How To Choose A Real Estate Broker
First, decide what you want from the broker. Do you need a full service broker? Do you only need a broker for certain services?
- Full service brokers offer all the usual services from advising about changing the look of the exterior and interior, setting a price, advertising the house, showing potential buyers the home, assisting with negotiations and preparation of the paper work.
- Discount brokers offer limited services for a fee which is substantially less than full service brokers.
- Fee-for-service brokers allow you to choose the services you want, and only to pay for those servcies.
Decide what type of listing is right for you. If you give an exclusive agency listing, you have one broker, but can still sell the home yourself without paying a commission. If you give an exclusive right-to-sell listing, only the broker you appoint can offer your home during the listing term. If you sell it yourself, the broker still receives his or her commission.
Then, ask family, friends and colleagues for the names of real estate brokers who are selling many homes similar to yours.
Next, interview the three best brokers. Ask:
- Their experience selling homes.
- For a list of recent sales of homes like yours.
- The price they would suggest listing your home for.
- How they intend to market the house.
- Since so many buyers are using the internet these days, it is imperative that the broker makes extensive use of the internet as part of his or her sales effort. A posting can include a virtual tour, floor plans and photographs of the exterior and interior.
- If people move to your area from out of town, or even from another country, does the broker market homes in those areas?
- Will there be an open house? If so, how often? How does the broker handle an open house?
- Will there be advertising or other costs you are expected to pay?
- Insist the marketing plan be part of the listing agreement. (If the broker doesn't follow through, you can cancel the agreement).
- What do they think you will actually get? In what period of time?
- What would they do to the exterior and to the interior of your home if they were you to make it more salable?
- It is reasonable to ask a broker if he or she have an idea how much each suggestion would cost - and how much it would add to the sale price.
- The broker may even have a suggestion of reasonably priced contractors to do the work if you're not going to do it yourself.
Last, but not least, resist the natural temptation to go with the broker who suggests he or she can get you a particular price. It's not unusual for a broker to make big promises, watch the home sit on the market for a while, then recommend a reduced price - often the price that would have been reasonable origianlly.