1. CHECK THEIR REVIEWS
88% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. As part of your due diligence, it is important to scan a number of review sources such as Google Business Profile, Realtor.com, RateMyAgent and Zillow. Verified reviews can help provide a level of trust in the authencity and accuracy of the review.
2. REFERRALS FROM PEOPLE YOU TRUST
A good resource to request referrals is people you trust much like you would request for other professionals like doctors, attorneys or wealth management. Trusted family and friends or a perhaps business colleagues or neighbors, present a good pre-screening source. These personal recommendations have the weight of the relationship with you tied to them.
3. CHECK THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
96% of home buyers use the search for a home online.
74% of home buyers use a mobile device to search for homes.
82% of 30-49 year olds are on at least one social media platform. A prime home buyer age range.
75% stronger ROI for posts with videos vs. just photos
4. HOW THEY WILL ESTIMATE MARKET VALUE
Understand the process and rationale the market value of your home was estimated. A comparative market analysis (CMA) incorporates market data on relevant properties that are similar, recent and promixate to your home. Adjustments are made to these properties to allow for the comparison to your home. The adjustments fall under four general areas: transactional (What property sold for?), market conditions (What were the market conditions when sold?), location (How does the location compare to your home?), physical condition (What is the physical condition of the home and its features?)
5. ASK ABOUT THEIR MARKETING PLAN
Every listing starts with the photos. Homes with professional photos sell for 42%▲ sq. ft. and 32% faster. Ask about the marketing plan and tools they plan to deploy. Here are some thought-starters to consider: print flyers/brochures, direct mail, email, online and social media, video, signs, open houses, 3D Tour, and floor plan. Beyond MLS, where will your home be featured online? How will these tools be targeted to prospective buyers of your home? Listen for how segmented groups like neighbors will be targeted as part of the plan.
6. RESEARCH THEIR LISTINGS AND/OR OPEN HOUSE
Research their listings online. How long did they take to sell? Did they sell at list price or close? See how the properties were presented through the photos, video and description. If you have time prior to the decision, go to an open house or listing of theirs. How were the homes presented for these showings?
7. PROFESSIONAL FEES
Ask about their professional fees. A straightforward response and description will help build trust and communication in its transparency. A vague response or quick agreement to lower professional fees, warrants a deeper review of tips 4-8. There is real money at stake in pricing, marketing, evaluating offers, as well as negotiating price and terms to protect your interests, much greater than a .5% - 1% savings in professional fees.
8. WHAT DOES YOUR GUT TELL YOU?
Even if highly recommended or an impressive presentation, you just do not connect in your communication, trust your gut and keep looking. It is important to feel comfortable with the real estate professional and the open communication that will be required towards the successful sale of your home.
I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS!
If you have open questions and I can be a resource to assist, please feel free to contact me at 858.999.6576.
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