So you’ve decided to sell your Malibu home. How do you go about choosing the right Malibu Realtor to help you sell at the best price, and to make sure the transaction goes smoothly?
Number one, it’s important to work with the right Malibu Realtor: one who is knowledgeable, updated on the latest marketing technologies, and who will guide you step by step through the process. It is also important that you have a good working relationship with your Malibu real estate agent.
To find the right Malibu Realtor to help sell your home, here are some questions and thoughts to consider before choosing an agent.
How long have you been working in the Malibu real estate market? Is selling real estate your full-time job?
Years as a Malibu Realtor or a luxury real estate agent do not necessarily equate to level of success. Furthermore, being a good real estate agent is not contingent upon age. Many young professionals have taken this business by storm and have some of the most advanced, and aggressive (in a good way), selling tactics and use of technology.
The most important aspect of choosing a Malibu Realtor is commitment level. If the agent is constantly implementing new innovative tools and constantly seeking new education or development to further their skills they may be right for you.
What are your credentials?
To become a licensed real estate agent in California requires 135 hours of education, as well as taking a written examination from the California Bureau of Real Estate. A Realtor is a licensed agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors . Realtors are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents. They must also abide by a strict code of ethics.
At minimum you should work with a licensed Malibu real estate agent; better yet, work with a Malibu Realtor. A Realtor will have access to more marketing tools, and a larger network of Realtors and agents to find a buyer for your home.
How many homes did you sell in the last year? How many homes did you find for buyers?
This is an multi-faceted question because again numbers do not equate to whether or not who you should choose to be your Malibu Realtor Instead of focusing on the numbers, testimonials or references would be indicative of your real estate agent’s character.
In other words, even though a Realtor might have closed a bunch of deals, whether the buyers or sellers were happy with the transactions in the end is more important.
What are the average number of days it takes you to sell a home?
Again, numbers might not apply here. The average days on the market (DOM) a home is listed depends on various factors, such as whether a seller insisted at listing their home at much higher price than their Realtor recommended. This could cause a home to lag on the market much longer than necessary.
A better question could be: How many buyers and sellers worked with you throughout the entire home buying or selling process? This will give you a subtle measure of client satisfaction and success, and the agent’s ability to work with people.
How close to the initial asking price of homes you sold were the final sale price?
Use this question to gather information about the market, and gauge the negotiation skills of your prospective Malibu Realtor. Again, sometimes the numbers do not tell the whole story. Concessions may be needed in order to close a deal, which can affect the final sales price.
Also conduct your due diligence to learn about what is going on in your neighborhood. The more you learn, the more you will can bring to the table a better understanding of market conditions. It will also help mold your expectations of the length of time and price it will take to sell your home.
When I’m selling my home, what types of marketing approaches will you use?
The real estate world is changing quickly, and Malibu Realtors need to stay up to date in order to be competitive. The Malibu real estate market is one that requires constant innovation and marketing development to be successful.
Social media alone is a revolution that has changed the world of real estate, but it is just a piece of the pie. Networking, Internet marketing, print media, caravans and open houses are all different methods that can sell your home.
You might want to reconsider working with a Malibu Realtor if they are behind on any area of the new age in marketing. For example, if your prospective agent does not have a website, it might be time to reevaluate their ability to effectively represent you.
Will you represent me exclusively, or will you represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction?
Dual representation in California is legal and is sometimes a great way to save a little if the agent agrees to reduce commission fees. However, you should consider the pros and cons carefully. One positive of working with dual agency is the transaction will be streamlined. A negative is that an agent is supposed to get the highest price for seller, and for a buyer, the lowest price possible. This can work against you as a buyer or seller, depending on the situation.
Will you help me find service providers to get a mortgage, make repairs on my home, and other things I need done?
Relationships and reputation are huge in real estate, and working with a well-connected Realtor is important to get your home ready for sale. Recommendations from a good Realtor will save you time and money on repairs, and other sales preparations. On the buyer’s side, your real estate agent will help you obtain financing and get other necessary information in order.
How will you keep me informed about listings, and showings?
Make sure your communication with your Realtor is on the same page right out of the gate. Set your standards and expectations early, and if they differ, put it all out on the table early to avoid confusion from the get-go.
What is the real estate agent’s personality?
Does the real estate agent make you feel calm? Do they answer questions in a clear, understandable manner? How do they communicate with their peers?
When you interview a prospective Malibu Realtor, ask yourself, can I endure a relationship with this person for as long as it takes to either buy or sell my house? Most listing agreements are six months or longer, and most buyers take time to purchase a home, so you want to make sure you get along with an agent from a personality level as well. Don’t forget they might become your neighbor!
Russell Grether of Compass is a Malibu Realtor based out of Malibu, CA. He specializes in Malibu real estate, Malibu homes for sale, Malibu properties, Malibu Land for sale, Malibu rentals and surrounding area real estate from Montecito to the Pacific Palisades. Contact him at 310.994.4247 or visit his website at www.malibuluxuryrealty.com