How to pick the right Realtor

Zoe52March 11, 2013

We are putting our home up on the market in mid-April. I already interviewed three Realtors. One was from a major company, another a Re-Max agent and another an owner of her own smaller company (I know this person). All three were asked if they would agree to a 48 hr kick out clause (in writing) in case I want out of the contract, but it would only be used after 3 months on the market. I don't want to be sitting around waiting for someone to do what I asked them and have to waste time if they don't.

I am most interested in moving out ASAP. So this is my take on the interviews. All three said our home was difficult to get a good comp on. We have very few homes in our area like it. They came in with prices 100,000 apart based on our square footage. Some knew what we had and one didn't (thus the discrepancy in price) Let's just say that we have many features in it that other homes in our area in our size do not have plus our home is in mint condition for its age. We plan on placing our home on the market in the mid-range of their suggestions. I have no intention of marking my house down every month if we have no buyers.

Agent #1 from large agency offered to pay to get us a free appraisal so we could get a good handle on what our home actually would cost. She offered traditional services after that. I called their office and she was the next in line if that is what you call it. She seems nice and friendly but I am not sure a free appraisal will be any different from what she as a Realtor already found out.

Agent #2 ReMax agent. Male who never looked at me during the interview but spent most of his time looking and talking to my hubby. He seemed to have the best plan to market our home. (changes the listing every two weeks and sends notices to all the local Realtors) He has been in the field for over 20 years. He gave us his promise that if we were not satisfied with him in a month we could drop his contract.

Agent #3 I know this person, but she is not a friend. However, I have done a lot of work for her in the past and she owes me. I assume she will do her best to market my home. She is a real estate lawyer by trade but owns her own Realty company. I told her I would not want to use anyone from her company but her if I decided to use her. She would not agree to the kick out clause. She claimed she would understand that noone would want to work with a person if they felt they might be kicked out in a few months after doing work for them. She seemed to offer the same marketing as the large realty company but nothing more.

So who would you choose?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

#2, ReMax, but get his promise in writing. Insulting as it was that he never looked at you, he may be the one to get your home sold the quickest and closest to your asking price. Sometimes the dinkiest men are the best sale closers. And he sounds like a dink. lol

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 7:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

None of the above. I would keep interviewing. If you had to choose from only those three, I would choose #2, and as sameboat suggested, get that kick-out promise in writing.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 9:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Did all three actually look at your house before doing a CMA?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 12:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Number two but I'd ask his assurances in writing and I'd ask him to provide an appraisal, mentioning this was something number 1 offered. If he wants your biz, he will do it as he likely will just call in a favor and it won't cost him anything.

I'd also have him deal with you on those two points, not your husband, so he respects your role in the relationship. Just tell hubby to defer to you if he's contacted. If the guy treats you like the "little woman" thereafter, kick him to curb. He will treat other prospective buyers same way at open houses, etc and you want a welcoming agent, not one that alienates women.

Appraisals are very useful. You'll see a CMA in it, but also how other features compare to yours dollar for dollar. All sorts of things like quality of construction, rooms, land, etc. Some features that matter to you will likely turn out to have zero residual value to an appraiser. They may make your home more desireable, but may not equate to a higher sales price.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 12:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I thought I had posted before to your questions, but I must not have pushed the right button to make it stick. To answer your questions none of these agents saw my home before they did their comps. Although at least one of them asked what we were looking at for price and was given an extensive list of our amenities. All Realtors here base their comps on the size of home, the number of bedrooms and baths, and lot size without regard for anything else you may have. They all come in with comps before they see your home. Thus the discrepancy in the scores. I did end up calling the ReMax agent today to let him know that he got the listing. I told him it wasn't a personality contest but a contest to see who would sell my home the fastest. I do not want to stay on the market for another two years... waiting for people to come through! I also told him that I picked him for his persistence. He called me every 6 months after we pulled our home off the market in 2009 without selling. We had listed our home in 2008 for 6 mos and then again in 2009 each for 6 mos. time with two different Realtors. Needless to say the first time it was overpriced...(my husband wasn't ready to move but was humoring me.. bc I wanted to move) but it probably would have sold if we had priced it correctly for the market. In 2009, we priced it where the Realtors told us but the market continued down and we were not going to keep pricing it lower to get rid of it. We were not in the position at the time where we HAD to sell. And in our area nothing in our price range was selling. Besides very few people came through both years bc of the market those two years. Both our agents at the time gave up on doing anything extra to sell our home after 3 mos. We had very few lookers (6 total) as noone was buying in that price range at the time. Unfortunately, this is NOT an entry level home. It has 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and is approximately 3300 square feet not including a fully finished basement that runs completely below. In the meantime, we have added quite a few things to the home since then: All new Anderson tilt -in windows with Low E glass, new GAF roof tiles, a solar powered roof top system (it generates 60% of our electric power), installed a 14 KW whole house generator (for frequent power outages), remodeled the main bath, new neutral tone rug on stairs and in upper hallway, updated, LR (including updating the fireplace with stone over the brick) and DR, installed a gas fireplace insert in the den fireplace, removed trees in front (for solar system) and installed an underground sprinkler system. In the meantime we already had a lot of built-ins throughout the house including a master bath dressing area with custom built in dressers. Lots of builts-in in the den and in the basement, too. Because of all the upgrades ... especially the solar power system the Realtors all had a problem getting comps. My neighborhood is a hodge podge of different sized (some custom) homes. Ours was a custom home by a well-known builder in the area who now builds the top of the line homes in our area ($900,000 and up). We are not the largest or best home in our area, but we are up there. We decided to start selling at the mid 400s even though we are losing money from all our upgrades. Two of the Realtors placed us over the $500s and we started there the last time and said NO! We just want out to sell fast. There is no work to do on this house because we have already done it all. It is in mint condition.

The problem they all had was to incorporate a solar home into their comps. They did not know how to do that. SO thanks for your input> I will keep you abreast of our progress.
Right now we have trip out of town right after Easter and cannot put it on the MLS until we get back. We told the Realtor that he could show it if he wants while I am still home, but with 3 cats there is no way I would have it shown while I am out of town. We asked him to put up a sign to generate interest instead that says coming soon with his name on it to generate more interest. I told him if he has anyone he wanted to see the home before we leave town that would be ok.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 5:05PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Relocating and Finding New Services/People/Businesses
If you are moving or have moved to an unfamiliar town...
Would you buy a home near fire station??
We're considering an offer on a single-family home...
How do you value a pole barn?
Does anyone have a good rule of thumb for appraising...
Do buyers prefer table & chairs or island in kitchen?
We are getting our house in order before listing it...
Emotional rollercoaster of home selling
Lately, this process of having my condo up for sale...
Sponsored Products
KOHLER Shower Enclosures Fluence 34 in. x 65-1/2 in. Frameless Pivot Shower
Home Depot
Justice Design Group FAL-8783 - Sonoma 3 Light Wall Sconce - Cylinder with Broke
$380.00 | Hayneedle
Feiss American Foursquare Four Light Bath Wall Light Fixture
Lamps Plus
Robert Abbey Real Simple White Swing Arm Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
Calhoun Armless Sofa - Key Largo Grape Purple
Joybird Furniture
Sports Border Rug
$34.99 | zulily
Bedside Lamp: 17.25 in. Petunia Lily Antique Verde Table Lamp TA10812
$59.99 | Home Depot
Carte Satin Nickel One-Light Mini Pendant with Grey Ripple Glass
$138.00 | Bellacor
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™