5 Questions to ask your agent
Selling your home? Here are five essential areas to discuss with a potential real-estate agent.
1. Staging- Can the agent help present your home in the best possible light. A home that is well maintained and appeals to a wide range of buyers, that is neutral and de personalized so buyers can imagine themselves in the space, with rooms that appear large and have plenty of storage, a home that lets in a lot of light and has curb appeal. The money spent on a well staged home is worth every penny. The amount spent on staging will always be less than your first price reduction. Opt for an agent who can help with staging or ask them to recommend or even pay for a professional stager.
2. Photos- Most buyers start their home search online, so photos are critical. Some considerations for good pictures include the best angle for every room, shooting in the best possible light, clicking rooms as opposed to the furniture. It may seem basic but lazy agents may just take a few photos – which is a huge disservice to the client on websites like Realtor.com that sort based on number of photos. Virtual tours and video are fast becoming popular way to distinguish listings and make them stand out.
3. Marketing - Find out your real-estate agent's overall marketing plan to reach buyers - be it fliers, open houses and/or a single-property website dedicated to your home. At the very least, a real-estate agent needs to post numerous pictures to the Multiple Listing Service and allow that listing information to be syndicated to other real-estate aggregator websites. Once your home is listed for sale, ask your agent to send you the MLS listing. Correct any errors and confirm that the photos are suitable. Then, try Googling your street address to see if your home appears on numerous public websites, such as Realtor.com, Zillow .com or Trulia.com. It if doesn't, talk to your agent about making it more visible online. Will they post a virtual tour of your home to YouTube.com
4. Technology- Find out how technology-savvy your real-estate agent is. Does he/she have a website she maintains? Does he blog or use any social-networking media, such as Facebook or Twitter? Being technology-savvy doesn't guarantee someone is a better agent, but when so many buyers start their search online, being familiar with online technology is essential. As a seller, you can also help play a marketing role by posting messages on your Facebook page and tweeting about the “home for sale” so your friends and family may spread the word.
5. Price- The price has to be right. A good agent should be able to walk you through a comprehensive study of comparable properties in your area to help you set a competitive price for your home. The best marketing in the world can't fix an overpriced home.