Choosing A Realtor Part 4: Real Estate Marketing
Tip #4: Real Estate Marketing
When choosing a solid real estate professional to help sell or buy your next home, there are many factors to consider. We are sharing with you the tips we feel are most important in deciding who to hire and have already covered a few of the basics: does this person work full time or is he just a hobbyist? Is he/she a true neighborhood expert? If this person is related to you, is he/she just as qualified to do a great job? If not, it’s important to ignore family pressure and don’t let it weigh upon your decision regarding who to hire. Always remember that real estate is most likely the single most expensive investment you will ever make. Who to hire to help navigate the process is extremely important and shouldn’t be entered into lightly.
Supermarket- Before hiring a potential agent to sell your home, it’s crucial for you to learn about his/her real estate marketing plan and get all of his promises in writing. A good agent will be able to articulate where and how he advertises your property. Every licensed agent has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which is essentially the bible for buyers and sellers. This is the most current and up to date tool that agents will use to share with buyers, sellers and other agents what properties he has for sale. So, putting a property on the MLS is a no-brainer that everyone will do. But dig deeper. Who is taking the pictures that will show your property in the best light? Who is writing the description that will highlight all the features that will help get your house sold? Ask who the agent currently uses for these services. If he says he does all of that himself, move on to the next candidate (unless he has a background in both photography or professional writing- but the chances of this are slim). If he claims to use other people to help in these areas, ask who they are and whether or not you are responsible for paying their fees (a good agent will not expect you to pay for these services. The only thing you may be on the financial hook for during this process is if there are damages in your home that would appear in the photos. You will likely be responsible for paying to patch up a hole or two or repaint a wall if it’s truly awful. If a professional stager is brought in at your request, you may be expected to cover that cost, as well).
And what advertising will your agent do beyond the MLS? This is important for you to know up front so there are so surprises down the line. Strong agents will be able to show you examples of how he/she markets your property in a variety of different ways, AT NO COST TO YOU! If an agent starts the sentence by saying, ‘Sure I can do that handsome, all color flyer hand delivered to the entire neighborhood but it’s going to cost you a few thousand dollars…’ just do yourself a favor and move along to the next candidate.
You have the right to have your property marketed as widely and extensively as possible. Anyone who claims to do this should feel confident to put it in writing. Anyone who does less should not earn your business.