Author Archives: Czarina Carden
With 85 percent of consumers searching online for local businesses, getting found and standing out is more important than ever. But how do you compete without endless resources or a bottomless marketing budget?
With a little time and some creativity, you can get your business noticed without breaking the bank (or spending all your downtime on marketing distractions.)
Here are three effective and totally free marketing tips to grow your moving business.
Build Credibility and Trust With Online Reviews
According to SearchEngineLand.com, 7 out of 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Be sure to actively monitor reviews about your company, take the feedback seriously and incorporate it back into your business.
- Inspire rave reviews by doing an amazing job.
- Make it easy for customers to review you by keeping the process short, simple and timely (while the experience is fresh in their mind).
- Never review yourself or your competitors.
- If you do get a negative review, take the high road, stay professional and respond privately and publicly (when appropriate).
- Remember, it’s not about what one person says, but rather how you as a business respond and resolve issues.
Get Listed Online So You’re Easier To Find
Make it simple for new customers to discover you by optimizing your listings and citations on the web. A citation is simply a mention of your business name, along with your contact info, address or website (think Google+ or MovingCompanyReviews.com).
- Start by identifying where your listed (and not!) and making sure all your info is consistent and up to date: business name, website, phone number, address etc.
- There are dozens of free listing sites. Ask prospects and customers how they found you and prioritize for your best referral sources.
- Look up your competitors to see where they’re present, and where you might be missing out on opportunities.
- Not sure where to start? Check out Moz Local.
It takes time to claim and update your relevant listings. But it’s time well spent. You’ll not only be more visible online (in all the different ways potential customers may find you), but you’ll also rank better in local searches.
Turn Your Assets Into Great Content
Content marketing is a powerful tactic to differentiate your business by establishing trust and authority. You can turn nearly every aspect of your business into shareable content.
Here are a few ideas to convert your crew, your experience and your customers into awesome content.
- Take pics or video of your team being the best at what they do (i.e. piano moving, packing dishware etc.).
- Create mini-bios or profiles of your move crew so prospects feel they “know” who will be in their home.
- Develop how tos, FAQs or tutorial content with consumer tips for a happy move.
- Share quirky moving stories about memorable customers or interesting items handled.
- Engage customers to submit top questions and concerns, then address them in your content.
The great news? After you create your content, you can publish it everywhere! Repurpose and repackage your content for your blog, social media, newsletters and emails.
- Include compelling images next to engaging content
- Include relevant keywords (naturally) to help your content get ranked
- Curate and repurpose content you find online. Just be sure to cite your source.
Moving can be an exciting and stressful time. The anticipation of closing one chapter in your life and exploring another can have you filled with curiosity with what the future holds. But before you can get to your next adventure in life, you need to pack. Probably the least exciting thing about moving, you will be left wondering how you will get all of this stuff organized, packed, labeled and on the truck.
Rejoice techies! Here are some of the most useful apps to help you get the job done. So take a break from your social media and start putting that tablet and smart phone to good use.
Planning Your Move
The most difficult of tasks when packing for a move is creating a plan of action. Whether you are relocating from an apartment or a four bedroom home, having a plan will have your home packed in no time. Certain apps will help you create a plan or checklist allowing you to pack each room with ease.
Move Planner- This app will allow you to create a checklist for your entire move. Keep track of what has been packed, which room has the most items and sort through your inventory in a snap.
Sortly- Never forget where any of your possessions are with this app. We all have items in the attic, storage and closet that we need but have completely forgotten about. This app provides an easy solution to enter and track all of your possessions when you are planning your move.
The day has finally arrived. It is time to have everything packed and load it on the truck. But what is in each box? How will you know where to put your belongings when you get to your new home? You need a way to keep track of what is in each box and these apps provide the solution.
Moving Day- This app will help you keep your items and boxes organized on moving day. Create your own inventory. Now you can make sure that everything is packed, loaded and delivered without skipping a beat.
Moving Van- Now you can easily identify what is in each box. You can forget about tearing into a box to see what items are in it. Create a label and identify the contents of each box. It will make unpacking as simple as it can be.
For The Drive
If you are moving cross country you will need some help during your travels. Stopping to fill up, finding a place to eat or just needing to stretch your legs, it is important to find the best places along the way. These apps will provide the necessary assistance to help you on the road to your new home.
Road Ninja- Why read each exit sign with anticipation that there will be affordable gas and some good food? Road Ninja will just show you where they are. Now you can find the best gas prices, your favorite food and whatever you may need on your journey.
FuelMyRoute- Moving is already a financial burden, so why pay even more in gas during your drive? This app will help you find the best prices on gas throughout your drive to help you keep more cash in your pocket.
So don’t go through moving alone. After updating your status, go ahead and download one of these apps the make your life a little easier. There are even apps that will help you with moving pets, moving overseas and so much more. Use that smart phone for what it was made for.
Guest Post by Caleb McElveen, a media relations specialist and writer for HigherVisibility. Caleb contributes tips and advice on real estate, finance and relocation.
We get it. Winter is here and with more holidays around the corner, it’s tough to book jobs.
The good news: People still need to move. We know because every day they’re requesting quotes from great movers like you on our site.
The even better news: In select markets*, we’re offering an exclusive cash back rebate, called “MCR Moving Deal,” to encourage consumers to book a mover from their MCR quote request. The rebate is paid and managed by MCR.
What do you need to do?
Nothing! If someone contacts you about our rebate, confirm with them that MCR sends the check after the move and send other inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does it work?
- Consumers request a quote from the mover(s) of their choice on MCR.
- If eligible, we email consumers the rebate offer encouraging them to book with a mover from their quote request. The Rebate Offer: Pay $25 and receive $75 cash back from MCR for booking and reviewing a participating mover.
- After the move, when the consumer reviews their mover on MCR and we verify it with their Bill of Lading, we’ll send them $75.
The rebate is paid by us and does not indicate a discount on your services. It’s our way of thanking consumers for sharing their experience, while helping you book more jobs and get more reviews.
Like it? Love it? Lukewarm? Give us your feedback.
*We’re offering the Moving Deal only in states without restrictions regarding rebates/discounts. Currently confirmed states that permit the MCR Moving Deal are AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, NC, NJ, TN. TX, VA, WA, WI and Washington D.C.
Sometimes there’s no such thing as a “simple” move.
Just Five Days To Find A Mover And Move Out
When Heidi Weclew hired local moving company, Mr. Mover, based in Orlando, to move her out of her two-bedroom apartment into a new one just 15 minutes away, she had no idea it would become one of the worst consumer experiences of her life.
Weclew, a real estate agent, has several moves under her belt and has had generally positive experiences with movers in the past. But when her job transfer unexpectedly fell through last Spring, she only had five days to hire a mover before she had to be out of her apartment.
So she went online and searched for local movers, checked out reviews and ratings and requested quotes. Mr. Mover quickly became the frontrunner because of their reasonable hourly rate, availability and temporary storage options.
“There were no red flags I could find online or from my conversation with them during the estimate process,” Weclew said. “Everything checked out and they seemed pretty straightforward with what they would and wouldn’t do and how much it would cost.”
$2,000 In Damages And $120 In Protection
On her scheduled move day, Weclew recalled the movers showed up on time, but the crew was unkempt, had no uniforms and showed up in an unmarked truck. They also immediately hit a pipe while backing into her apartment’s loading dock.
By the end of the day, her estimated four-hour move took twice as long to complete, resulting in a higher move cost. She also said she sustained nearly $2,000 in damages to her belongings, including a new 50” flat screen, dresser, mirror and leather couch.
Weclew also did not see a contract until the end of her move and despite the company’s assurances that she would be fairly compensated for the damage, she was only offered $120 based on the mover’s Released Value Protection policy, which makes them liable for no more than $0.60/pound per item.
“In hindsight, I would have purchased supplemental insurance or moved delicate items myself,” she said. “I figured if I needed something extra, that would be told to me. I put too much faith in the moving company.”
To help others learn from her experience, Weclew has posted reviews on consumer advocate sites like MovingCompanyReviews.com, Ripoff Report and through word of mouth with her local Realtor groups.
More Tips To Help You Avoid A Move Day Nightmare
- Find a reputable mover that has been independently vetted.
A great place to start is by hiring a certified Pro Mover, administered by the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA). Some states like Florida also have their own Promo Mover program, administered by AMSA and the Florida Movers and Warehousemen’s Association (FMWA).
“It’s very easy for companies to misrepresent themselves online, through fraudulent reviews or by faking their license and insurance coverage,” said Andy Newitt, FMWA Chairman. “This is why we highly recommend that consumers get in-home estimates and review the documents given to them by the estimator. Florida law requires that movers provide all of the paperwork prior to starting the job.”
MovingCompanyReviews.com also shows whether a mover has the proper licenses, with links to the state authority to make sure they’re up to date.
- Good movers book fast so start researching movers and requesting written quotes at least four weeks before your desired move date.
- Be prepared for anything. Even when you book a great mover, stuff happens.
Look into affordable move protection for extra coverage of your belongings and make sure you understand what your mover is liable for (and if you’re willing to take the risk). Many movers also offer additional valuation coverage; so don’t hesitate to ask for more info during the estimate process if you prefer this option.
Remember, reputable movers are behind many happy moves. Check out more tips on how to find a trustworthy mover.
Budgeting For Hired Muscle: How to estimate the cost of a pro move
Whether you’re on the fence about using your own muscle versus hired muscle for your move, it will cost you either way. It basically boils down to whether you choose to spend your time or your money.
If you’re short on time and manpower or just want to offset some of the tasks onto professional shoulders, then hiring a licensed, reputable and experienced mover sounds like your best option. Requesting free move estimates is the most reliable and accurate way to budget for your moving costs, and to shop around for the best options.
But if you want to gauge a ballpark quote before contacting movers, then it’s helpful to understand some of the basics. Most professional moving companies will estimate your moving cost on a combination of the following factors:
Weight (critical factor in a long distance move)
The longer your move and the heavier your shipment, the higher your move cost will be.
Let’s break down those factors into a simple formula for local (in-state moves less than 50 miles) and long distance (out of state moves).
Your Basic Local Move Formula
(Base hourly rate) X (# of movers) X (# of hours loading/unloading/transit) + (Gas/tolls) + (Packing services/materials)
Your Basic Long Distance Move Formula
(Weight) X (Rate based on shipment Weight and Distance) + (Packing services/materials) + (Shuttle Fee if your destination cannot accommodate a typical large long distance moving van) + (Optional full value protection of your shipment)
Here are a few very rough estimates to give you an idea on total costs.
Long Distance Moves
A cross-country move from Chicago to Denver (~ 1,000 miles) for a 4- bedroom house (~12,000 lbs. of stuff) could cost around $8,000.
Need a total change of scenery? Moving from Boston to Houston (~ 1,800 miles) for a 2-bedroom apartment (~ 4,000 lbs. of stuff) could cost around $5,000.
When hiring an interstate mover, be sure to request a binding estimate in writing. This will guarantee that the final price you pay when your shipment is delivered will not exceed the estimate, as long as you don’t add items not included in the original estimate.
Staying in the area? A local 4-bedroom size move from one Chicago neighborhood to another could cost around $2,000 (factoring average costs of $160/hour for four men and a large truck).
Hiring two men and a truck for a smaller move can range from $90 – $120 per hour depending on where you live. And if you just want labor help and don’t need a truck, you can expect to pay less than $100 per hour.
Keep in mind estimates can also be affected by your desired move date, so expect higher prices if you want to move in the summer or even on weekends, when demand can be at its peak.
And if you want your mover to pack up your belongings on top of hauling and unloading it it, this can be up to a quarter of the total cost of a full service move. According to an MSN Real Estate article on moving costs, two professional movers can pack up a two- to three-bedroom home in a day at a cost of $400 to $640 (at about $25 – $40 an hour without materials).
Remember, there’s no substitute for getting estimates from top rated movers. This will give you the most accurate quote, especially when you have an in-home assessment where the movers can go through your home and see all your belongings.
On the surface, the housing market appears back to normal. Banks are gradually making loans, interest rates are still low, new home construction is increasing, and the record number of homes falling into foreclosure no longer dominates any conversation about real estate. While the new lending regulations have put an end to the rampant predatory lending practices of the late 1990s and early 2000s, a blog post by Sam Khater of CoreLogic reports that REO properties increased to 430,000 in March of 2014.
Some people still struggling
Additionally, a recent study by the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley found that the “housing market recovery” is missing a large percentage of American communities. While there has been a great deal of news about loan modification programs, the Home Affordable Modification Program has only benefited about 25 percent of the four million borrowers it was intended to help.
The study states, “Despite home prices rising in many parts of the country, the total value of owner-occupied housing still remains $3.2 trillion below 2006 levels. Despite rising home prices, there are still some 9.8 million households underwater, representing 19.4 percent of all mortgaged homes -nearly one out of every five such homes.”
Market will never be the same
We can no longer speak of the real estate market in the same broad terms that were once used to summarize activity. It will never go back to “normal.”
You have to consider all available information and make your decision about buying and selling based on your individual situation and future. You are not going to be able to perfectly predict home prices anymore than you are able to predict the winning lottery numbers or stock prices. For some homeowners with negative equity, they have little choice in the matter. If you were waiting for prices to improve and are no longer upside-down on your mortgage, you have a few things to consider.
Why are you selling?
A job transfer adds a level of urgency to selling and buying a home that few other situations have. If you are selling due to transfer, first check with your employer about options available to you in the relocation package. They can often assist you in many ways and may absorb all or part of any financial loss. The FHA will allow new mortgages for borrowers who currently have FHA-insured mortgages if a job transfer requires a commute that is not practical from their current home. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also have purchase programs for loans made to transferees with existing home loans.
If you need more space due to a growing family or an elderly parent is coming to live with you, consider the cost of remodeling and adding on to your existing home. According to a recent CNN Money article, many home sellers are having a difficult time upgrading to a larger home, due to higher prices and low available inventory.
For empty nesters and others needing to down-size, consider leasing your current home through a reputable management company. It will alleviate much of the headaches associated with renting and give you a bit of financial breathing room in the sell of your current home.
Do the numbers add up?
Just listing your home for sale is going to cost you money up front. If you decide to sell without a Realtor, you are going to have advertising expense and the time involved in answering calls from prospective buyers, along with scheduling showings and negotiating offers.
First impressions play a crucial role in how much buyers are willing to pay for their next home, so don’t forget to make any needed repairs and deep clean your home before listing it for sale.
You also have to consider how selling your current home and buying another affects your personal and financial long term plans. Do you really want to take on increased property taxes and potentially a higher mortgage? More square footage may solve one problem, but does it restrict your ability to do other things in life that you want to accomplish. For many people who wish to travel or just enjoy hobbies other than home repair, selling an older home to purchase a newer, lower maintenance home makes sense.
Will you have to work more hours to afford your new home? If you are out of work, how many months can you pay the mortgage, HOA fees, and property taxes?
Review each of these questions with your personal financial planner. Buying and selling your home is not like other investments. It is more about the lifestyle you have or want to have and simplifying your life rather than trying to predict when values are at their peak.
Guest post by Frank Stegall, a real estate agent for eight years and a real estate consultant and professional writer since 2009.
An open house can be an effective way to get people into your home so they can see it for themselves, fall in love with it and buy it. While some realtors are forgoing the open house, others continue to embrace it as an effective part of an overall sales strategy. If you are going to have an open house, these tips will help you prepare your home so it shines for the potential buyers who will walk through.
Clean, Clean and Clean Again
For your open house, your home needs to sparkle. Start cleaning a few days ahead of time and focus on problem areas, like your kitchen or bathrooms, which tend to get dirty the quickest. After al that cleaning, be sure that strong-smelling chemical odors aren’t lingering in the air by the time of your open house. Work to make sure the home looks and smells as close to new as possible.
Remove Signs of Pets
You love your dog or cat, but a potential buyer doesn’t want to wonder whether or not your pet has left some unexpected surprises behind. Remove all signs of your pet from the home, such as the litter box, toys or food dishes. Make arrangements for your pet to be housed somewhere else on the day of the open house.
Give the Home a Fresh Coat of Paint
Before the open house, take a look around your home. Are there areas where you need a fresh coat of paint? Touch up these areas. If you have time and rooms need a new coat entirely, go ahead and do it. This will be money and time well spent as your home looks more appealing to potential buyers.
Depersonalize Your Home
That family portrait hanging above the mantle may make you smile every time you look at it, but a potential buyer doesn’t feel the same way. In fact, it might detract from your ability to sell the home. The potential buyer sees it as “your” home when your family’s pictures are on display everywhere. Take down personal mementos and photographs while you have your open house. Leave them down while the home is on the market to improve your chances of a fast sale.
Add Some New Towels
Are the towels in your kitchen and bathrooms a little worn and dated? They may still be functional, but they can detract from your ability to entice buyers to buy your home. Buy some thick, fluffy towels to hang in these areas to give them that polished, ready-to-live-in look that buyers want.
Set the Table
Have you ever toured a model home? Think about the table. Chances are it was set, at least in part. Why is this? A set table makes the buyer envision family dinners and dinner parties at the home. Pull out some decorative plates, placemats and a centerpiece, and set the table before you leave the home during the open house. If the table has seen better days, thrown on a neutral tablecloth for good measure.
Place Fresh Flowers
Fresh flowers, provided they aren’t overly fragrant, can bring color and interest to the space. They make your home look like it is well cared for, and provide the attention to detail that will spark the interest of potential buyers.
Remove the Clutter
If your home is a bit too full of “stuff,” take time to remove some of that clutter. De-cluttering your home will make a big difference in how inviting and open it feels. As you de-clutter, consider your furniture. Do you need to make room by removing some of your furnishings? Rent a storage locker and put some of your items there so you can better stage your home and make it look appealing to buyers. In fact, if you can eliminate about half of your belongings, you will be in better shape for the open house.
Showcase Your Storage Space
Your open house is not a time to shove everything into a closet and slam the door, hoping it stays. People are going to be opening your cabinets, drawers and closets. They need to see organization. These spaces need to feel large and adequate to hold the potential buyer’s extra stuff.
Some of the things you will do for your home, such as putting out flowers, are minor, while others, like painting, are a bit more involved. Some are obvious, but others are surprising. If you take the time to give attention to each one, you will see more interest from your open house, and that interest could quickly lead to your home selling at a fair price.
Guest Contribution From:
Give a kid an empty moving box and they can barely contain their excitement. It can be a fort, a robot or even a racecar…the possibilities are endless. But to us grown ups, empty moving boxes mean countless hours and the painful process of fitting our lives (and homes) into pieces of cardboard.
There’s no way around actually packing up your stuff. But here are our top home packing hacks to help you move like a boss.
7. Pack your dishes on their side
Pros know the best way to prevent chips and damage to your dinnerware is to pack them vertically on their side, not stacked on top of each other. Make sure you use plenty of wrap paper or bubble wrap in between each layer too for extra padding.
6. Put a little plastic wrap on your toiletries
Unscrew the caps of your shampoos, soaps, lotions and anything else that might spill during the move. Cover the opening with a piece of plastic wrap and then secure the caps on your bottles over the plastic. Only takes a second but can save you lots of extra cleanup!
5. Pack small hardware into bags and label for each piece of furniture
It’s hard enough taking apart your bed, dining table and any other large pieces of furniture to make it fit into the moving truck or in the doorway of your new home. Save yourself the hassle when it’s time to put it all back together by placing all hardware for each piece of furniture in individual Ziploc bags, then clearly labeling them. Keep all bags together so re-assembly is a breeze when you’re ready.
4. Color code your boxes and rooms to match
Use colored labels or tape to clearly mark the contents of each box for the room it’s designated for. Then make it easy for your movers to unload by labeling each door or entrance to the room to match the labels on the box (i.e. pink for kitchen, blue for living room etc.). Don’t forget to label on the sides, not tops of your boxes, so you can read them even when your boxes are stacked.
3. Secure contents in drawers with stretch plastic wrap
If you want to keep items in their respective drawers, simply wrap plastic wrap securely around it to make sure it stays in place. This works for portable organizers like silverware trays or securing dresser drawers from sliding in transit. No unpacking necessary, just peel and you’re ready to go.
2. Pack sturdy books and other small, sturdy items in a roll-away suitcase
Don’t worry about breaking your boxes that are overloaded with heavy hardcovers and your extensive DVD collection. Just put them in your suitcase and wheel it away.
1. Take a picture of your electronics before disconnecting
It only takes a minute or two to disconnect any cables and components for your TV and other electronics. But if you’re not sure how to put it all back together, it can cost you a frustratingly long time. Avoid this by taking a quick picture of the backs of your electronics before you disconnect them so you have a visual cheat sheet for where everything goes when it’s time to put it all back together.
After weeks of coordination, prep and careful planning, it’s finally here. Moving Day! Keep these stress-buster tips in mind for a successful move.
10. Pack a first night kit
You have a long day ahead of you, and the last thing you want to root through boxes for is essentials at bedtime. Pack a bag, clear bin or box that’s easily accessible with everything you need for your first night in your new home: change of clothes, bedding, comfort items for kids, snacks etc.
9. Label your boxes
It’s common to label your boxes with what it contains, but be sure to also clearly mark which ROOM they’re designated for as well. Write or apply labels on all sides, that way you’ll be able to read them when boxes are stacked and easily direct the movers as they unload.
8. Take a pic of your electronics before disconnecting
You might be in a hurry to get everything packed and loaded on the truck, but take a minute to snap a picture of the back of your TV, computer and any electronics with complicated wires and hook-ups. Now you’ll have a visual cheat sheet for how to hook everything back up at your new place.
7. Empty and defrost your fridge for 24 hours before you move
Remove everything from your fridge and give it a thorough cleaning before unplugging it at least a day before your move. The last thing you want to welcome into your new home is unpleasant smells.
6. Keep high value items with you, not in the moving truck
Even if you have move protection, you likely have precious heirlooms or sentimental items that are irreplaceable. Keep these with you and plan to transport them in your car so you don’t have to worry about potential damage or loss. This includes sensitive documents such as financial info.
5. Give yourself plenty of time to get the job done right
This seems overly simple, but you can save yourself a lot of stress by starting your day early and leaving plenty of room for each critical step of the move process. Move day should be focused on moving out of your old home and into your new one. Don’t limit your time window by adding on extra coordination headaches, such as utility set up.
4. Know your inventory
Your moving company will provide you with an inventory confirmation and Bill of Lading, which details everything that should be moved that day. Look over all paperwork carefully and don’t sign anything you don’t feel 100% about, it’s never too late to ask questions. It’s also a good idea to know how many boxes you’ve packed so you can make sure all your belongings arrive at your destination.
3. Keep cleaning supplies and garbage bags handy
With lots of foot traffic in and out of the house, unpacking and potentially anything left behind by prior residents, it doesn’t hurt to have cleaning supplies handy to get your new digs move-in ready. Your kitchen and the bathrooms will probably be the most used throughout the day, so start there.
2. Clear any obstacles for your mover
If you’re moving to a house, the moving truck can probably park out front. But if you live in an area with limited street parking and other regulations, make sure you have a spot for your movers to safely park and have secured proper permits if needed. Same goes for reserving an elevator if you live in a condo – the idea is to help your movers do their job. Efficiency will translate in cost savings for you, if the movers can finish on time or even before your estimated window.
1. Get FREE pizza on move day by reviewing your mover
The last thing you want to worry about today is putting food on the table. Haven’t unpacked your cookware yet? No problem! Get FREE Domino’s pizza today when you review your mover and provide a move receipt. Don’t worry, we’ll remind you
Whether you are buying or selling a home, the right real estate agent makes the process much easier. If you are looking to hire a real estate agent, you’ll want to ask lots of questions to determine if the agent is the right one for your needs.
Here are some of the important ones to consider:
1. How many closings have you had in the last year?
You can phrase this question as it relates to your goals, whether buying or selling, but knowing how much recent experience a real estate agent has in your area will help you determine if he or she is the right one. Look for an agent who has had a significant number of successful sales in your area.
A real estate agent who is willing and able to provide a number of statistics about his or her success in the market is one that is confident in being able to help you. This is the agent you want on your side.
2. Are you working full-time?
You will do best with someone who is working full-time as a real estate agent. Many part-time agents do quite well, but they are not able to give you their full attention. Choose a full-time agent if you want to reach your real estate goals more quickly.
3. What aspects of my real estate transaction will you handle personally?
Many agents, particularly those who work in an agency or firm, will delegate some tasks to free their time for the more critical tasks. Real estate transactions can be maddeningly complex, and it’s not cost effective for them to handle every aspect themselves. However, you should know what parts are being delegated and what parts the agent is handling. Plus, the answer to this question will give you a clearer picture of the agent’s knowledge and expertise.
4. Do you think my goals are reasonable?
Before you talk to your agent, know what your specific real estate goals are. For example, if you are selling, know what you think you need to sell the house for. Then, ask the agent what he or she thinks you will be able to sell it for. This will give you a clear picture of your agent’s market knowledge, and it will also help you determine if your goals are reasonable.
If you are buying, tell the agent what your goals are. What type of house do you want, where do you want to live and what is your price range? Then, see if your agent thinks your goals are within reach.
An experienced real estate agent will be able to use current market data to help you consider your goals. They will know details that you can’t find on national home search sites. If they are bringing detailed market statistics to you to help you analyze your goals, then you’ve likely found a good agent.
5. May I see the comparative market analysis for homes for sale in my area?
If you are selling, the comparative market analysis will be an invaluable tool. This gives you details about the local market and what your home is likely worth. Not all homes have comparable properties that the realtor can share with you, but you should ask to see if they are available.
When the realtor presents the comps, use the opportunity to ask detailed questions. This will show you what the real estate agent knows about your local market conditions.
6. What is your plan for showing my home?
For sellers, the agent’s marketing plan is crucial. Know how the agent plans to show and market your home, and make sure that it includes the following:
- Online marketing
- Photos, photos and more photos, preferably taken professionally
- Open houses, at least for other agents
- The use of technology to help with the sale
- Home staging help
The more marketing techniques employed, the better your success will be, so spend some time on this question.
7. What is your availability?
If you are buying, find out when the agent is available to show you potential houses. Make sure that the availability is in line with your own. You don’t want to end up with an agent that can only show houses on days or times when you have to be working.
Whether you are buying or selling, you want the right agent at your side. Take the time to ask these detailed questions, and you can move forward with confidence that you have found the right one!