September 19, 2016 by Jeff Lowen
Selling a house can be quite an event. As real estate professionals doing it every day (And you should always work with an agent who is doing it every day), the gravity of a life change like a move whether local or across the country, can be very emotional for the homeowner.
Every successful agent has systems in place that make the transactional process of a home sale a little more predictable and reliable for everyone involved. However, the average seller is only involved in three or four home sales in their lifetime. All this means is that it’s really easy to overshadow the emotional aspect that the sellers experience by making the sale process more organized.
It’s through the use of transaction checklists and process systems that leave no stone unturned and ensure the experience is a successful one, yet this is why it’s more important than ever to hire an agent that has a systematized process. One that’s tried and true as well. Although, bedside manner is important to help with the seller’s emotional aspect, having proven systems that cover the organization and reliability of a transaction will leave the space for the attention to be paid to assisting the homeowner’s emotional roller coaster.
Are you discussing having to deal with strangers walking through the house? Are you concerned about keeping your house clean every day? Do you have valuables in the home?
Hiring an agent that can show you their systems, track record and what they do every day to get better at their job and for their clients, can take away most of the challenges of selling. Thie type of agent is always worth more than the commission they charge; just like a great doctor is or a great accountant.
How do you find the best agents in your marketplace? You must be able to distinguish the average agent from the great one. Here are the 5 demands to make of your Real Estate Agent when selling your house:
1. Tell the truth about the price
Too many agents just take the listing at any price and then try to the ‘work the seller’ for a price correction later. Demand that the agent prove to you that they have a belief in the price they are suggesting. Make them show you their plan to sell the house at that price – TWICE! Every house in today’s market must be sold two times – first to a buyer and then to the bank.
The second sale may be more difficult than the first. The residential appraisal process has gotten tougher. A survey showed that there was a challenge with the appraisal on 24% of all residential real estate transactions. It has become more difficult to get the banks to agree on the contract price. A red flag should be raised if your agent is not discussing this with you at the time of the listing. Many times, if the appraisal comes in lower than the contract price, it’s just assumed by many agents that the sellers will just come down in price. NOTHING could be further from the truth! Make sure your agent has a plan if the appraisal comes in low.
2. Understand the timetable with which your family is dealing
You will be moving your family to a new home. Whether the move revolves around the start of a new school year or the start of a new job, you will be trying to put the move to a plan. Like I mentioned earlier, this can be very emotionally draining. Demand from your agent an appreciation for the timetables you are setting. Your agent cannot pick the exact date of your move, but they should exert any influence they can, to make it work.
3. Remove as many of the challenges as possible
It is imperative that your agent knows how to handle the challenges that will arise. All the checklists and systems will not cover ever possibility, so an agent’s ability to negotiate is critical in this market. ASK your agent what they know about negotiating, how much training they’ve had and have them demonstrate it BEFORE your hire them!
Here’s a tell-tale: If you have an agent who was weak negotiating with you on the parts of the listing contract that were most important to them and their own family (commission, length, etc.), don’t expect them to turn into a super hero when they are negotiating for you and your family with the buyer. Find the best agent!
4. Help with the relocation
If you haven’t yet picked your new home, make sure the agent is capable and willing to help you. The coordination of the move is crucial. You don’t want to be without a roof over your head the night of the closing. Likewise, you don’t want to end up paying two housing expenses (whether it is rent or mortgage). You should, in most cases, be able to close on your current home and immediately move into your new residence. Ask your agent about strategies like pre and post-settlement occupancy depending on your particular market.
5. Get the house SOLD!
Exciting, emotional and adventurous, there is a reason you are putting yourself and your family through the process of moving.
You are moving on with your life in some way. The reason is important or you wouldn’t be dealing with the headaches and challenges that come along with selling. Do not allow your agent to forget these motivations. Constantly remind them that selling the house is why you hired them. Make sure that they don’t worry about your feelings more than they worry about your family. If they discover something needs to be done to attain your goal (i.e. price correction, repair, removing clutter), insist they have the courage to inform you. Many agents, experienced and newer agents as well, do not like to talk about pricing, price reductions, and other tough issues. This “avoidance” will only end up costing you money in the end. And, lots of it.
Good agents know how to deliver good news.
Great agents know how to deliver tough news.
In today’s market, YOU NEED A GREAT AGENT!