You are considering putting your home on the market and wondering where to start.
I recently received an inquiry from a prospective home seller. Their main question was:
Before the age of the internet this question may have been more relevant. Let’s take a look at today’s home buying public.
A great percentage of home buyers are scouring the internet for their dream home. They know what they want and will enter their criteria into the search box accordingly. One thing they will not be entering into that box is the listing brokerage or for that matter, the experience of the listing agent. The concern of a prospective home seller should be that those online home buyers actually find their listing and how their home is presented.
The brokerage does not do the work of marketing a property, the individual agent does. And ultimately that agent will need to understand the current online home buying environment and be able to successfully use the tools to address it.
These are some the questions to ask a prospective listing agent?
- Do you have a website? (There is a good chance you will have found the prospective agent online which will provide a good indication of their online success.)
- How will you market my property online? (The agent may have their own Internet Data Exchange service (IDX), which is a feed from the MLS of all properties on the market. This service also allows them to feature listings on their site, yours being one of them.)
- Do you use social media? (Getting the word out to a wider audience than just those buyers actively looking certainly can help.)
- Will you take photographs that show my property in the best light and ensure that the description of the property does the same? (You will be surprised at how many bad photos are entered into the MLS as well as badly-worded descriptions.)
- Will you respond to enquiries about the property and be willing to show it in a timely manner? (The biggest frustration for a buyer’s agent sometimes is the difficulty in getting hold of the listing agent, and their showing constraints. If the property is not shown it will not sell).
Bottom line you need someone who, over and above knowing the day-to-day business of selling real estate, understands today’s home buying public and can take the best advantage of their habits. They also need to be available to those buyers and make access to view your home as easy as possible.
Your agent will be doing the work, not their brokerage.
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