The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) estimates that there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States. All of them will tell you that they will sell your home for the most money in the least amount of time, and every day home owners sign up with these agents to then find out that their home doesn’t sell for any money in any amount of time. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure that you do your homework on Realtors that you interview. If you Google “How to interview a Realtor”, you’ll get a million valid questions to ask the agent about themselves, as well as the brokerage that they work for. Realtors who are worth their salt have done those google searches and have intelligent answers to all of your questions, trust me. But what I’m about to share with you is the single best tip for finding out if your Realtor candidate is worthy of your time.
Real Estate is a people business, by putting people together who have similar goals of buying and selling a home or property. Realtors who understand that, and aggressively pursue business quickly rise to the top in their office, and industry. As a home owner, you need to find out if the Realtor your interviewing is that person, or if they are someone who is all talk and no action. Here’s how you find out:
- Find an agent you’re interested in working with online. Pick a website like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, or even their brokerage website. Then, contact them through that site. You want to do this because they will probably tell you in their listing presentation that 88% of homebuyers start their search online. They will continue to tell you that they are on those aforementioned sites and will use them to find buyers for your property.
- Request that they contact you through one or all of those sites. It doesn’t matter which one you use, but if you use any of them, make sure you use their brokerage site. Now you wait! How long does it take for them, or someone from their team to call you? You’ll want to write that time down, and have those notes with you at the listing presentation, ask them why they never called you back, and get ready for the tap dancing! Data shows that Realtors who make contact with online leads within 5 minutes have the most success acquiring those buyers or sellers.
- When they call you, don’t answer your phone right away. This is important, most Realtors hate to use the phone for V2V communication (Voice to Voice). According to Zillow.com, most Realtors will make 2-3 attempts to make contact via phone and then move that contact into a trash or archive folder and never revisit them. What you want, is to find a Realtor who will call/text/email you every day or just about every day until you change your number, pick up the phone, or respond. My recommendation, give them a week, then answer the phone.
When you find that Realtor who calls, texts, emails you for a week, congratulations! You just found your Realtor! People in the Real Estate industry love to show their competence how how Zillow and Trulia work. Realtors love to show their online web capturing strategies. But very few are willing to show the commitment that they have to engaging those people who express interest in working with them, or a product they are promoting (your house). You want an agent who is going to aggressively pursue potential buyers for your property. Don’t just ask them about it, test them on it and see for yourself.
I can already see the scathing emails, phone calls, text messages coming in from my competition on this post. But this is undoubtedly the holy grail of tips for finding out how effective an agent will be in selling your home. By understanding how they capture the other side of their business, you can gauge how effective they will be in selling your home for the most amount of money in the least amount of time. They will read this and ramble on about how this isn’t good advice, and you’ve got to look at listing history, listing price to listing sold ratios, days on market numbers, designations, awards, community service etc etc. Sure some of that stuff is important and you should consider it about as much as you consider the amount of cup holders that’s in the new car you’re looking at. What you want to see is performance when given an opportunity to connect a buyer with a property that isn’t yours. Because if they don’t work for their own family, they certainly aren’t going to work for yours.