I recently sold my house in Castle Hills North. It was important for me to choose a smart and aggressive real estate agent because I wanted to move to Plano in a short period. I interviewed five real estate agents. I choose the best among them, still I made the mistake of choosing the wrong one. My experience may help you choose the right real estate agent to sell your house.
I called one real estate agent after seeing the ad in a Castle Hills magazine. The agent visited me with the details of a list of homes that were sold in the neighborhood. She also had a draft of the closing statement. That really impressed me. We left the conversation with an action item for letting her know my decision in two to three days time. I did not contact her in two days neither she contact me in that timeframe. The agent lives far away in Dallas, so there was no response from the agent after we met. She later told me she sent me an email, but I never received it. I had to say no to that agent. An agent who does not follow up an action item at the right time may not be much help to you.
The second agent I spoke to wanted me to list the house way lower close to the appraisal price of my house. He gives me back a part of my sellers commission. Instead of 3% a sellers agent charge the seller, he charges only 1.5%. I was not comfortable with that, so I said no to him. The next real estate agent visited me without a pen. So I had to borrow my pen for her. She wrote my name wrong as well as my telephone number. Isn’t that a sign that you should not work with a lazy real estate agent? You should not work with agents who are not aggressive enough. You also should not work with a real estate agent who tells you that he can give you back a percentage of the commission. What he might be telling you is that he will not provide the full service to you and don’t complain if I don’t sell your home.
I thought I made the right decision when I met the next real estate agent. He said his service is in par with any other realtor. He showed he is a top seller in the Dallas area from a magazine ad. He does not pay any percentage of the seller’s 3% commission back – this is a practice among Indian realtors in Dallas to give back a percentage to the seller or buyer. He was confident that he could sell the home and provides me a full service. I was impressed. He went for a conference after the meeting, so I had to wait for him for one week before he could list my house. Soon after the contract is signed, there was no feedback from the agent for few days. At least I thought he would have some flyers of the house for the potential buyers to pick up. I contacted him to bring some flyers and keep in front of the house. His response was that the flyers are useless. I asked about whether he has an automatic answering system that can provide the information about my house. His response was, these are simply marketing gimmicks to fool the sellers but it wont work. Although it was my mistake not confirming his marketing strategies before signing the contract, we all take it for granted that any real estate agent would do these simple and basic marketing. But realize that there are real estate agents who wont do it after you sign the contract. He appeared in front of my house with some flyers after few days later. He wanted to say an excuse for being late, so he said “he was busy”. That is another signal of a wrong real estate agent. Do not work with real estate agents who say they are busy. They might be running the real estate business as a part time job. Hire the agents who do the real estate business as full time.
Months passed. There was no single offer on the house for two months, so I asked the real estate agent to remove the listing of my house from the market. He said I can pay $125 instead of $780 which is the fee for breaking the contract. Weeks passed after that and there was no offer. I wasted three months with him. How to spot a wrong agent? This real estate agent is a one man show. He does not follow up with potential buyers who visit my house. He talks a lot but have no interest in selling my house. He blamed me for the wrong season and the high listing price as the reasons for not selling. Don’t get into a trap when the agent shows you a magazine ad saying he is a top seller. That would be an ad paid by the realtor himself, a type of informational. Rely on the agent’s track record of how many houses he sold in an year. “How many houses you have sold last year?” is the question to ask the agent.
I started another round of interviewing the real estate agents. I decided I will interview only agents who have a track record, and come as referrals. A friend of mine recommended a couple from Keller Williams. They impressed me with their marketing strategies. But they did not impress me with a good track record although they showed me they are one of the best sellers.
The second agent I spoke to was a guy who sold a home in my neighborhood in 14 days. I made a call to his office in the morning. He was in my door steps in the afternoon. His marketing strategies and the number of staffs working for him simply amazed me. I looked at his track record. His team sold 400 houses in 2012. His track record impressed me compared to the couple I interviewed previously. What he really impressed me with was his thoughtfulness of my situation. He was honest and did not want to charge me anything if I break the contract. He told me “Fire me if my team and I don’t work for you.”. Immediately after I signed the contract, he made arrangements to send two professional stagers to my house the next day.
There are so many qualities of this real estate’s team to highlight. He has a team of people who work constantly 24/7 in contacting the potential buyers who visited my house. They negotiate with the potential buyers very aggressively. The team will respond to your questions immediately. This real estate team has a track record of selling the houses, he has a very good reputation in the market.
I received an offer on the house in just 8 days. There was a total of 20 showings of my house in a month, and few offers, but a solid offer came through in that period which I accepted. I moved on.
Good luck selling your house!