We are just entering the best time of year to sell a home in the Phoenix metro area.
Sales activity picks up in the spring and peaks in June, so now is the time to find a Realtor to help sell your home.
The first step is to pick a few agents to interview. Ask neighbors for recommendations, go to open houses in the neighborhood, look for "For Sale" signs in your neighborhood, go online to find homes that have sold in your neighborhood and which agent listed them. The key, in case I have been too subtle, is to find agents who know how to sell homes near you.
Once you have your list, call the agents to set up a listing appointment. They should ask you a variety of questions, such as when you want to put your home on the market, why you are moving, how much you'd like to list for and how much you owe on your home, to name a few. This will help them develop a price range recommendation and marketing plan specific to your home and your goals.
The type of Realtor we are looking for will put hours of work into the presentation. In time and resources, it will cost a professional, successful agent around $3,500 to prepare and deliver a listing presentation.
Who should you not call for a listing appointment?
1) Cousin Larry or your best friend the agent. Will you be able to ask them really tough questions or fire them if things don't go well?
2) A part-time agent who sells homes for extra income after their "real job." Listing and selling homes really is more than a full-time job, great agents just make it look easy (the duck on a still pond metaphor goes here).
3) Anyone who offers 0 or 1 percent commission. In my opinion, they are either misrepresenting what the actual commission will be by leaving out the commission to be paid to the buyer's agent, or they actually represent the buyer and not you. The two reasons you pay a commission to a listing agent are: to gain a qualified buyer, and have an agent who represents only you and your interests during the transaction. Conducting a real estate transaction without an agent is like going to battle unarmed.
A professional Realtor, once hired, is your agent exclusively; legally obligated to provide certain duties which include care, obedience, loyalty, disclosure, accounting, and confidentiality. The duties are exactly what they sound.
One of the questions to ask an agent: "What are your duties to me as your client?" If they don't know, they shouldn't be your agent.
Next week we'll talk about what else you should ask the agent at the listing appointment.