If you’ve heard it’s a good time to list your home for sale, it’s true! Low inventory levels and a number of other factors have increased demand among buyers. Sellers who have been on the fence have many reasons to consider listing now.
But with so many Realtors in the Roanoke Valley, how in the world do you choose the right person to work with?
You really need to be comfortable with your listing agent. Selling a home can be a complicated, emotional process, especially in a busy market when many sellers wind up fielding multiple offers. You need to be able to discuss the transaction freely and honestly and trust that your Realtor will act in your best interest.
The best way to get to know a Realtor is to ask lots of questions at the listing appointment. Start with these four:
1. How will you settle on a list price?
Your Realtor should conduct a thorough comparative market analysis to arrive at a proposed list price. The analysis will give you information about the list and sale prices of homes similar to yours in terms of location, size and amenities. These will be homes from within the last few months that have sold, are still on the market or have expired because they didn’t sell.
The CMA is where a Realtor with significant local market experience is important. Sometimes an agent will choose comps that are not exactly similar in location even though they’re close in proximity. That can cost you money or time.
If you speak to multiple Realtors, it can be tempting to automatically jump at the highest price. Beware of doing that if there is a significant difference between the highest price and the next highest price. A difference of even a couple of percentage points can unnecessarily extend your time on market or keep you from getting the best price on your home.
2. What is your schedule?
Good Realtors will have a hard time answering this question, because real estate isn’t a job that happens within standard business hours. At the end of the day, what you’re looking for is someone who works full time in real estate. A part-time Realtor might not be available when potential buyers are interested. In addition, a full-time Realtor is living the ups and downs of the market. Part-time Realtors might not be as attuned to market changes.
3. How will you market my home?
Real estate marketing has changed so much with the development of technology. Even in a market in which homes are selling quickly, it’s simply not enough anymore to list the home and wait for someone to call.
Choose an agent who uses a variety of marketing techniques, including a website and social media. For luxury or specialty properties, look for agents who have access to marketing channels devoted specifically to those kinds of homes.
4. Will you give me references?
Ask former clients how responsive the agent was to their needs. Ask about communication, any hiccups in the transaction and whether they’d use the agent again.
If the agent refuses, keep looking.