Choosing a Real Estate Broker to Sell Your Home

Choosing a Real Estate Broker to Sell Your Home

Choosing the right real estate broker to sell your home can be a daunting task.  I always tell people if they have a warm referral, they should start their search there.  If you don’t have a solid referral and are reaching out cold, you should ask the agent to put you in touch with some of their clients.  By speaking to other clients, you will get a sense of what type of person the agent is.  You will likely be able to understand how he or she will represent your interests.  When you speak to/meet with the agent, you will also get a sense of his or her style.

What Type of Broker Do You Want Representing Your Interests?

This is a personal question you will need to determine yourself.  Do you want to hire the type of broker you would hire if you were buying?  Perhaps when you are buying you hate working with pushy brokers, but when you are selling you think a pushy broker will help sell your unit.

A few things you should always demand in your broker:

  • Professionalism – They take professional photos, post accurate floorplans, and produce professional marketing material, etc.
  • Knowledge/Skill – They understand the industry, your neighborhood, your building, the selling process, how to price your property, etc.
  • Honesty – the broker will tell you what your apartment is worth and should sell for (not necessarily what you want it to be worth).  They will not mislead any participant in the transaction, etc.

Does It Help to Use a Well-Known Brand vs. a Boutique Shop?

As long as your broker is in REBNY and is paying a market value commission to the buy-side agent, it does not matter whether the company is a well-known brand vs. a boutique, or a conventional firm vs. a discount broker.  The name of the company is not what matters.  The broker who you hire and who will be working for you is what matters.

The majority of customers and brokers in NYC look for listings on Streeteasy.  Some use Zillow, Trulia, the NYTimes, or their broker’s (or the broker’s company’s) RLS feed.  As long as your agent will post your listing to all these places, it will be seen by everyone searching.  A large name firm will not have wider distribution or market your unit any differently.

You might hire a very well-known broker to sell your $1.5 million home, but they may be too busy with their $5 and $10 million transactions to put the time needed into selling your home.  You don’t want a junior on their team (who has never been trained and is a potential liability) handling the sale of what may be your most valuable material asset.  You want your broker to commit to making the sale of your home a priority, regardless of its value.  Make sure they commit to this before you sign a listing agreement with them.

You might hire a large firm to sell your home, but the broker himself has never closed a deal in New York City.  Or the broker may be very green and unfamiliar with the nuances of NYC real estate.  Before you hire your agent, confirm with them what their experience is, and make sure you are comfortable with their knowledge.

How We Handle Sales at Digs Realty

Initial Assessment

First, we will come meet with you in your home.  We will explain to you our style (honesty, transparency, integrity, knowledge), how our pricing structure works, ask a lot of questions, find out what your goals are (in addition to getting the highest price possible), and assess your home in order to do an accurate and complete pricing analysis.  Digs does not come to your apartment with a preconceived idea of what it will sell for.  We will know where comparable sales in your building and neighborhood have recently traded.  However, we will not give you a valuation or suggest a listing price until we review all the data with a fine-tooth comb after our initial meeting.

In Depth Analysis and Listing Proposal

After this, we will analyze the current market to determine the best price to list your apartment.  We won’t just come back to you with the price you should list at. Instead, we will put together a detailed written listing proposal that will explain to you why you should list at that price.  We will explain the current market and provide you with data on comparable sales in your building and neighborhood.  We will tell you the range within which we think you can reasonably sell your home.  Unlike some brokers, we will not overvalue your home just to get your business.  Our listing proposal will provide you with a clear window into our heads so you know exactly why we arrived at a particular value. We will list at a price at which you are comfortable, but you will always know what we believe is true value.

In our listing proposal, we will also explain how we will get your home ready for sale.  We will include what we will do to get ourselves prepared to sell, and how we will proceed during the first few weeks of listing.

Preparing for the Listing

Once we have agreed to work together, we are committed to getting up to speed on your micro-neighborhood and building before listing.  This way, we are able to accurately answer the questions we receive.

We meet with the building’s managing agent to understand the building’s purchase requirements, the board’s idiosyncrasies, subletting requirements, etc.

We review the building’s financials to understand whether the building is financially sound.  Are there planned assessments or capital plans?  These are things every buyer will want to know about.

We visit the building’s amenities and find out the cost of them.  Does the garage offer discounts to owners? Is there available storage and what does it cost?  What are the hours of the gym and the roof?  We learn the best amenities nearby, like a rec center, a neighborhood Italian spot, or the best dog groomer.

It is always frustrating when the listing agent is not prepared and isn’t able to provide accurate information about the property they are selling.  Buyers also find this pathetic and don’t necessarily have the patience to wait for accurate answers.

We will have your unit professionally photographed.  In addition, we always have an accurate floorplan drawn up.  We will write an enticing listing description and post your unit for sale everywhere a buyer or broker would look.

Going the Extra Mile

We will commit to giving your sale the full attention it deserves, by being responsive to every showing request, hosting weekly open houses, answering questions as they arise, and negotiating the best possible sale price for you.

At the end of the day, we will go above and beyond for you.  You’d be surprised at some of the things we’ve done for our sell-side clients just to get to the closing table smoothly.  We paid for a California king mattress removal from one home.  In another instance, we paid a super to break down and dispose of a bunk bed.  We did this without the seller’s knowledge because we didn’t want them to have the headache.  We personally cleaned out an owner’s storage closet that he had forgotten about.  If you can believe it, we’ve even cleaned up sellers’ pets’ accidents before buyers arrive.

You can trust us to always keep your best interests at the forefront, and you will end up saving up to 4% of your sale price by using Digs Realty instead of a conventional broker.

Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about the services we offer: dan@digsrealtynyc.com; 917-675-0037.  We are happy to put you in touch with current and former clients.

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