Whether you’re relocating to a new area or you simply need more space, juggling the sale of your current home and the purchase of your new home can be stressful. That’s why choosing the right Real Estate Agent to sell your home is so important!
For help determining what questions you should ask when choosing the right real estate agent for you, we turned to 26 year veteran, Jackie Ruddy (licensed in 1993) of Century 21 Jack Ruddy Real Estate!
Questions for choosing the right realtor
How will you market my home?
How will potential home buyers see your home? How will buying agents know that your home is on the market? Technology has dramatically changed the real estate industry over the last few years, making online listings and social media much more important than they once were.
When looking for a real estate agent that is uniquely qualified for your home sale, Jackie says: "It’s not only important that your home is on every real estate .com possible but also equally important is having pictures that reflect the interior, exterior views, and in some instances the aerial views of the home and surroundings. How an agent presents the properties they represent matters as much as where they will market the home –website, social media, radio, and print."
How do you help out-of-state sellers?
Are you moving out of state? Sometimes relocations occur prior to selling (or even listing) the house. In cases where that occurs, how will the realtor keep you up to date on the process and potential sales? Will your Realtor be able to schedule inspections and contractors for you should the need arise?
Jackie recommends looking for a few things: "It is important to have an agent who has the necessary experience in this area. An agent who has consistently represented clients who no longer reside in the area has a deeper understanding of what it takes to pull a sale together. An agent with this experience has a list of professionals who are trustworthy, reliable, and efficient who they can schedule if the need arises. This agent will also be able to schedule inspections and appointments on your behalf and keep you up to date by whatever means of communication that fits your schedule."
How will you keep in touch with me and how often can I expect updates?
Do you prefer phone calls or texts? Are you available in the morning or afternoon? Both you and your real estate agent have personal lives and obligations, so it’s important to choose a Realtor that will be available when you are.
Jackie stresses the importance of having an agent that is available when you need them: "An agent should inform their clients of how they usually update their clients whether it is by phone call, text, or email. They should also inform their clients what hours of the day / night they are available to communicate so that the client has a clear understanding of what to expect. The agent should also inform their client of times and dates they will be unavailable in order to reduce any problems or misunderstanding. "
"Communication is an essential element in a successful business relationship. It is important to receive feedback from your agent after potential buyers view the home. The feedback you receive after people preview your property is helpful because oftentimes there are items that you can address & change in order to sell the property. You should also hear from your agent during quiet times (when there haven’t been many showings). Your agent should be letting you know how often your property has been advertised, where it has been advertised, how many visitors are viewing your home online and what properties similar to yours have recently sold or listed in your neighborhood. You will gain valuable insight each time your agent engages in a discussion about each of these items."
Can you also help me find a home to buy?
Juggling purchasing a home and selling an existing home can be difficult. Often, working with a realtor that is able to both sell your existing home and help you find your new dream home can simplify the process for you and reduce potential stress.
Jackie says that using the same real estate agent is a great idea: "Yes, definitely. Who knows you better than the agent you are working with already. Oftentimes, this can be a stressful time but the right agent can masterfully guide you during the sell / buy process and will help get it to all come together and eliminate some headaches along the way."
Questions about the home sale process
How is the listing price determined?
Pricing your home right can make the difference between a listing that sells quickly and one that lingers on the market. Your real estate agent should work closely with you to determine the best price for your home.
Jackie says there are a few things to consider: "Aside from Location, pricing is crucial to days on market. Many sellers believe they can start higher because they can 'always come down.' If you price it right to begin with then you are situated to sell at a higher price than if you linger on the market for months because you chose to list higher. Pricing matters and it matters a great deal. Most buyers don’t stick around and many times the price reduction is too late. This is where a knowledgeable, experienced and trusted agent will help the most. This agent can review a comprehensive market study of recently sold homes so that you have a clear understanding of how to properly price your home."
What can I do to encourage a fast sale?
Everything from the first impression your home makes to the list price can factor into how quickly your home sells. We always recommend taking some time to prepare your home for sale before placing it on the market.
How can you sell your home quickly? Jackie suggests: "Curb appeal, cleanliness, staging furniture, and de-cluttering all go a long way and don’t cost a fortune. Also helpful are manicured lawns, neutral paint colors, fresh clean towels in the bathroom, spaciousness of closets and storage areas, bright lighting, repairing anything broken, and clean, clean, clean."
Is there anything I should do to prepare my house for showings?
Preparing your home for showings may be one of the most important things you can do. Whether that means tidying up and minimizing content or addressing necessary touchups and minor repairs, these things can make for a much easier home to sell!
Jackie recommends: "Always have your home showing ready when you leave in the morning. That means dishes out of the sink, belongings hung up and away, beds made. It’s hard to live in a home and have it ready to show at all times but taking some extra time before you leave for the day will help when a last minute showing is scheduled. If your home is ready to show at all times then you won't have to worry about declining a showing request and potentially losing out on the buyer of your home."
What happens if the buyer’s home inspector finds something?
Odds are that the buyer’s home inspector is going to find something. Whether that’s a minor issue such as Radon or something more serious such as a foundation or roof issue, in most cases the home inspector is going to find some issue or concern.
This is where a great real estate agent really shines. Jackie says: "It’s a home inspector’s job to find problems and yes, they find things all the time that buyers need to be made aware of. There are 3 things that can happen:"
#3 The seller and buyer agree upon a reasonable solution to correct items of concern to the buyer.
"An agent should be able to advise and assist in the home inspection process so you can resolve issues found whether it’s for the current buyer or a future buyer."
We hope your home sale process goes smoothly and it sells quickly! If you're looking to purchase a home and would like to discuss this with Jackie, she can be reached at (570) 344-6724.
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