Ready to List Your Home?

Are you ready to list your home with a real estate agent?

Are you ready to place your home on the market? Do you understand the process and details of selling a home? Before you list with an agent, educate yourself on all the factors that will affect your profit. Be as informed as possible so you can make the absolutely best business decision - and the sale of your home is a business decision!

This report is designed to empower you with critical information necessary to evaluate an agent’s qualifications and help you identify the top producer. The more careful you are in choosing the right agent, the higher your profits will be!

Start by doing some research. Find out who are the most active agents in your market. Examine advertising to see how professional it is. Ask friends and family for referrals. Call local real-estate offices and speak with the manager to find out the office’s top producing agents. Review agents’ websites for their qualifications. Then compile your list of agents you want to consider.

Here are 10 suggestions to make sure your agent can maximize your profits!

1. The Phone Interview
- Call each agent on your list. Document how quickly each returns your call. Do an initial "feeling out' interview over the phone so when you meet, you will both be prepared.

2. Marketing Plan - Insist on a step-by-step marketing plan that details how your property will be marketed. Look for innovative ways to attract homebuyers. Demand 24-hour advertising, lead accountability and tracking services. These services exist and you should insist upon them. Keep in mind that every agent has a system to sell a home. Even within the same brokerage firm, agents’ marketing plans vary. Just like athletes belonging to the same team, each agent has statistics and talents of their own.

3. Evaluate Their Team
- Top producers will have a staff that works solely for them (or better stated, for you). Experienced agents that do a large-dollar volume typically have a supporting staff. In addition, they will have better relationships with lenders, title and escrow representatives. The agents’ team is there for your benefit. Furthermore, an agent with a team can simply offer more customer service!

4. Evaluate Their Track Record – Review the agent's home-selling track record. This should be the most important factor. It should include the number of homes the agent has listed each year, how many of those homes have sold, and the average price. If an agent is typically selling condominiums for $500,000, they may not be best equipped to list your multi-million dollar home. Additionally, study the ratio of average sale price to price ratio for the agents’ past sales. This ratio reflects how close to the asking price their listings sold.

5. Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) - Request a complete CMA of homes in your neighborhood that are in escrow or have recently sold and are similar to your home. It is the agent's responsibility to be familiar with these homes to suggest the best listing price. Your agent’s guidance in pricing is critical! Make sure your agent supports the price opinion with the CMA data. Do not make the mistake many homeowners make by solely hiring the agent that suggests the highest quote for your home. Many agents, in trying to gain business, suggest unrealistic prices to homeowners because they believe that is what the owner wants to hear. Hire the agent that best supports the reasons why your home should be listed at the suggested price.

6. Don’t Hire a Discount Agent - With one of your largest financial transactions, wouldn't you want the security of knowing you have a well-trained professional protecting you through your sale? One agent over another can create more appeal, attract more attention and inevitably create a higher sales price. Hiring a discount broker for a 1%-2% discount off typical commissions could cost you double if an experienced, well-trained agent could have produced a 5-7% higher sales price. It comes down to "penny-wise, pound-foolish." If you want the best price, hire the best! Request our report “The Myth of Lower Commissions – How Lower Fees Actually Cost Sellers Money” by Steve Shull of Performance Coaching.

7. Advertising
– Is it well written and professional? How many on-line media are there? Remember that the quality of the advertising will directly influence how well your home will be perceived.

8. Local Experience – Investigate the number local home sales the agent does per year, and the average sales price. You want to be sure the agent is frequently selling homes that are comparable to yours. Having an experienced local agent can save you thousands of dollars in knowledgeable negotiations and contract protection.

9. Direct Mail
- Investigate the agents’ capacity to send direct mail or email to prospective buyers and their agents. Does the mail piece motivate prospects and agents to respond? Do they just cold call or do they have a mechanism to create proactive leads and call on those prospects? Are the mail pieces professional? Again, having an agent that can effectively stream line the marketing to highly qualified prospects and their agents is key to receiving the highest interest in your home, thereby creating the highest sales price possible.

10. Communication – Your agent needs to keep you fully informed during the marketing and escrow processes. There is nothing more stressful than being uninformed, especially during such a large financial and emotional transaction. You and your agent should define and schedule weekly appointments for you to discuss the marketing efforts and results.