By Bruce Cathcart
Step 1 to finding a great agent involved getting a recommendation from someone whose opinion you trust and then asking them the right questions to see if their recommendation would be a good match for you and your type of real estate transaction. Step 2 involved researching that prospective agent on the Internet to make sure they are properly licensed and in good standing with the Department of Real Estate and to get some background information and a good feeling about that agent in preparation for Step 3, the face to face interview.
Last week we learned about the face to face interview with a “buyer’s” agent. This week we will focus on the “seller’s” or “listing” agent. In this case you have a home that you wish to sell and you need to find a great agent to list your home on the market and sell it. Before I go any farther, you need to know that in the current market it will not take a great agent to list and sell your home! Everything for sale on today’s market, if properly priced, is sold within a week and usually with multiple offers for the seller to consider. A great listing agent today is one that will properly advise, educate, and communicate with you every step of the way throughout the transaction as well as protect you and your liability by making sure that all of the required documents are properly completed and executed in a timely manner. Knowing this will allow you to focus on these important factors in your face to face interview.
To set up your appointment with your potential listing agent you will have almost the same phone conversation as recommended last week for a buyer’s agent. The conversation is simple and it goes like this, “Hi, I’m Bruce and I am looking to sell my house in the La Quinta area. You were highly recommended to me by Mr. Smith and I would like to schedule an appointment to meet you and for you to see my home”. The main difference here is that your interview will take place at your home rather than the agent’s office. Just as with the prospective buyer’s agent, your prospective listing agent will take over from there and will want to talk a little about Mr. Smith and learn a little bit about you and your motivation for selling. Equally important to your agent will to be some basic information from you about your house. Usually the address, any upgrades, and the current condition are all the agent needs to know from you about your house at this time as they can access everything else that they need on the internet.
A great agent will show up on time (or call if there is a delay), introduce themselves and present their card properly identifying themselves before entering your home. A great agent will make you feel comfortable right away! At this time they will want to learn everything they can about your home so be thorough in your tour and with your answers to their questions. You will likely end up at the dining room table where the prospective agent will make a listing presentation to you. Some agents today use a laptop or tablet and a pre-programed presentation while others are more “folksy”. Both styles are only as good as the Agent making the presentation. You will not be fooled by a slick presentation about what a great job of marketing they do… as I stated, it does not matter today, everything sells! Instead, look closely at the data that the agent presents about the current market listings and sales. More importantly how well does your agent present and explain the data to you? Your agent’s goal here is to establish a good list price and discuss a general marketing plan for the home. Your goal here is to see how well this agent understands the current market for your home and how well they advise, communicate, and educate you. Through this process a great agent’s experience, style, and personality will become evident and by the end of the listing presentation you should have that good feeling and confidence that this is the right listing agent for you! Remember this is the last step in a process that began with a recommendation and is really about “confirming” that this is the right agent for you! If satisfied, then you will be ready to move forward with your listing agreement… if not, it is back to Steps 1 & 2! The space here does not allow me to cover everything involved in this process so I invite you to contact me directly with any additional questions or concerns on this subject.
Bruce Cathcart is the Broker/Co-Owner of La Quinta Palms Realty, “Your Friendly Professionals” and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.laquintapalmsrealty.com.