Whether you’ve sold one home or many, there are enough moving pieces to make it an overwhelming process. Selecting the right agency to guide you through the process, and to maximize your value is crucial. Regardless of whether our agency is selected, do yourself a favor and follow this protocol:
- Identify 3 Agents for Interviews – the simple act of interviewing multiple agents will help you steer clear of new, incompetent or unethical agents. If your first three don’t pan out, find three more. Find one at an open house, one through mail advertisements and one with a recent sale in your neighborhood.
- Check Their License – visit http://www2.dre.ca.gov/PublicASP/pplinfo.asp to verify that they have at least 2 years of full-time experience, no disciplinary action, and then ask them if they have any other jobs. You want someone honest, ethical, and dedicated.
- Check Their Productivity – Call their broker to receive a printout of recent production. Ideally you want someone who is “always in escrow” which typically means 10+ transactions per year. Any less and you may be dealing with a part timer, a new agent, or a moonlighter.
- Schedule Interviews – set at least 30 minutes aside and conduct these interviews somewhere besides your home. Firmly instruct each of them that you will not be selecting an agent until a predetermined later date. If you let them know you will not be signing up or committing during the interview, and they attempt to push you toward a commitment… run, don’t walk. It will be common for them to ask, but you shouldn’t have to say “no” more than once. Boundaries and communication are very important aspects and if the agent doesn’t understand this, chances are they’ll treat you like a number. Their value proposition either stands up on its own or it doesn’t…
- Interview with These Questions – Each should be framed to cover the previous 12-24 months
- Where is your area of expertise? They probably looked you up, so don’t be surprised if they mention your neighborhood. Ideally their focus area should be within a 5-mile radius of your home and they will have to prove this.
- What is your approximate listing accuracy? Make sure they provide you a number comparing the sold price to the original list price. You don’t want someone outside a 2% margin of error. 100% is ideal because they’re not under or over pricing their listings.
- How many of your listings needed a price reduction? Top agents will need price reductions on less than 10% of their listings, and they likely have detailed explanations for these instances where they were off.
- How many of your listings expired? You don’t really want any expired listings, as it can mean the agent will take a listing solely to have their sign in your yard. Allow for 1-2 but probe for more information as to why and consider it a red flag.
- Do you offer a listing cancellation agreement? Ideally they will include cancellation rights in the event that you’re not happy.
- Tell me about your marketing process… The best agents will have a clear description of how they do what they do, and there should be several activities beyond placing your home in the Multiple Listing Service.
- What services do you provide which set you apart from other agents? This will vary and should be used as a tie breaker.
- Test Their Communication and Follow Up – Upon completion of the interview, ask them to send you an email showing their recent production on a spreadsheet and on a map, and to provide references from recent clients. Be specific on when they expect to provide this information to you. If an agent cannot meet this basic commitment, it should be a red flag in regard to professionalism and communication.
If we’re lucky enough to be selected for an interview, we’re sure you won’t regret it. Please don’t hesitate to call or write with any questions you might have. If you’d like to take the next step and learn your home’s value, click here and we’ll contact you shortly…
To your success!