I thought this was an excellent post on chosing an agent and it applies regardless of where you may live. You might also check those designations after the name which indicate recognition of success. The 2 biggest are CRS and GRI (in that priority order). See below...
Engineering Hawaii Dreams Today--Helping Buyers Find Dream Homes & Sellers Find Buyers
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Selling your Louisville Area Home
Whether you are trading-up, downsizing, relocating, or simply have to; you have decided to sell your home. You obviously want to do so as quickly and for the most money as possible. To achieve these goals, you need to find a good agent. Unfortunately, this is where some sellers go wrong and it ends up costing them thousands of dollars and a ridiculous amount of time (an even more precious commodity). The good news is you can avoid this scenario with very little effort and knowledge of a few insider secrets.
I'm almost embarassed to type this next part...
For an agent to list your Louisville area home, they need 1) an active Kentucky real estate license, 2) a signed listing contract and 3) a picture (yes - just one) of the house. In case the implications are not clear, listing a Louisville home does not require that the agent live in the same area. Agents in Bardstown, Elizabethtown, Lexington, Corbin, or even Ashland can list a home in Louisville. In fact, there is no requirement that an agent even visit the house, neighborhood, and/or city.
Price is the most important factor in selling a home. This really shouldn't be a secret. But hardly a day goes by when I don't look at the MLS and wonder. You want and need to have your Louisville home priced in a manner that will best help you achieve your goals. The best way an agent can help you set that price is to know the market, to know the neighborhood, and to know your house.
Dirty Secret #1
Some agents will try to 'Buy the Listing.' Instead of telling you the market price of the home, the agent tells you a price they think you want to hear. If you are not careful, your house ends up over-priced. This is the worst possible scenario. Your home gets the most attention within the first few weeks of being listed. If it is underpriced, you have the possibility of a multiple offer situation. If it is over priced, it will languish on the market. Even if you correct the price later, the house will be stigmatized because of the length of time on the market. I assure you buyers will say, "No one has bought that house in 4 months, there must be something wrong, let's not waste our time."
Not all websites are fed from the MLS. Just because your house is listed online doesn't mean a buyer will find it. Sites such as Google, Homes, Zillow, Trulia, Activerain, Craigslist, and many others require agents to input their listings directly. Obviously, you want your agent to do this. The more people who see your house, the higher the odds are that the One True Buyer will find it. A whopping 30% of the people who click through to see virtual tours of my listings come from sites not fed from the MLS.
See Also: Marketing You Home Online
Photos matter more than you think. Ok, if you have started looking for a new home, this might not be a secret. Nothing screams Avoid Me Like the Plague more than a listing with a single photo of the outside of the house. I have had buyers (including my wife) who refused to go see homes without multiple photos. Photos that are blurred, have poor lighting, or feature items such as dirty dishes, dirty laundry, dirty pets, or dirty old-men are also not beneficial. Wide-angle lenses make a world of difference.
Interview Prospective Agents
Now that you understand these fundamentals, you are in great shape to select a listing agent who will help you achieve your goals. Here are seven questions to ask to verify you are choosing a REALTOR who will truly help you get your house sold.
1) How familiar are you with my area? Have you been in or near my neighborhood?
2) How do you complete your Comparative Market Analysis (Pricing Recommendation)?
3) Will you be able to show me justification for the price when we meet?
4) Beyond placing my house on the MLS, what other marketing activities do you perform to attract buyers?
5) How many photos do you typically put on your listings?
6) Do you use a wide-angle lens? A professional photographer?
7) Are you among the 8-10% of listing agents who use virtual tours?
Of course, you are more than welcome to skip this formality and simply call me at 502-921-3989.
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I specialize in the following areas of the Metro Louisville Area: Prospect, Middletown, Jeffersontown (J-Town), Fern Creek, Okolona, Shepherdsville, Mt Washington, Hillview, Brooks and Pewee Valley. Click the following links to learn more about Louisville and Bullitt County Real Estateor to Search for Louisville Homes