Sunday, March 8, 2009

How to Choose your Listing Agent

Listing Agent Interview Questions
Choose Your Selling Agent with Care
If you're interviewing a listing agent at your home, pay attention to how s/he reacts to talk about your home during the discussion. Choose someone you feel comfortable with. Someone who genuinely believes in your home as much (or more!) than you do. Someone who sees its potential and will work hard to represent it. And, someone who has an innovative marketing plan that will make sure that all potential buyers are exposed to your home.All Century 21 JRS Realty agents are highly trained professionals with the skills, abilities and resources to sell your home. So, when you're choosing a Century 21 JRS Realty agent, all you need to do is find the one that fits your personality and preferences.Formulate a list of questions, and then set out to find your agent. Here are some questions to get you started:Q. If I list my house with an agent, can the same agent represent me in the purchase of my next home?A. Most likely, yes. Ask the agent to explain the agency concept and how it works in your state. The agent who lists your home can usually become your buying agent, too. Just be sure to ask what limitations, if any, your agent's representation will have.Q. If you're my agent, what happens when you're not available?A. Find out how each agent handles the time they're unavailable. Do they use an assistant? Do they have a partner? Whom should you call and when? Can you reach the agent by cell, pager or e-mail? Find out what the contingencies are for all what-if scenarios. Make sure to partner with an agent who will ensure that your needs can be met – all of the time.Q. When did you last sell your own residence? What did you like and dislike about that experience?A. Experience is a great teacher. Selling a home is an emotional experience, and empathy is one of the most powerful emotions. Does your agent understand first-hand what it's like to sell a home? Can s/he provide some lessons learned to help in your experience?Q. What advice would you give me to prepare my home for sale?A. Some agents will suggest that you neutralize your d├ęcor, while others may feel they know just the right buyer for your intense (or subdued, as the case may be) color scheme. Should you tear out old carpeting? What about major repairs? Be sure to choose an agent who can analyze your home's strengths and weaknesses – and who can help you know how to accentuate its best features when preparing to sell.Q. What would you tell a buyer who's considering my home?A. Real estate agents should be skilled in discerning the positive features and benefits of any home. Is your home especially appealing because of its floor plan? Because of it's location in a great neighborhood? Or because of a unique kitchen or master suite? Be sure you're comfortable with how s/he plans to represent your home – and that s/he can accurately describe and promote your home's best attributes.Q. What's your personal philosophy of what really sells a home? Is it direct mail marketing, Internet exposure, promotion to other real estate agents or something else?A. Your Century 21 JRS Realty listing agent will build a marketing plan based on his/her answer to this question, and your specific property. Make sure you understand and agree with the agent's perspective.Q. How will you or your company protect me from the general public in the areas of safety, convenience and eliminating unnecessary showings?A. Make sure your agent is willing to operate in a way that makes you feel comfortable and safe – and in a way that makes the selling process as convenient as possible. Discuss whether you would like potential buyers to be screened prior to scheduling showings, and whether you'd like your address to be kept private in marketing efforts. Have this discussion in advance to make sure your agent's philosophies are in line with your preferences.Q. What sold the last three properties you listed?A. Because the answer to this question can differ by market and by home, what's more important than the actual answer is that your agent is able to explain in simple, direct terms which factors contributed to his or her recent sales. If the agent hasn't already addressed it, ask him/her what strengths they see in your home that will help it sell.Q. What advice would you give to a buyer who's considering my home?A. You won't likely be present when your agent talks to potential buyers, so make sure you feel comfortable with how s/he talks about your home – whether the emphasis is on getting the best offer or selling the house quickly.Q. What distinguishes your real estate company from the competitor(s)?A. Is a company large because it reinvests in innovation? Does the agent's real estate firm promise to provide sellers with the best online exposure to sellers? Each organization should have a business philosophy that your agent can easily articulate to you.Q. What distinguishes your personal service from other real estate agents?A. Listen to how the agent describes his/her communication skills and willingness to be there for you – when you need them, in the way you need them. Think about how often you want to communicate, as well as when and how you'd like to receive updates on the sales process. Choose an agent who gives you a confident response to communicating on your terms.After each interview, ask yourself: * Do you feel like the agent is trustworthy and honest? * Does s/he seem realistic when talking about your home or your anticipated home purchase? * Do you communicate well with the agent and vice versa? * Do you feel that the agent sees things from the same point of view? * Would you describe him/her as committed, motivated and experienced? For more information visit our website at

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