What’s in a Sign? Choosing the Right Listing Agent to Sell your Home.

The spring selling season is well upon us, but perhaps you are still in the process of putting your house on the market for sale and wondering how to choose a listing agent. Today’s consumers have almost unlimited options when it comes to selecting a real estate firm for the sale of their property. The purchase or sale of a home is about the experience of the transaction and performance of the real estate professional as much as it is about the property itself. As such the selection of the right real estate professional is of the utmost importance. Colorado Landmark, Realtors recommends that anyone looking to select a real estate firm consider the following five important criteria.

  1. Have the right network connections.
  2. Demonstrate a proven track record.
  3. Have a property marketing program.
  4. Be invested in resources.
  5. Specialize in luxury (IF your home qualifies as a luxury property)

The Right Network Connections
It is important to evaluate what the individual realtor’s or company’s name or connection actually represents with regard to local sales statistics as well as strength on a global basis. For example, Colorado Landmark is a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, as well as two global luxury marketing programs, The Luxury Portfolio Fine Property Collection™ and Christie’s Great Estates®.

  • Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is a major real estate network comprised of the best locally and regionally branded residential firms selling nearly $370 billion in homes annually, more than any national franchise brand.
  • The Luxury Portfolio Fine Property Collection™ , the luxury marketing program of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, sells more $1M+ homes each year, has more top sales associates, and has more of the top listings in the country than any other real estate organization.
  • Christie’s Great Estates®, a wholly owned subsidiary of Christie’s, the world’s oldest fine art auction house, was established in 1995 and is the largest network of real estate brokers dedicated to the marketing and sale of important properties.

Demonstrate a Proven Track Record
Choose a firm that has a proven track record in dealing with properties in your specific neighborhood and price category – a firm that has done this before and has existing clients that you can contact for references. You can always see what properties a firm is marketing and make sure that the firm you choose is entrenched in the marketplace, working with other similar buyers and sellers.

Have a Property Marketing Program
All firms can “run an ad” or put a sign in your yard, but the effectiveness of that promotion and the overall marketing program needs to be evaluated. In this challenging market, it’s not about more marketing but marketing differently. The firm that you choose needs to have access to the right buyers – and target their program to reach those buyers. The web is just as selective and effective marketing dictates being on sites that attract the right consumers, not necessarily the masses. Today, the mix of websites should include those attracting local and regional customers on a global basis, as this is the key to finding the right buyer for your home.

Be Invested in Resources
All real estate firms are licensed to sell all properties, but it is important to choose a firm that has invested in the resources it takes to successfully market properties. Every home needs to look its very best, and in this challenging market it is even more critical that the home appears to offer the best value for the money. This means finding a firm that can consult with you to improve the salability of your home. The firm should also assist in the process, recommending efficient solutions to correct any issues through their network of service providers and resources.

Specialize in Luxury (if applicable to your home)
In the Boulder area a luxury property would typically be one priced over $900,000, although there are some homes that would be considered “luxury” in eastern parts of the county in the $800,000 range. Big firms and national franchises are not necessarily better; a boutique marketing organization within a large firm or a local single office firm that specializes in luxury is probably best suited to handle the individual marketing needs of a luxury customer. Every luxury home is unique and individual – typically because it was designed and built for the needs of a very exacting individual with very unique and specific requirements. It takes a educated real estate professional who does not use an “off the shelf” approach, but rather understands the needs and sees the unique features of the home that actually make a difference in the lifestyle of the owner and future buyer.

So … What to Do?
Just because you see someone’s signs in a lot of yards it doesn’t mean they will be successful selling YOUR home. Find out if the realtor works independently, with a partner, or with a large team. Decide how much personal attention you want and need from your realtor. Do you mind if you see them at the listing presentation and then never again? Is it okay if your main point of contact is their assistant? Do you want your realtor to check in with you on a weekly basis – hint … they should! Are they stuck in a rut of newspaper ads, or have they migrated to a multi-faceted marketing approach that includes heavy internet presence?

Boulder has one of the highest numbers of realtors per capita than anywhere else in the country! Everyone in town seems to know at least 2-3 realtors! Decide if you are comfortable sharing your personal and financial information with a friend, or if you prefer to work with someone less closely connected to your circle. There are pros and cons to both scenarios, although many people swear by the tenet “business and friendship don’t mix”. Go with your instincts and prior experience and do what feels comfortable to you. A good friend will have your best interests at heart and should understand if you choose another realtor. If you decide not to work with a friend, then let them refer you to a colleague that they know and respect.

Ultimately your home selling experience should be as stress-free as possible. Sure … it IS stressful to keep your house clean and ready for showings at a moment’s notice. However, if you are confident that your listing agent will successfully guide you through the process from preparation and staging, to a multi-faceted marketing campaign, to contract negotiations, and finally to closing the transaction, your home selling experience can be a good one.

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development

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