Ruth Mills Team
San Diego Realtor
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More Frequently Asked Questions
Real Estate 101
What to expect from your real estate agent
Most everyday consumers are not tuned into the trends and fluctuations of the real estate market, especially here in San Diego. Likewise they are not aware of the necessary steps to maximize profits on the sale of their homes. Typically they rely heavily upon an agent to lead them down the most profitable path. For an overwhelming majority of San Diegoans, our home is represents the bulk of our net worth, so doesn't it make sense to list it with someone who will maximize our profits? Below is a collection of tips, tools and recommendations about what to expect for the commission you'll be paying.
1. The Phone Interview- Place a call to each of the agents on your list. Document how quickly they returned your call. Remember: they will be returning calls to your prospective home buyers. Do an initial 'feel out' interview over the phone so when you meet you will both be prepared.
2. Request a Complete Plan- From title to escrow, request a complete plan as to the services they can provide for you.
3. Evaluate Their Team- Top producers will have established relationships with lenders, title reps, inspectors... everything. They are there for your benefit and if they are ill prepared to handle all the steps, you are being short changed.
4. Detailed Report of your San Diego Property- Request a complete report of your property with ideas for improvements, cosmetic changes, structural repairs or anything that could add value to your property. Remember a small investment up front will pay higher dividends at the time of sale.
5. Alternative Report- Request a complete report of alternatives to the home sale. What would current market leases generate? Rentals? Responsibilities attached with leasing? Have your agent educate you as to all your options.
6. Insist on Prequalification- Don't waste valuable time negotiating or showing your property to unqualified prospects. Insist your agent prequalifies candidates to screen out all unwanted prospects.
7. A Net Sheet- Request a complete net sheet, minus commissions and fees, showing your exact proceeds at the time of sale.
8. A Marketing Plan- Insist on a step-by-step marketing plan of how your property is going to be sold and marketed. Look for innovative ways to attract home buyers. Demand 24-hour advertising, lead accountability and tracking services. These services exist and you should insist upon them.
9. Telemarketing Efforts- Investigate the agents telemarketing team. Do they just cold call or do they have a mechanism to create proactive leads and call on those prospects?
10. Direct Mail- Investigate the agents capacity to send direct mail. How often do prospects receive mail? Is it professional? Does the mail piece motivate prospects to respond?
11. Advertising- Is it well written and professional? How many ad mediums do they utilize? They should be advertising in at least three; a homes magazine, community or local newspaper and yard signs. Remember: the quality of the advertising will directly influence how well your home will be perceived.
12. Negotiation Strategy- Have a written, well conceived, negotiation strategy. The old adage, "You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate" rings true in San Diego real estate. Insist on a sound negotiation strategy before you entertain buyers.
13. Closing Checklist- Be sure to get a written closing checklist. You need to know in detail how you will conclude the sale of your home. This should provide a step-by-step procedure that will be easy to understand and follow. This report is designed to empower you with critical information necessary to evaluate an agent's qualifications and help you identify the professional top producer. The more meticulous you become in selecting the right agent the higher your profits will be! Start by doing some research. Find out who the most active agents are in your market. Look at advertising to see how professional it is. Ask friends and family. Drive around the neighborhood looking for yard signs. Then compile a list of agents.
This information is provided as a service. As every situation varies, it is strongly advised to seek counsel from independent tax advisors, tax attorneys, and/or CPAs.