When listing your Berks County home make sure you interview more than one agent. There are many things to consider when hiring a real estate agent.
One of the largest transactions a person makes is the purchase and/or sale of a home. It carries such weight that a whole service industry was born to help with the process. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) was established May 13, 1908. The members agree to a code of ethics which was adopted in 1913 and standards of practice, which includes duties to clients and customers, the public, and other Realtors.
Berks County Home Sellers: A Real Estate Brokerage has one general duty. It is to bring you a ready, willing and able buyer. While the line of questioning at this time might lean towards what the agent will do to complete the task, (and we will get there), there is more you need to know about the duty.
Let’s say the Brokerage found a buyer for your home and settlement was just days away. Something goes wrong and you cannot settle with the buyer. The buyer concedes and decides to leave you out of the agreement. This does not mean you may not be served with a bill from the Broker for the agreed upon commission. After all, they did bring you a ready, willing and able buyer (the duty). All Pennsylvania Association of Realtors Listing Contracts are written this way. The issue is not whether it is fair or not. The issue is whether you truly understood that you could pay a commission for not selling your home. Ask the question up front. Have a solid understanding of the goals.
Marketing homes in Berks County is somewhat split into two mediums, print media and internet. In June of this year NAR stated that 90% of all home shoppers do so online. This does not mean they do not look at publication advertising like the Reading Eagle, Homes & Land, Etc…
Having a strong skillset in internet technology is important when marketing homes. It is also important to have skills in programs like Photoshop, Publisher and other print ad creation software. It also helps if you have a nice camera and maybe a bucket truck (I know, selfless plug). Ask how often you will get reports on the general market & internet traffic on your home.
Referrals are great and often the preferred method of hiring an agent. There are many places online that allow you to check out agents you would consider candidates to sell your home. The most popular web sites that offer reviews on real estate agents are Zillow.com, Trulia.com & Stik.com. Read the reviews. They can be a great resource and allow you to check out an agent who was referred to you or discover other agents that you may consider interviewing as well.
It is difficult to get to know how well any Agent will perform from just a short interview. Can you trust someone you just met to be your partner in what may be the largest financial decision you make in your life? Trust is earned not granted. In an effort to earn this trust I have developed a MONTH to MONTH listing program. This program will allow you to get to know me and evaluate the service I provide with no risk. If I do not perform to your standards during our partnership you can cancel the Listing Contract at NO cost. With the 30 day listing program you control your future. Six months is a long time to wait if you are not happy with your service.
It cost a fair amount to sell your home. Make sure you know what you are paying and what you are getting. Some Brokerages charge a Broker Service Fee and some do not. Find out what those funds are used for. If you were hiring an Attorney you would expect to pay more for a better more educated and experienced person. There is no such scale that I am familiar with in the real estate industry.
Above all….Interview more than one agent! Talk to two or three or more. Until you are comfortable with the person that will be handling what may be the most important transaction you make, keep looking.