The most commons questions asked of me when being interviewed as a potential listing agent are:
1. How much can I get for my home or what do you think my home will sell for?
2. How long will it take to sell?
3. What do you charge?
Far more relevant questions, especially today, might be:
1. What are the odds of my home selling today?
2. What services do you provide?
3. What is your recent track record in this area?
Regarding the second set of questions:
1. Several years ago the odds of selling a home in Santa Monica ranged from 65 – 75 percent. This statistic may be approximately calculated by comparing the number of homes available for sale during a year, as compared with the number of escrows that closed in the same period. Today, the odds range from approximately 45 –50 percent. Some of the significant factors that can impact these odds include: how well the property is prepared for marketing, how experienced and skillful the agent is in showing and selling homes, and how accurately the property is priced.
2. Minimal advertising is done by some agents, while others have an extensive marketing program. Some agents provide basic services while others have welldeveloped systems to handle the many details that come up in managing the marketing and escrow processes.
3. Some agents have sold only a few homes in the last couple of years, or perhaps 50 percent of the homes they had listed. Others may have sold several or more homes, and 80 percent or more of their listings.
The following questions are highly important to ask of an agent you are interviewing.
1. How would you determine where to set the list price?
2. What marketing strategies do you recommend to meet my time frame?
3. How many color ads per month will you guarantee?
4. Do you use any special marketing materials for the homes you represent?
5. How do you use the Internet to help sell your listings?
6. How is your fee related to the value I will receive?
7. What is your marketing sales success ratio?
8. How long have you been selling real estate?
9. May I have a list of the homes you have personally sold in the last two years?
10. May I have the names and phone numbers of sellers you recently represented?
Clearly, there are many factors and important issues involved in considering the odds of a particular property selling in Pacific Palisades in today’s market. Each seller would be wise to carefully consider what they feel are the most pertinent issues, priorities, and desires in the process of selling their home.
Michael Edlen, an agent with Coldwell Banker, has had more than 900 sales over the past 25 years. For a complimentary copy of “ How to Select a Real Estate Agent”, call 310.230.7373 or Michael@MichaelEdlen.com