I would like to take a minute to talk about some of the key things homeowners who are selling their home should be asking the Realtors that they are interviewing. If you have had the opportunity to meet with me, you will know I prefer homeowners that ask questions, and expect results. It is a part of my job that I truly enjoy, because of that I do frequently looks at homes that have expired and see if there is anything more that could have been done. After meeting with quite a few of these homeowners I have come up with a list of questions that may have gotten overlooked, and unfortunately caused someone's home to be mis-managed during its first time on the market.
Ask about the pictures, how many and what quality? If your home doesn't have any pictures, or you can't actually see the size of the room than chances are it is not going to be giving that great first impression that you want it to. Over 90% of homebuyers find their home online.
What kind of advertising accounts do they have with those internet sites such as zillow, trulia, realtor.com. By having those listings branded with your realtors information, he/she will directly be getting those leads to follow up with them. I personally have this for all of my listings I want all of my potential buyers coming directly to me with no middle man!
We also have a system call LeadRouter, which allows leads to come directly to us within seconds of the information being requested. It is something I frequently show my sellers, and they are able to see it immediately.
Viewings and Open Houses
This is one of the most important things to ask, is who and how are they going to be showing your home. Is your Realtor going to be there when it is shown? Who will be holding your open houses, how often, and in the event another agent from the office will be what do you do to prepare them for the open house?
I can't tell you how many times I have heard these kinds of complaints from expired listings, these are the important questions you should be asking because these are the things that will get your home to sell! Having buyers agents hold your open house is not a bad thing, I personally have done this myself but I am sure to go over the home with the agent who is covering it first. If I am unable to attend a showing of your home, rather than not allow another agent in, I prefer to be sure to call them right after the appointment to answer questions and get the feedback.
You should be asking how often they plan on having open houses, many times a will find upset homeowners because during a period of 6 months they only had 1 open house, this should be part of the market plan you saw before you signed a contract listing the home.
What information is available on their personal websites, many times Realtors family members will be our best advertising, but they will almost never remember what our website url is, so they give the friend our name, and the friend than googles us. What comes up when you google your Realtor, and what does their website offer to the consumers?
You always want an agent who is promoting him/herself, if they are promoting themself than they are also promoting their listings, and your home!
What If You Don't Want To Sell It ?
Life happens and sometimes circumstances forces us to change our path or direction fairly quickly. Someone who may have been selling their house might have a change in heart, or life could have happened and it needs to be put on the back burner. Their are also circumstances where a homeowner has an horrible experience with a Realtor but was forced by the contract to continue the listing, even if the Realtor was not doing their job.
Our company has the "Sellers Services Gurantee" this allows a homeowner to retract their listing they have with our company if we are not living up to our end of the deal.
If it is a case of life happens, we are not the kind of company that wants the listing to just say we have it, we understand and will withdrawn your listing if something comes up where you no longer want to sell your home.
What Kind Of Company Is It?
Most brokerages that are owned have a managing broker, this is the one who really oversee's and takes responsibility for all of the agents that work with his company.
In some agencies there are competing brokers, which means this person takes his own listings and clients, and than on top of it helps everyone else. This is alot for any one person to handle, and I chose to work for a company who has a non-competing broker. Our brokers only job is to be their for us, and for our buyers and sellers. He will meet with our sellers to go over market trends, and makes a point of going and looking at every home our company lists.
Many companies now are keeping with the National Average, as far as commission is concerned with the 5%, but their are many discount brokerages "pretending" to be full service brokerages but are not offering the Full Service Guarantee, but still charging the full service fee. Please refer to my blog outlining exactly what a Full Service Agency offers.
These are just some of the many things I come across while I am conversing with homeowners that have listed their home only to have the listing expire a few months later. There are of course some cases where the home that expires is because it was either over-priced for the market, or impossible to show which is not always the fault of the Realtor. The purpose of this blog is again to educate homeowners on the importance of asking the right questions!