Many people right now are unsure of the best way to sell their homes. They are faced with the choice of for sale by owner (FSBO) versus listing the property with a real estate agent.
If you decide to list your home with a Realtor because you think that will bring you a quicker sale, then you still are faced with a daunting task: How to choose from among the many dozens of real estate agents and brokerages to work with.
If you decide on a Realtor because of his or her marketing capabilities for your property you will want to verify this before signing a listing agreement.
The listing agreement is a legal contract which obligates you to pay the real estate brokerage 5% or 6% of your home’s sale price if it is sold during a specified time period, such as 9 months.
Because this contract locks you in for so long, it is worth your while to take more time on the front end to research and analyze the marketing capabilities of each Realtor you are considering.
There are several things you will want to look at when deciding on a Realtor to list your home with.
- You want to know if the Realtor will market your property specifically. Most realty websites and ad campaigns do not market specific properties but instead market their own businesses. What is more likely to happen is your property will be included with dozens (or even hundreds) of other properties and therefore not be visible to internet search traffic.
- You want to know if your Realtor’s website receives a good amount of traffic in the form of interested home buyers. There are over 10 million real estate searches every month in the United States. How many of them end up on your Realtor’s website?
The fact is most Realtor websites were set up under the “Field of Dreams” approach to web marketing: If you build it they will come. This doesn’t work. Every Realtor has to work hard to get web traffic to his or her website.
Add questions about websites and internet traffic to your Realtor interview questionnaire. Any savvy internet business person will have documentation of their website traffic to show you. If they don’t, that is your first big red flag that the Realtor is more talk than action.