If you have decided to sell your house using a realty company, be prepared to do your research, there are a lot to choose from. Generally, if you are looking to get the maximum price for your house and are not in a hurry, hiring a professional is the way to go.
Below are 5 tips on hiring a realty company:
#1. Do An Online Search
Do an online search for Realty Companies in Raleigh NC or your local area and look at the results. You’ll notice there are paid advertising spots at the very top and then more results below, known as “organic search results”. Look at both and spend some time looking through the web pages and blogs. Do they have reviews on Google, and Yelp? Do they have relevant and informative content on their blog?
#2. Ask For Referrals
Have your friends, family members, or coworkers used any realty companies in the last few years? How was their overall experience? How long did it take to find a buyer and close the transaction? Were they satisfied with the customer service? What kind of a brokerage fees did they pay? Did they have to pay a large amount of closing costs? When sellers call me with a property that I am not interested in buying for my own portfolio, I am more than happy to make a referral.
#3. Stay Local
Do you notice the presence of one particular realty company in your area? Do you see many “For Sale” and “Sold” signs? A company with a strong local presence will usually have a good amount of buyers that are looking for homes in your area. A good tip is to take a picture of the sign and add it to you pile of “potential companies” to research. I recommend looking at the successes of the individual agent and not necessarily the particular office or franchise.
#4. List Price vs. Sales Price
This is a good indicator of the company’s overall skill in selling houses. If the agent is skilled, then the relation of the list price to the sales price should be very close. If there is a big gap between the two it can mean that the agent did not price the house correctly or did not do a good job of negotiation. It can also mean that the agent was not firm enough with the seller regarding the list price. See my article on buying a listing for more of an explanation of what this is and why it should be avoided!
#5. Online Reviews
Online reviews are a great way to get a feel for the overall satisfaction of their customers. I would look at more than one review source including Google and Yelp. Look for consistency among the reviews. Also, the more reviews the better. Anyone can get friends and family to write positive reviews for them but to do that consistently across multiple channels is far more difficult. Also, don’t look for perfection among the reviews. All businesses have angry customers—it comes with the territory. An angry customer is far more likely to write a negative review than a positive one. However, a savvy company will encourage as many reviews as possible and is an indication of marketing skill.