Boston area home selling can often take time and try a homeowner’s patience. To successfully accomplish the goal of selling your home, planning ahead is vitally important. One of the best plans a prospective seller can have is to hire the right real estate agent. Although we never work for sellers or list homes for sale, as exclusive buyer’s agents, we can help you by referring you to the most qualified listing agents in the marketplace, due to our experience in working with these agents over the years. Even though we always only work for buyers and never for sellers, we offer these tips to potential home sellers as assistance in the process of selling your home.
Boston Area Home Selling – Ask an Agent
It’s important to select a real estate agent who’s able to gain your trust and confidence, inform and educate you as a homeowner, and effectively promote your home for sale. A good agent will be expected to be responsible for all aspects of selling your home – from hosting open houses to working with potential buyers and/or their agents.
Prior to hiring an agent, we suggest asking the following five questions to make sure you make the best choice.
What is your experience and local market expertise?
While experience doesn’t necessarily equate to skill, most real estate agents with years of experience, impressive recommendations and a good education will likely be very qualified. Don’t be bashful in your interview. Ask your prospective agent if they work full time or part time. Find out how many homes they’ve sold in the past year, two years and three years. Ask how many other sellers they are currently representing.
Are you a member of a real estate agent organization?
Agents who are members of a professional organization usually have pledged to conduct themselves according to the organization’s bylaws and code of ethics. In addition, find out what additional training or certifications they may have that could give them an advantage over others in the Boston area home selling market. As an example, an agent designated as a “Certified Residential Specialist” has attended a series of training classes in residential real estate. Additionally, many agents in recent years have become certified in short sales, foreclosures, and other specialties.
What is your marketing plan to sell my home?
A knowledgeable agent knows that a combination of effective marketing efforts is necessary in today’s market to successfully sell a home. Because online marketing is so important in the Boston area home selling arena, ask your prospective agent how many photos of your home will be taken. Will they be taken by a professional real estate photographer? Because it’s such a popular feature on the Internet and social media channels, will the sales efforts include video? Ask your potential agent about additional marketing materials, other advertising, home staging, open houses and listing your home on various real estate websites such as Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com and more.
In today’s real estate marketplace, a larger number of home shoppers than ever start their search online. Therefore, professional photography, videography and home staging can give your home the Internet equivalent of “curb appeal” before prospects actually visit it in person.
Discuss your prospective agent’s plans and strategy. Listen for concise, comprehensive and aggressive ideas.
Do you have any recommended service providers we should work with?
Seasoned, experienced Boston area home selling experts are usually well known in their community and they have a network of sources within the real estate industry. So, when you conduct an interview with a prospective agent, inquire about other professionals such as mortgage lenders, home inspectors, or contractors. Using the resources your agent may be able to bring to the table will give you an advantage in the long run. It will not only save time, but once you’re satisfied with the agent you select, you should have an equally high degree of confidence in the third parties he/she may recommend for various aspects of your home sale.
Can you provide me with three previous client references?
It’s not unusual, of course, for a prospective employer to ask for references as part of a job interview. In much the same way, since you’re considering “hiring” a real estate agent, don’t hesitate to ask them for client references. Contact the references by phone or email and ask them to share their experiences in working with the prospective agent. In addition, ask your potential agent about customer reviews and client testimonials.
After you’ve conducted interviews and asked these questions of your prospective real estate agents, you’ll have a pretty good idea about who to select and why. Choose the agent that best meets the criteria you expect from a Boston area home selling expert. Remember, the “partnership” you form with your real estate professional is vitally important to its success. Make sure you and your real estate agent are on the same page in every aspect of the sales process – from the listing to the closing table.
Most importantly, make sure you understand the comparable sales in your neighborhood when it comes time to discuss your home’s listing price. If you’re far apart from each other, that’s probably an early sign of potential problems down the road. However, keep in mind – no matter what emotional or personal connection you have to your home – your agent is the expert. They can recommend the best sales price to ask for your home. More importantly, the price will be based on what the current real estate market will bear. A good listing agent wants to sell your home for as much money as the market can support. Anything more and your home may stay on the market longer than you want. Anything less and you may end up leaving money on the proverbial table.
See more articles pertaining to selling a home in Boston area in the Boston area Home Selling Tips section of our site below Boston area Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.