Monday, March 14, 2011

How to: Hire A Realtor

I wish our lawn was this green right now.

Spring, oh Spring.  Where are you?

This picture was taken in the process our landscaping work we did almost two years ago.  All that blood, sweat and tears has me reminiscing non-stop these days.  Just searching through pictures to find a decent one of the front of our house had me crying.  And here's why:

Where oh where did my little boy go?  This is Caden at about 1.5 years old helping us build our retaining wall.  And here's the boys again hanging out in the shade on this 1,000 degree day.

Ah, the memories.  And I know there will be more, but gosh dang it, it's hard to leave what feels like a near perfect life for something that you hope will be even better.  Because often when the grass seems greener on the other side, it really isn't.

When we found out we were moving, we knew we had to find a good Realtor to sell our humble abode.

One that cared for our place just as much as we did.

So why a Realtor when we are such DIYers? Fact of the matter is, I used to be licensed and I know all of what goes into in selling a home, and what the best odds are of selling it quickly.  And all the liability that's involved too when a deal go south.  Sure, we could have gone at this on our own, but I guarantee we would have lost money.  Whether it be in pricing our home incorrectly, or having our home on the market for longer than we did.  Plus, the added stress of showing our home in addition to keeping it clean, and trying to figure out everything else that goes along with moving sounded less than appealing.

So I called my two favorite Realtors and interviewed them.  And here's what I was looking for:

  1. Price.  We needed someone who knew the market and wasn't going to shoot the breeze with me.  We knew we needed to price our home right so we could move to MN as quickly as possible, without leaving a lot of money on the table.

  2. Pictures. Many Realtors hire professional photographers to get good snapshots of the home.  This is a must.  Everyone previews houses online these days and I need my to be on the "tour" list.  I don't want bad pictures being the deterrent from getting on that list.

  3. Staging. Our house was looking pretty good, but I needed an honest opinion about some areas  (i.e. top of the cupboards, bold paint choices, etc.) and whether these were going to affect our showings.

  4. Negotiation. Bottom line- I want the best price for my home and this includes someone negotiating top dollar for me and my home when the tire hits the road.

  5. Marketing Plan. I need to know what the plan is.  When are price drops anticipated?  What if the house goes stale, and no one is looking?  Basically- how are we going to keep our house hot so we have the best chance of finding a buyer?

When it came down to it, both Realtors we interviewed we're top notch in all these areas.  It made the final decision hard when it came to choosing which one to hire.  We just went with our gut and hired who we thought would work the hardest.  We really lucked out.  I would say we chose the right one seeing that our house is sold and has found a new owner (in two weeks!).

What pointers do you have for someone hiring a Realtor?

P.S.  We announced the winner of the Shabby Apple giveaway.  Go on over and check it out!


Heather said...

It's a little off topic but I love your retaining wall! Do you have a link to the post with the finished product? I couldn't find it :( My husband and I just had to tear out the better part of our front lawn for some plumbing problems so now I need to do some landscaping this spring - I think this idea would be perfect. Thanks!

deb said...

Thanks, Heather! The post linked above is actually the "after photo"... we intended to do more landscaping in the backyard, but never got around to it. You can find step by step instructions in the post noted above. Let me know if you have any other questions!


Jason Korn said...


Great blog post! You also have a great looking blog page. I always enjoy reading your posts. Thanks!

Jason Korn