For most, selling a home is one of the largest financial transactions they make. Therefore: Interview multiple agents. Select an agent based on his/her ability to provide service and results.
Do not choose based on whoever quotes you the “highest” price, or, the “lowest” commission. Look for the agent who is honest, experienced, and can successfully close your transaction with the least amount of stress, while at the same time getting you the highest net proceeds possible.
Ask about the agent’s history. (Dan and Carol have been in the real estate business for over 20 years. They currently own the Century 21 Experience office in Alta Loma with over 100 agents)
How many homes does the agent sell? (Dan and Carol have sold well over 2000 homes)
Can the agent provide references from the clients they have serviced? (References for the Kirkseys and their staff are readily available from hundreds of clients)
Does the agent have a staff or handle all aspects of transactions themselves?
(Dan and Carol handle the listing, marketing, and contract/escrow negotiations personally, but have buyer specialists and an escrow closing specialist to assist – it is their belief that to provide the customer superior service, it is best to have individuals specifically trained in the different aspects of a transaction so that each one performs the job for the client that they are best equipped for)
How often can I expect communication from the agent? (During the listing period with The Kirkseys, you will be called a minimum of twice a week for showing information/feedback, flyer status, etc., as well as receive mailings on market updates, advertising, etc. During the escrow period, you will be called a minimum of once a week with progress reports)
What avenues does the agent use to expose my home on the internet? (Since 85% of all home buyer/seller searches originate on the internet, the Kirkseys realize the importance of internet exposure. They place all of their listings on Century21.com, Inlandempireneighborhoods.com, Century21experience.com, zillow.com, realtor.com, redfin.com, as well as hundreds of other sites that interact with our MLS systems. They also belong to numerous internet lead generating services that solicit buyers and they utilize those sources to purchase buyer leads for their properties.)
What other types of exposure does the agent provide to help sell their homes?
(They mail flyers in a radius of 200 homes around each listing. They email flyers of their homes to over 3000 realtors both locally and in neighboring Orange and LA counties. Personalized for sale signs with flyer boxes are put on all properties. Open houses are held, when appropriate. And, they solicit their data base of over 700 local past clients for friends, family that may be interested.)
Handling of Offers/Escrow
How much experience does the agent have in negotiating offers? (With over 1000 homes closed, Carol estimates that she has negotiated well over 2000 offers in her career. She has composed an addendum to all offers that is used company wide to require more stringent prequalification of buyers and shorten the buyer contingency time frames to protect the seller and result in more successful closings)
What does the agent do to prequalify the buyer? (Most agents accept a standard “prequalification” letter, which offers little or no assurance. The Kirkseys request copies of the credit report, loan app, and proof of funds to close BEFORE and as a contingency of opening escrow.)
Does the agent have experience in handling offers contingent on the sale or purchase of other properties? (Over 200 of the escrows that the Kirkseys have closed have been “contingent”, and they have specialized verbiage outside of the standard contract to protect their clients)
How do I know how much the offer will net me? (The Kirkseys will provide you with an estimated “net sheet” based on the offer you accept. After a couple thousand times of preparing them, you can count on their accuracy)
How does the agent handle the escrow process? (The Kirkseys keep in constant communication with the clients, advising them on disclosures, inspections, appraisals, buyer’s loan status, etc. Their clients are always well informed)
At what point will I get a final accounting of the transaction? (The Kirkseys provide you with a pre-closing estimate within a few days of closing based on the actual payoff figures received from your lenders for your review to make sure there are no surprises. You then get a final closing statement, as well as your proceeds, within 24 hours of closing escrow!)
We sincerely hope these tips and ideas are of value to you. If there is any way we can be of service, please contact our office…we would consider it a privilege to be of service to you!
Dan & Carol Kirksey
Century 21 Experience