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1. The Phone Interview - Place a call to each of the agents on your list. Document how quickly they returned your call. Remember: they will be returning calls to your prospective home buyers. Do an initial 'feel out' interview over the phone so when you meet you will both be prepared.
2. Request a Complete Plan - >From title to escrow, request a complete plan as to the services they can provide for you.
3. Evaluate Their Team - Top producers will have established relationships with lenders, title reps, inspectors... everything. They are there for your benefit and if they are ill prepared to handle all the steps, you are being short changed.
4. Detailed Report of your Property - Request a complete report of your property with ideas for improvements, cosmetic changes, structural repairs or anything that could add value to your property. Remember a small investment up front will pay higher dividends at the time of sale.
5. Alternative Report - Request a complete report of alternatives to the home sale. What would current market leases generate? Rentals? Responsibilities attached with leasing? Have your agent educate you as to all your options.
6. Insist on Prequalification - Don't waste valuable time negotiating or showing your property to unqualified prospects. Insist your agent prequalifies candidates to screen out all unwanted prospects.
7. A Net Sheet - Request a complete net sheet, minus commissions and fees, showing your exact proceeds at the time of sale.
8. A Marketing Plan - Insist on a step-by-step marketing plan of how your property is going to be sold and marketed. Look for innovative ways to attract home buyers. Demand 24-hour advertising, lead accountability and tracking services. These services exist and you should insist upon them.
9. Telemarketing Efforts - Investigate the agents telemarketing team. Do they just cold call or do they have a mechanism to create proactive leads and call on those prospects?
10. Direct Mail - Investigate the agents capacity to send direct mail. How often do prospects receive mail? Is it professional? Does the mail piece motivate prospects to respond?
11. Advertising - Is it well written and professional? How many ad mediums do they utilize? They should be advertising in at least three; a homes magazine, community or local newspaper and yard signs. Remember: the quality of the advertising will directly influence how well your home will be perceived.
12. Negotiation Strategy - Have a written, well conceived, negotiation strategy. The old adage, "You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate" rings true in real estate. Insist on a sound negotiation strategy before you entertain buyers.
13. Closing Checklist - Be sure to get a written closing checklist. You need to know in detail how you will conclude the sale of your home. This should provide a step-by-step procedure that will be easy to understand and follow.
Like finding the right house, selecting a REALTOR you can trust and comfortably work with is paramount. Just as you wouldn't be casual in the selection of your doctor or your attorney, you shouldn't take the selection of your REALTOR lightly. Indeed, the best way to find such a professional is through recommendations from family and friends. Of course, you should interview several REALTORS before you choose one. If you're selling your home, you should ask the candidates how they plan to market your home, what pricing advice they can offer, and what other suggestions they can provide to further enhance the desirability of your home. Whether you?re buying or selling, ask candidates about the transaction to evaluate their knowledge. Ask for--and check--references. And, finally, ask yourself whether you will feel comfortable working closely with this individual in the months ahead.
I think what you really want to look at is their track record of working for their clients. You should ask to see recommendation letters. Or better yet ask to speak to their past clients. After that I would be very interested in their marketing plan. Interenet marketing is the most critical. Over 95% of all buyers now you use the internet as a tool in searching for a home. To compare agents I would interview about 3 agents. You may be surprised at how their responses to your questions may vary! Good LuckAndy Weiss
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