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Choosing a Listing Agent

Our team of agents

Choosing a listing agent is the most important aspect in selling your home. Few people realize though that choosing a listing agent is a two-step process. It can be confusing especially if you're not prepared to choose the best Realtor for your situation and knowing what questions to ask when you interview an agent.

When starting your search for a listing agent to sell your home there are some important considerations. Obviously, you need a Realtor who understands that every seller is in a unique situation not only financially, but emotionally as well. What are your priorities getting the highest price for your property, selling it quickly? Do you want a "hassle free" process?

You will want to find a listing agent with whom you are comfortable, one who has your best interests at heart and not just their commission. Selling a property requires a relationship of trust by you to sell your home. Your listing agent must be able to demonstrate how he or she will get you the best possible price, reasonably quickly, while making the entire process as stress free as possible.

Begin your listing agent search by seeking out recommendations from people you trust. Ask around. Recommendations from sellers who have done business with a Realtor can go a long way in reassuring you that you are making the right choice.

Remember though, that one person's experience doesn't mean that you will have exactly the same result. After writing down a list of possible agents take some time to dig a little further. Visit the agent's website. You might contact the agent's managing broker for more information about the agent's level of experience, track record for your type of home, homes in your neighborhood, professional designations, reputation, reliability, etc. Examine the agent's print and Internet marketing of other listings. Are you pleased with what you see?

What about the company with whom the agent is affiliated? Does the company have a good reputation? How active are they in your area? What's their market share? How many sellers do they represent each year? Are they full service? How does their advertising and overall marketing campaign, especially on the Internet, compare with other companies? Examine their marketing plan and make sure you have considered all of these factors before you sign a listing contract.

Now it is time to interview the Realtors. Feel free to view this interview as if you were the boss and the Realtor is being interviewed for a job. In fact, that is exactly what's happening. Explain your unique situation to the agent and your priorities. Ask lots of questions. Make sure the agent answers all your questions completely and to your satisfaction.

The agent should be prepared to cover all of the following areas and explain:

  • Agency representation and exactly how you will be represented.
  • The marketing plan for your property.
  • Internet marketing, virtual tours, print marketing, promotion to other Realtors, multiple listing service, TV shows, etc.
  • The CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) is the likely selling range and recommended list price. (It's important that you do not select any agent based upon what they say your property is worth. This is the worst possible criterion to select an agent.)
  • A written estimate of your net proceeds & all expenses listed and itemized.
  • Demand to see statistics, such as average days on the market, market share, list to sale price ratio, number of sales for this company in your neighborhood, etc.
  • Examine the comparable sales data. Length of time on the market, price changes, seller concessions paid, etc.
  • Showing procedures, open house, feedback from the agent following showings, frequency of communication, anticipated pricing review intervals, etc.
  • Property disclosure requirements. Included and reserved items.
  • The agent's recommendations on clean-up/fix-up, staging, etc.
  • Offer presentation and negotiation.
  • Listing term, commission and splits to other brokers.
  • Closing fees. Does the company have an in-house closing department?
  • Mortgage pay-off and closing procedures.
  • The agent's experience and credentials.

The above is not an all-inclusive list, but should serve as a guide on the type of items to cover before you list. Above all else, you need to make sure that you can place your confidence and trust in this agent. You must satisfy yourself that you are making a good choice and that this agent will truly represent your best interests and deliver a successful sale that meets your priorities.


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Skogman Realty has offices located in Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Hiawatha and Marion

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