Selling your home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, next to picking a life partner! And living in California picking a life partner and selling your home can be SCARY!
You've decided you want to sell and there are so many questions: What are my first steps? Who do I call? What do I do? How do I know if I found the right realtor?
With over 20 years of Real Estate experience and over 250 Million in home sales, I have seen my share of the challenges that can potentially come about in real estate transactions. So here's a simple game plan to help you select the best realtor for YOU. Sit back and relax… I got you covered.
THE FIRST STEP: Find an honest, ethical, hard-working Real Estate agent. Most people know someone in real estate- a Friend, Aunt, Neighbor, Dog walkers friend, Area know-it-all and so on- with over 190,000 agents in California you can throw a stone and hit one! But your Realtor needs to be a lot of things and most are not- most are good in one area but lack in others. Are they attentive? A good listener or a talking head? A know it all? Available when you need them or always at some event, party or kids soccer game? Are they personable? Compassionate? Understanding to your needs? Do they have knowledge of all contracts and laws? Do they treat you like a person and not a commission check? Are they trustworthy and always have your best interest at heart?
5 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR POTENTIAL REALTOR:
1) ARE YOU A FULL-TIME REALTOR? One that works 7 days a week as a Realtor; one who has consistently sold Real Estate for at least 3 to 5 years with no other source of income. If not, this agent could cost you a lot of time and money, and possibly a law suit with the lack of knowledge of the real estate market, laws and compliance.
2) DO YOU HAVE KIDS? This isn't always an issue but it's important to ask to see how their family's schedule- sporting events, school plays, etc. could affect their availability and important timeframes in the real estate transaction.
3) HAVE YOU EVER FILED FOR A BANKRUPTCY, SHORT SALE OR OTHER FINANCIAL DETRIMENTAL SHORT COMING? Do you own your home? Do you own rental properties? It's important that your Realtor has a strong financial background and is a homeowner him/herself to understand all aspects of the transaction and to have first-hand knowledge of how to manage finances; if they can't manage their own finances, you surely don't want them managing YOURS!
4) HOW MANY ASSISTANTS DO YOU HAVE & WILL I BE WORKING WITH THEM OR YOU? The agent should always be your point of contact as it's their name on the contract and they are the one you are hiring to represent you. They should be there for you from the initial purchase agreement to close of escrow and everything in between. If they will not be available to answer all your questions, think twice about hiring them!
5) WHAT IS THE PERCENTAGE OF HOMES YOU LISTED THAT DID NOT SELL? The 'Area Expert' may have lots of for sale signs up in your neighborhood but how many of those homes actually get sold? Many times, a realtor will have a large percentage of homes listed that never actually sell- the owner either cancels the deal or the contract expires. In many cases, this means that the agent misrepresented something to the client- how much the home should sell for, how long it would take to sell, etc. The percentage of homes sold can be very revealing.