Mark Shanaman


Selling A Home

Ready to List Your Home for Sale: 12 Steps in Evaluating a Real Estate Agent In Berks and Chester County PA!


Are you ready to place your home for sale? Do you understand the process and details of selling a home? Before you list with an agent, educate yourself on all the factors that will affect your profit. Be as informed as possible so you can make the absolutely best business decisions. After all, the sale of your home is an important business decision!

Most home sellers are not tuned into the trends and fluctuations of the Berks or Chester County real estate market.  Likewise we are not aware of the necessary steps to maximize profits on the sale of our home. Typically, we rely heavily upon a real estate agent to lead us. Considering our home is usually the most valuable asset we own, doesn't it make sense to list with someone who will maximize our profits?   But how do we find the right agent?

I hope you find this information empowering, so you have the necessary information to evaluate a real estate agent’s qualification in helping you sell your home.  Here are the 12 steps


1. Identify Top Agents – Do a quick search with appropriate key terms in Google or Yahoo to identify the top ranked agents?  If they are top ranked then they are spending money on marketing and are typically a full time and experience agent.

2. Conduct Phone Interview - Place a call to each of the agents on your list. Document how quickly they returned your call.   Ask them some basic question and see how you feel about their responses.  

3. Request a Complete Marketing Plan – The next meeting should be face to face.  The real estate agent should bring a complete marketing plan on how they will market and ultimately sell your home. 

4. Evaluate Their Partnership - Top producing real estate agents will have established relationships with lenders, title reps, inspectors and everything you need to sell your home.  Make sure they have these types of business relationships in case they are needed for your home sale. 

5. Understanding Your Market – The real estate agent should be able to provide information on similar property sales and the details on what they sold for and why.  Also, they should be able to share information on the current trends and how this may positively or negatively impact your selling price.

6. Transaction Management - Ask the agent questions about their experience in overseeing your transaction. Today's transactions are far more complex. You need a very experienced professional to solve problems as they arise. Find out about their experience in handling potential problems such as; home inspections, lending/appraisal regulations and local municipality requirements.

7. Repairs – If you ask, many experience real estate agents are more than glad to provide their recommendation on home improvements to help your home sell quicker and for the best price. 

8. Home Staging - Ask the agent for staging tips. Good agents have helpful tips on preparing your home for the market. It could be a simply as cleaning out closets, or as extensive as moving excessive furniture to temporary storage. It is very important that your home have the correct balance of personal belongings so the buyer can visualize living in your home. 


9. Marketing Efforts – Discuss with your perspective real estate agent all the different methods they will use to market your home.   The more exposure you have to online and print media the quicker your home will sell.

10. Advertising- Review samples of their ads, are they profession? Ask them which print media is most effective for your area?  Your real estate agent should be able to answer all of these questions.  

11. Negotiation Strategy- Discuss with the real estate agent how they like to negotiate and what is their strategy for getting you the most for your home. 

12. Closing Cost Estimate - Be sure to get a written closing cost estimate. You need to know in detail how you much equity you have and what your estimated net proceeds will be.

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