In Part 1 of this series we talked about some important things that sellers – in other words you – should expect from a listing agent. These include appropriate representation, reliable AND accurate information about what’s going on in the local housing market, the truth (not just what you want to hear), and a written marketing plan so you know what your agent will be doing to market and sell your home.
If you missed Part 1, here’s a link.
But we’re not done. Here are other important expectations you should have of your listing agent and you certainly deserve them.
Photos and Videos:
The majority of home buyers are looking online at listings and their expectation is to see plenty of photos, inside and out, and good ones. Your listing agent’s job is to deliver that (with your help, too, since the home has to show well in order to have good photos). Top quality photos are essential these days to showcase your home and its best features, and attract the attention of buyers so they want to come see your home. If there are videos, they should, of course, be well done, too.
Keep in mind your agent is, or should be, marketing a lifestyle, including the neighborhood, not just your house, and you should be aware of all that your agent is doing on your behalf with regard to photos. Which means, for one, you should see all the photos that are being used online (and in my opinion they should be professionally done).
It goes without saying that clear, honest and regular communication with you, and from you, is essential. No doubt you may have preferences about the form of communication you like…text, phone, voice mail, snail mail, email, skype/Facetime…just as your agent does So naturally it makes sense to have a discussion around this so appropriate expectations are set. Generally a mix of communication will be best, depending on the content, the urgency, and other factors.
Enthusiasm and Interest:
You certainly want to work with a listing agent who is truly interested in your needs and goals, is listening carefully to you, and is excited about marketing and selling your house. A ho hum agent may mean ho hum marketing, and limited interest in truly helping you accomplish your goals in a timely manner. You’ll know when you interview the agent.
Negotiating the Best Offer:
It’s worth reminding you that a good offer is NOT just about price but terms and conditions as well. Of course price IS a big deal but there are other matters to take into account, too (e.g., timing, the deposit, perhaps appliances, earnest money). Your agent should provide guidance on what to consider when evaluating an offer, even more importantly when there are multiple and differing offers.
What should you do when the first offer comes in that is a lot lower than what you wanted or expected? Should you always make a counter offer or not? While the response to an offer or offers is ultimately your decision, it’s important to understand your options, and the implications of different decisions you might want to make so you are informed.
Some negotiations may be fairly simple while others can be complicated and lengthy. The end goal is to (1) find a win-win situation and not get bogged down in small issues that can derail the process, (2) keep focused on the larger goal, (3) avoid emotional decisions if possible, and (4) decide when it might be time to simply say no and move on.
If you are considering selling your home in Carlsbad or nearby (e.g., Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos or other North San Diego County communities) please reach out to me at (760) 840-1360 so we can discuss your specific needs, time line, lifestyle and any concerns or questions. Then we can create a strategy to get your home ready for the market, listed, and sold for the best possible price and as quickly as possible.