Good morning, this is Gary Edelbrock, enjoying the wonderful Prescott weather. I'm quite excited, because Nancy and Brian Biggs have come up with a great tool, which they have graciously allowed us to reproduce here. Enjoy!
Top 10 Questions to Ask Before You Sell a House
We occasionally go on listing appointments and hear unfortunate tales of "Listings Gone Bad." In almost every case, some minor interviewing could have saved the sellers from delays, lost sales, and emotional distress. We have compiled a list of the top ten questions you should ask a prospective REALTOR prior to listing your home. Remember, you have a choice. The best agents do not cost more, but they will save you time and money. You deserve the best, demand the best!
- Are you a full-time, professional real estate agent? Consider if you were having surgery, would you hire a part-time doctor whose day job was in retail? A home costs more than open heart surgery. You should demand to work with a full-time real estate agent.
- Will you perform a detailed market analysis? Please run from the following scenario: Your prospective agent shows up for a listing appointment with a list of sold properties and says, "Homes in this area are selling for an average of $100 per square foot, so your home is worth $200K." Many agents just look at the average sold dollars per square foot to determine value. A notch better are agents who look for similar properties that have sold recently and average those. The best agents will look for similar properties that have sold recently and then make adjustments to each property for square footage, quality of materials, view, lot size, etc.
- Are you trying to buy my listing? Some agents will give sellers an unrealistically high home value in order to beat out other agents. Sellers naturally want to hear that their house is worth the highest amount. Unfortunately, unscrupulous agents take advantage of this. They list the house high in order to get the listing and then they convince the seller to lower the price later to get a sale. Worse yet, some agents do not recommend lowering the price and the house lingers for months without any showings.
- What kind of advertising will you do? Good agents will use a broad spectrum of advertising, including: Multiple Listing Service (MLS), yard signs, color flyers, lots of pictures, virtual tours, print advertising, and of course internet advertising. Make sure that the list agent subscribes to Realtor.com’s Showcase Homes package. Otherwise, your home will be at the bottom of the list with few pictures and no write up. Really good agents will also have some of Realtor.com’s Featured Homes slots, where their listings scroll across the top of Buyer’s searches.
- Have you closed at least ten transactions in the last twelve months? Be sure your real estate agent is more concerned about your best interest than with getting a commission check. Some agents pressure sellers into making poor decisions just to make a sale.
- Are you low-pressure? The last thing you need when selling a house is a high-pressure sales person breathing down your neck. You should be able to relax and make an informed decision that best meets all of your wants and needs.
- Will you research the buyer? Many agents get so excited about an offer that they lose sight of the big picture. An offer might be wonderful on the surface, but the devil is in the details. Is the buyer financially strong? Will your house qualify for the loan program that the buyer has selected? Will there likely be appraisal issues? If so, will the buyer be able to bring additional money to the table to close the transaction?
- Will you fight for the earnest money? Sellers take their home of the market in good faith that the buyer will complete the transaction. However, buyers sometimes just change their minds. There are several contingencies that might protect a buyer’s earnest money including: inspection, appraisal, and loan. There are contractually acceptable ways to cancel a contract. There are also pitfalls where the buyer can lose the earnest money if the buyer’s agent sends the wrong cancellation text.
- Will you give the buyer’s lender a sense of urgency? Loans often kill a transaction in this market. Loans can be delayed and contracts cancelled because agents are not proactively working with their buyer’s lender to ensure that the loan process is moving along and that the underwriter has all of the required documentation. The seller’s agent can be proactive even if the buyer’s agent is not.
- Will you research my property? Many agents just sign listing paperwork and throw a sign in the ground. When a contract arrives, they let other people do the work. Unbeknownst to the sellers, the property may have title issues, permit issues, delinquent taxes, unreleased loans, and a host of other issues. Wouldn’t it be better to deal with any issues up front rather than wait to resolve them when close of escrow is fast approaching?
Nancy and Brian Biggs, Associate Brokers
Prudential Northern Arizona Real Estate
1177 Old Chisholm Trail
Dewey, AZ 86327
Nancy's Cell: 928-273-7113
Brian's Cell: 928-273-7112