OK, for whatever reason, how to find a Realtor becomes your new mission because you decided to stop trying to sell for sale by owner. Perhaps you have sold your property and want to use a Realtor to find your new home.
On this page, we are going to look at, what to ask, and how to get back any money you spent while for sale by owner.
Your first step is doing some research so you can hire a Realtor to look after YOUR interest.
Don't bother looking at all the "I am the greatest real estate salespeople ads". Just because a Realtor brags about all their credentials and awards and ensures you that they have been seen on occasion walking for short distances on a body of water, doesn't make them a good Realtor for you. There is actually a legal term for these exaggerated claims called "Puffery".
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When you start the search on how to find a Realtor, try this.
What open houses do you attend? Whatever ones you want.
There may be some benefit in choosing properties close to your neighborhood and in your price range but, the bottom line is, your quest is how to find a Realtor that will take care of your interest, not a find home.
I would go to several open houses. It may take several in your quest of finding what you set out to accomplish.
Here are some questions you might want to ask, in the process of how to find a Realtor at each open house you attend. I will also explain what the answers mean.
This should be as far as you have to go. Sounds easy right? If you haven't done this before, you may be in for a rude awakening!
Let's Set the Scene
I'm going to assume that in your neck of the woods, the Realtor either always represent the Seller, or they represent either the Seller or the Buyer.
I'm not even going to touch Dual Agency here, as I think that is just a cop out for a greedy Realtor to put more money in their pockets.
When you attend an open house, in the Realtor's eyes, you are a potential buyer. Let me ask you a question.
Who is the Realtor's Employer?
That's right. The homeowner, or the seller, is the client. The Realtor, therefore, is there to protect and serve the seller.
The Realtor is not only morally bound not to disclose information that would harm his or her client but is legally bound to do so as well.
So, when you are attending these open houses in your search for how to find a Realtor to represent you, the answers to the above questions, have a huge source of knowledge within them.
The First Question
Why are They Selling?
Possible wrong answers by the Realtor:
They are getting a Divorce.
They have to sell or they will lose the property to foreclosure.
He or she lost their job.
They bought another home and have to sell by the end of the next month.
He, or she, is transferred out of the area shortly.
Your response? Run like the wind to the next open house. This is a Realtor that will sell you out if you list with them or as a buyer, will disclose information to the "other side" that may be a disadvantage to you.
And now, an acceptable answer by the real estate salesperson.
The Next Question
Are They Flexible on Their Price?
Possible wrong answers by the Realtor:
Well, it's listed for $277,900.00, but I'm sure you could probably get this house for $272,000.00.
$277,900.00 is just the asking price. I'm sure you could get it for less than that.
The house is overpriced so I'm sure you can get it for much less.
If you buy directly from me, I can get you a better price.
Note: I've had all 4 of those responses from real estate salespeople, when I did this same type of research, during the time I had a for sale by owner company.
Your response? Head for the next open house on your list.
An acceptable answer by the Realtor:
When you start going to these open houses, in your search to find the best Realtor, it's a numbers game. You may find a Realtor that answers your questions correctly at the first house.
How to find a Realtor? You may also have to go to a few or a lot in your quest to find the right Realtor for you.
This exercise can be very revealing. If you go to open house after open house and each Realtor is selling out their clients over and over, what does that tell you?
It says; "I'm representing myself and will say anything to get a sale and a commission check."
If a Realtor is reading this page, don't get all high and mighty. Perhaps you are a Realtor that sellers should list with.
If you are, you know what I'm talking about. It's frustrating, but stay the course and if you haven't already, soon you will be getting more referral business than you can handle on your own.
You tried to sell for sale by owner. You followed the course on this website. You spent $1000.00 for your efforts.
For whatever reason, which is usually self-doubt, by the way, you make a decision.
"I'm going to start the task of finding a Realtor to sell my house." My question though is, "How to find a Realtor that I can trust to represent me?"
OK, it's not the end of the world. You are out $1,000.00. Now you have to pay a commission on top of that. Ouch!
Good news! I'm going to show you how to recover that $1,000.00, or whatever your personal amount.
How to find a Realtor. You first should start the open house tour to find a Realtor that will represent you and not sell you out.
Once you have found such a Realtor, you can go to the next step.
The BIG Question
Let the "good" Realtor know that you have a property for sale by owner. Tell him or her you would like them to come over to discuss possibly listing your property.
Once the Realtor you have selected has arrived, let them do their presentation, walk-through etc.
Note: A Realtor will usually do one stop or a two stop listing appointment. The most common reason for the two stop is to do their CMA (establishing a price).
If you have a Certified Appraisal of your property, you can make this a one stop in almost every case.
You: Jim, I really like you and would love to have you sell my house. Do you know why I chose you?
Jim: No, why?
You: When I was at your open house on Saturday, you answered my questions in such a way, that I felt confident that you would represent me as your client.
Jim: Thank you.
You: Jim, I'm ready to sign up with you now, but we have just one more thing to take care of before I sign the paperwork. OK?
Jim: What is that?
You: Well Jim, as you know, I've been trying to sell for sale by owner and have spent approximately $1000.00 doing so. You told me that the property should sell for $275,000.00 and you will charge me a commission of 5%, right?
You: So Jim, that comes to a commission of $13,750.00 of which you as the seller's agency will receive $6,875.00. If you can lower that commission to $12,750.00, we have a deal. OK?
You now hold out your hand to shake Jim's hand and don't say a word. Check out the No Blink Rule.
Will this work every time? Of course not. I will promise you one thing, though. If you don't ask, you wouldn't be offered anything off the commission!
If at all possible, try to have Jim take the $1000.00 off the "selling commission" and not the "buyer commission". If not, it's only $500.00 per side if he or she goes 50/50.
If Jim refuses then you have to make the choice. Is Jim worth skipping the $1000.00 off? He might be.
If you feel otherwise, then you will have to start all over with finding a Realtor, that meets your standards.
Here is another website page looking at 10 mistakes people make when Choosing a Realtor.
For More Information about Using a Realtor
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