s goal is to get people to visit the property. So check out previous listings of theirs and see what kind of work they have produced. If it was shot on a camera phone then your realtor is not likely to put much effort into further marketing of your property.
Yes it does have to be said, a yard sign is still an important part of a Realtor’s marketing plan. Even though 90% of the home buying process begins online. Buyers still drive around looking for homes for sale. You never know if a neighbor has a family member or friend that wants to move to the neighborhood, and anything you can do to increase the homes for sale status visibly, the better off you will be.
Social Media Marketing
Real estate is a social business, more now than ever it is important that your realtor has a very active presence on social media. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google My Business (yes it is considered a social platform as well), LinkedIn, and so on. Ask them if they run ads on these platforms. Also to get a good measure of the kind of realtor they are, look at their social feeds. A good indicator is if they have a mix of business related posts and just general social ones. This balance gives them the most exposure on social media and will allow their digital net to be cast much wider to give your home all the exposure it can get.
Ask your realtor about their network. The wider and more diverse their network is, the faster your home will sell. Look at everyone they are connected to professionally: who is their title company, broker, appraiser, contractors, home inspectors, and so on. The saying goes you are like the company you keep so check them out and see what kind of reputations they have. Now not everyone is perfect but if there are many with a poor reputation this is a major red flag. If you want to go the extra step you can ask for references from previous clients.
Do they have a large network of investors that they can present your property to, and how far does their sphere of influence reach? All great questions that feed into their overall marketing plan and presence.
Open Houses and Virtual Open Houses
A cornerstone of any good realtors marketing plan is to stage one or several open houses. But, as of the date of this article, virtual open houses and tours have gained major popularity. For those that are unable to view the home in person (like an out of state buyer) or if they are subject to quarantine or have fear of exposure, this is the next best thing to actually being there. The two major platforms that they can use are Matterport or Ricoh Tours. These tours can also be integrated into the MLS and Zillow, giving even more dimensions to your listing and exposure.
A good example of a real estate team that does all these types of marketing and more is The Kay-Grant Group. If you happen to be looking in Arizona for real estate investing or just to purchase or sell your home look them up they will be more than happy to help.
Today’s realtor needs to be a dynamic and social individual to really earn that commission, but the most important thing to keep in mind besides a marketing plan is do you mesh well with the realtor on a personal level. At its core this is a social connection and if you don’t like your realtor at all then it will likely be a bumpy road.