Selling Your Home, Part 1: Hire a Realtor

October 18, 2018

Selling your home is hard… here is a series to help you work through the important steps to selling your home quickly and easily. The first step is finding a qualified real estate agent. Be sure to interview 2-3 agents and ask them the same questions. This is an important relationship so don’t hire someone unless you feel really comfortable with them.

Transcription:

Hey everyone, it’s Andrea Lutz and I’m a local real estate agent here in Bloomington, Indiana. And I’m here to talk to you today about selling your home.

Step number one, find a realtor. There’s a lot of different realtors out there. People have different specialties and they have different backgrounds. And the key here is to find a realtor who is aligned with you, who you feel comfortable with, that you will trust. And you can only do that by kind of searching around a little bit and doing some interviewing. Talk to your friends, talk to your family. Get some references. Get some referrals. Find out who other people trust and have enjoyed working with in the past.

After you have two or three names of people that you think are good for what you’re looking for, go ahead and invite them to your home. Get in touch with them ahead of time, give them your address, and maybe even let them know a little bit about what you’re looking for in a realtor. You have to feel comfortable telling them intimate details about yourself. They’re going to be asking questions like, what do you owe on your house? How much money do you need out of selling your house? What kind of repairs are you comfortable doing? You need to make sure that you’re open and honest with that real estate agent.

Now while you’re going through these interviews, have a list of questions ready and ask each of the realtors the same questions. How long have you been a real estate agent? What are your annual sales like? Do you typically list homes or do you typically work with buyers? Those are really important questions. Also, what makes you stand out from the other realtors? Or, what do you think you do that’s special?

Now, a lot of people think when they start thinking about selling a home, they should wait to call that agent until they’re absolutely to sign that contract. And I completely disagree. I think it’s not too early to talk to those real estate agents. When your brain starts cranking on getting that house sold, make a few calls and get those interviews set up. That agent, if they’re a good agent, will have good suggestions for you on how to prepare your home for sale.

And even if you want to wait until next spring or summer to sell your home, a good realtor will give you suggestions to start working towards that many months in advance. So maybe you need to declutter your home a little bit, or maybe new carpet would really be a huge impact on the sale of your home. Well that gives you plenty of time to go around and make those changes before you’re ready to sign.

Now once you’ve gone through those interviews and you know the person that you want to work with, go ahead and get that contract signed. Don’t be embarrassed about asking about the contract, the terms of the contract, and also the commission rate. These are very good questions to ask. One of the questions that I would ask while you’re interviewing agents is; are you a full-time agent?

Now there are a lot of agents out there that do part-time work as hobbies. I would highly encourage you to find a full-time agent to support you selling the house. Now, I’m not trying to say that those part-time agents aren’t great agents to work with, but selling a house is a lot of work and it requires being available all the time to your client. For instance, I’m a full-time agent and I’m available to help with getting the house set up and ready for showings, being present for the showings, being present for inspections and all the rest of that.

And having something part-time could be a little bit more problematic. You also want to make sure that that agent that you’re talking to has a similar schedule to you in terms of when you would like to do business. If you have a daytime work life and you are going to have a hard time getting in contact with that agent from 8-5, make sure that they’re going to be available to take your calls after work or on the weekends. Or, if you happen to have a very busy evening life or work night, make sure that that agent is going to be available for you in the mornings to have conversations about business.

The most important thing is; do you feel comfortable with them? Do you trust them and how does it feel being in a room with them? And trust your gut. A lot of times people do know when they feel good about a person right off the bat.

Those are the steps to finding a great realtor. Ask for referrals and recommendations from your families and friends, find two or three realtors that you think are a good fit, have them over and interview them, and then hire one. Finding a good realtor is going to make all the difference in selling your home. Happy selling.

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