By Michael Edlen
Special to The Mirror
Every home seller has some concerns about the process, and most agents who have been practicing real estate for at least several years will be aware of the more frequent concerns that people have. The number one biggest seller’s complaint that surveys find year after year is that the agents fail to communicate and stay in touch. People want to be kept informed about what prospective buyers think and say about their home, and they usually want to know what minor changes could help their home sell sooner and for a better price. How often they expect to hear from their agent and in what manner is important to communicate at the start of the process.
The experienced professional agent will ask lots of questions before beginning to go to work for a seller. They know that the best way to learn what the owners might be anxious about is to ask them, and to do so ahead of the time the marketing process begins.
Most sellers want to know what system the agent has for marketing and advertising. They want to know what resources and skills the agent has for targeting the ideal potential buyer, and where that buyer might be coming from. How often and in what magazines and newspapers will their home be advertised?
Many sellers are concerned about open houses. Will their agent hold it open on Sundays, and how often? Are open houses necessary at all? What security measures will the agent use if the house is open for people to come in and roam around?
In some cases, owners are concerned about interruptions to their family schedule or other impacts on the family or pets. How will their agent work around meal or nap times?
All sellers are concerned about the financial qualifications of a prospective buyer, and most have heard horror stories about buyers falling out of escrow after weeks and then they have to go through the whole process all over again. Does the agent have a system for trying to assure having a backup buyer in place in case of such a situation?
Sellers need to know how personally available their agent will be. If the agent has an assistant or a team support system, will the agent be involved in property showings? Will the agent conduct the negotiations? Will he or she be there for the inspection and at the walk-through?
Most sellers need to be assured that their agent is selling the house “as-is”, and they want to know how repair requests will be handled after inspections are done. How will their agent support them and how will they deal with the issues brought up?
Some sellers want to know under what conditions the buyer’s deposit is forfeit or if they get it back if they back out of the transaction. What steps will their agent take to protect them and to try to minimize them being at risk? How pro-active is their agent in handling disclosure items and being sure that all necessary forms and action items are properly done and in a timely way? How many transactions has the agent handled, so they have had ample experience to develop the expertise which can make the seller feel comfortable about these issues?
Of course there are numerous other things that could be added to the list, and for each seller there may be some issues that are of greater concern than others. A question that many sellers have which is more general in nature is to find out if they feel a good rapport with the agent. Does it feel like they are a good fit?
Michael Edlen has been a Broker-Associate for more than 20 years, been involved in nearly 1,300 transactions, and offers counseling to homeowners on the process of interviewing and selecting an agent. He may be reached by Michael@michaeledlen.com or 310.230.7373.