With at least a glimpse of Spring and the hope that it will arrive early, we begin to evaluate our homes and whether or not it’s time to stay put and spruce up or move on. As we make those evaluations it’s always a good idea to work with a professional realtor. I recently spoke with realtor Stephanie Hofman of Coldwell Banker in Highland Park, (and fellow blogger- www.HofmanOnHomes.com ) to get some idea of how to go about finding and working with the right professional.
“Finding the right real estate agent is critical, as not only are you conducting a very important business transaction (or two), but you’ll be spending a lot of time with them, and entrusting your home and all of its contents to them when they hold an open house or bring a potential buyer for a showing. This person will also have a key to your home, know your alarm system and possibly some of your most intimate financial details.”
Stephanie’s words of wisdom on choosing the right realtor:
- Start by asking people you trust if they have any wonderful agents to refer to you. When you’ve compiled a few names, start doing your own research. Google these folks. Check out their websites, blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Then pick 2 or 3 that you like and make appointments.
- At the meeting, find out what they offer you as your agent; why will they be the BEST thing to ever happen to you? Learn about how they run their business, what their philosophy is on servicing clients, how passionate they are about their chosen profession. Ask them how they differentiate themselves from other agents in the area.
- Consider their background and experience- and not just how long they’ve been an agent, but what past experience enhances or is relevant to their current job. Sometimes the number of years of experience isn’t the best indicator of how good they are.
- Request testimonials and references. Speak with other people who have worked with the agent and find out their thoughts.
- Sellers- DON’T “sell your listing to the highest bidder”. We all want the most amount of money for our homes. But hiring a “yes agent” who will list your home at any price you desire isn’t doing yourself any favors. Listen carefully to the potential agent’s thoughts on the market and how to best position your home within it. Price is the most important factor in selling your home today. It’s not the glossy brochures or the eloquently constructed prose or the fabulous job the agent will do in showing your home. It’s the price. Choose the agent that gives you a realistic number that today’s market will support and you’ll be much happier in the long run.
Thanks for your expertise Stephanie!