14 Questions to Ask Your REALTOR®
Most homeowners preparing to put their homes on the market don’t know exactly what to look for when hiring an agent. As a home seller, you’re about to place what may very likely be your most important financial asset into your real estate agent’s hands, so remember: you can treat your agent like any professional applying for a job. Interview him, take time with your decision, and make sure you’re comfortable with it before signing anything! Trust is by far the most important element of any relationship, and yours with your REALTOR® is no exception.
Before partnering with a real estate professional, get to know him, his experience, and how he’s going to guide you through the process of selling your home. Ask these questions, and any others you have, before hiring an agent. See Brett’s answers below!
Brett Furman Group: As a team, we’ve been licensed for 70+ years. We’ve brokered over 1,000 transactions, many more than the average agent and are proud to say that we’ve represented seven times more home sellers than other agents.
Brett Furman Group: In the last 2 years, our team was involved with more than 100 home sales; the average agent sells just 7 homes a year. Since 2015 we’ve been interviewed over 20 times on national radio stations including Sirius radio, CBS News, and CBS3. We have also been published in national real estate trade journals, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Main Line Media News, ChiefMarketer.com, and in the RE/MAX Times newspaper, with a distribution of over 90,000 agents. Brett has spoken at national conventions addressing groups of 500+ real estate agents about how to utilize technology, and given guest lectures at Temple University for the course “Social Media for Real Estate Professionals.” You could say he literally “wrote the book” on real estate, having authored What You Really Need to Know about Selling Your House.
Brett Furman Group: The properties listed with us average only 38 days on the market as compared to other real estate agents, who average 57 days on the market according to the Bright Multiple Listing Service. Additionally, our average sale price to list price ratio is 98% compared to all other agents in the local multiple listing service at 90%. This means that homes listed with us sell more quickly, and for a higher dollar amount than those listed with other agents.
Brett Furman Group: We have dozens of professional references to share, though the highest and most important praise for any Realtor should come from his clients. We’re very proud to have earned a 5 Star Rating on Google from outstanding client reviews. Many very kind and positive testimonials about our work can be found there, on Angie’s List, Facebook, and similar websites. We can connect you with former clients for a more personal conversation about our services.
Brett Furman Group: A broker’s license requires advanced coursework and extra real estate experience, a benefit to any client. Brett’s broker’s license also means that he owns his own office, allowing him to continually gain different experiences in real estate than agents from other companies.
Brett Furman Group: Our knowledge of the Philadelphia area is both personal and professional. We’ve lived and worked here all our lives, and this has given us a thorough familiarity with this region from the perspective of a resident, as well as of an agent marketing and purchasing real estate.
Brett Furman Group: We provide our clients with what we call an “Easy Exit Clause.” This means that, with 2 weeks written notice, unless we’re in the midst of active negotiations or pending sale, you will be released from your contract.
Brett Furman Group: Many sellers go to real estate websites like Zillow to try to determine the market value of their home. Zillow’s calculating process is based on algorithms rather than the live conditions that influence property value enough that their fine print confesses that their home values could be inaccurate by as much as 20%. We use what we call the Smart Seller Price Absorption Analysis, which guides the pricing to deliver 95% of list price. Other brokers only average 90%! On a $400,000 home, that extra 5% means getting an additional $20,000 for your home. Our Absorption Analysis can also help to pinpoint the best time to put your home on the market.
Brett Furman Group: We employ every modern method to market a property, for maximum possible exposure in every marketplace. We use direct mail before your home even hits the market, creating interest and phone calls in advance. Once your home is listed, it will be marketed, not only in the Multiple Listing Service, but on social media and real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, with expertly written copy, professional photographs, and a virtual tour, all directed by our Creative Marketing Manager.
Brett Furman Group: We recommend a pre-sale home inspection, then a pre-sale appraisal once the inspection and any
necessary repairs are complete. Many sellers shy away from the idea of a pre-sale inspection, fearing the exposure of
problems hidden within their walls, then incurring too much cost for their repair. Yet years of experience
utilizing this method with our clients has proved the opposite to be true. Uncovering potential problems in a pre-sale
inspection gives control to the seller and eliminates surprises, negotiations, and buyers backing out of a
contract by using an inspection contingency clause. In the end, sellers save time, money, and a lot of aggravation by
inspecting first, then using a pre-sale appraisal to further guide the price determination.
Brett Furman Group: First, we’ll decide together which repairs are most important to help achieve the quick and easy
sale of your home. Next, we’ll call upon our Home Seller Concierge Service. This complimentary service allows us to personally
match clients with the skilled and experienced vendors appropriate to their needs, including but not limited to
painters, contractors, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, handymen, and movers. However, you are not obligated to use
this service and can use any vendors of your own choosing.
Brett Furman Group: After the pre-sale home inspection, appraisal, and any repairs are completed, we’ll talk about
sprucing up your home’s interior and exterior for photography and showings. We’ll create a staging plan, if necessary.
Next, my creative team will photograph the home and create the copy and virtual tour that will accompany the listing in
the Multiple Listing Service, social media, and real estate websites. This means your house is now ready to list!
Brett Furman Group: My company works with a specialized appointment desk for real estate showings called Showing-
Time. Our appointment center can confirm showings according to your preference via telephone calls, text, email or
voice messages. This method allows us to schedule and confirm showings quickly and easily.
Brett Furman Group: We are the only Real Estate team that offers all these free services to every seller. Please see our
sample postcard with a detailed list of everything we provide.
Once all of your questions are answered, look for reviews and testimonials online call references, and ABOVE ALL ELSE, follow your instincts!