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Tips for Sellers

Selling a home can be a stressful experience - especially if you're not working with an experienced, knowledgeable Realtor who can guide you through the process. One concern sellers commonly have is how to make their home appealing to buyers without putting a lot of money into it. Sellers often worry, "How do I price my home so that it sells quickly, but also nets me top dollar?" And, because the seller pays the Realtor fees for both the buyer and the seller, it's important to know whether you're going to get your money's worth when you make your selection. Following are a few key questions to ask that will help take the stress out of selecting your listing agent and selling your home:

Experience doesn't just mean number of years in the business. You should also ask how many homes per year a Realtor sells and what price range. Each time a Realtor sells a home, he builds experience negotiating. Successful Realtors fine tune their negotiation skills at least 20 times each year, while an average Realtor negotiates only two or three times. I recommend that you interview at least one Realtor who sells at least 20 homes per year so that you can see for yourself what the difference is.

Preparing Your Home
Do you know how to display your home so that it's appealing to a broad range of buyers? Some Realtors have a solid grasp of staging experience to help you merchandise your home so that it sells more quickly and for a higher price. Professional stagers know how to make improvements to your home without spending a lot of money.

Marketing & Exposure
Placing your home in the MLS gets old after two weeks. What happens after that? Experienced Realtors know how to develop customized marketing plans for each seller they represent. Also, it's important to look at a Realtor's Web site (such as this one). Will your home be represented in a high quality manner? And, how many people will see that Web site? One way to find out is to search for the site using one of the major search engines to see if the site appears on the first page of results. You might also ask how your home will be featured on a Realtor's site. Can he offer both virtual and physical tours of your home? Lastly, remember to ask for samples of a Realtor's marketing materials so you can see what their fliers look like compared to others.

Time To Market
The best marketing plans can be worthless if they aren't implemented in a timely fashion. How quickly can a Realtor get a for-sale sign up in your yard, fliers printed and a virtual tour of your home posted on his Web site?

Operational Support
It's important to meet with a prospective Realtor in his office and ask questions about how he operates. For example, technology makes it possible for your Realtor to respond to you and prospective buyers in a timely fashion, which can mean the difference between selling your home quickly or not. Does your agent have the latest technological tools at his disposal? Having a personal staff to take care of administrative work frees your Realtor to spend his time marketing your home to prospective buyers. Does your Realtor have the support staff he needs to be highly productive on your behalf?

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