Choosing The Right Agent In A Seller’s Market

It’s unfortunately not much of a secret that the housing market is experiencing some very low inventory. But, even though inventory is low, sellers are choosing to seek out a real estate professional to sell their home, instead of doing it themselves. It really may be more important than ever to take that risk of doing it all along.

In fact, the numbers are quite staggering – those who are attempting to sell on their own has been in a steady decline since 2003. That decline of 14 % in 2003 to 8 % currently is in the latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers produced by the National Association of REALTORS®.

As you can well imagine, the most frequently mentioned difficulties that owners who decided to sell it without the benefit of an agent included preparing the home for sale, understanding, and performing the paperwork, getting the price right and selling it within the length of time planned.  Another commonly cited challenge was having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale.

The other nine out of ten homeowners who are selling are many times faced with the question: “How do I determine which agent to use?”  In some situations, owners know more than one agent and the dilemma becomes picking the right person for the job.

When choosing the right agent – you as the owner need to ask the right questions. Open-ended questions – not yes or no questions. Those open-ended questions will give you more descriptions, more clarity, and will provide those decisions that you need to make. For instance, if your questions begin with who, what, where, why and how – you’re likely to get those more robust answers in which you need.

The following suggestions should be helpful for homeowners considering selling:

  • How long have you been selling homes and is this your full-time job?
  • What designations or other credentials do you have?
  • How many homes did you and your company sell last year?
  • What is your average market time compared to MLS and your top competitors?
  • What is your sales price to list price ratio?
  • When will you report to me on the progress of my transaction?
  • Who can you recommend for service providers like mortgage, inspections, repairs, and maintenance?
  • Why do you want to work with me?
  • Where are the opportunities to expose my home to the largest market?
  • What is your marketing plan for my home?

What about today’s market? Homes currently, on average, are selling in about 17 days – and sellers are seeing an average of five offers. It’s not uncommon in our market right now for homes to sell for more than the list price, assuming they are not priced dramatically over the market in the first place.

Specific to today’s market, additional questions to help you identify the best agent for the job could include:

  • With the shortage of homes on the market, is it necessary to update in advance?
  • In this competitive market, is staging the home important?
  • What are your thoughts on professional photography and video?
  • Is there a way to stimulate competition among to buyers?
  • Explain to me range of pricing and how it applies to home search on the Internet.
  • Can you profile the most likely buyer for my property?

Never think of these questions as an interrogation. It should be more like an interview. Besides, you’re “interviewing” the realtor for the job – that job being to sell your home. You’ll want to find out exactly how the prospective agent is going to handle all of the intricacies involved which may take place during the selling process.

Once you evaluate the answers you receive, you will either move forward with this agent in representing you, or you’ll move in a different direction. Selecting the right agent to represent you, even in a Seller’s market, is a very important decision – and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly! You need to have all the help you can get making that perfect and right decision.

I’m always happy to help provide the answers you may want and need – and assist in pointing you in the right direction.

Download my Sellers Guide.

I can provide Insider Information on Fairfax VA homes for sale. Get you a FREE Market Snapshot Report of Your Northern Virginia Home’s Value, or  Search All Northern Virginia Homes For Sale. Put that data you need at the tips of your fingers!

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