Selling your home in Spring? Find and hire your agent over the holidays!

Hire your agent over the holidays and hit the ground running in January - business man in front of fireplace fireIt’s mid-November, and it may not be intuitive, but if you want to sell your home next Spring, I’d encourage you to find and hire your agent over the holidays.

Why hire your agent over the holidays?

Thanksgiving is late next week, and you may want to shelve the whole idea of anything related to home selling until sometime after January first, or maybe after Super Bowl. Many home owners determine that in the new year they’ll start decluttering, fixing up the home and yard, and stat thinking about contacting a real estate agent or two (or three).

But that’s backwards from the ideal!

If you can take a few hours now to select and hire (yes, sign the listing contract) your real estate professional, that person can help you make key decisions that will impact your return on investment.

It does not cost more to bring her or him into the process early, and it may save you some money and keep you from making improvements that are counter productive to your goals.

Not only that, but Realtors often have trusted vendors for yardwork, painting, hauling, and even for help with sorting out what stays, what goes, and what gets donated or tossed.  Hire your agent over the holidays, get in touch with those vendors in December, and schedule the help you need for that first week in January and get the job done right the first time.



Hiring an Agent to Help You Sell or Buy a Home in Silicon Valley

I’m a Realtor in Silicon Valley with many years’ experience under my belt. On top of that, I grew up with a Realtor mom and recall “the stories” from way back when. What stories?

I’m talking about the Bad Agent Stories.

As Realtors, part of our Code of Ethics (which is totally sacrosant) is to not “disparage the competition”. So I’m not going to name names.

But I have to warn you: please, please be careful when you hire, or you may get one of the Realtor lemons.  Unfortunately, at times I’ve run into a few agents who’ve worked deceptively. So my response is to warn you so at least my readers aren’t duped.

How do you choose a real estate agent whom you trust?

How to choose a real estate agentRecently I chatted with a lovely woman who is looking to sell her home outside of Silicon Valley and purchase a replacement one here in the San Jose area.  She has met a lot of real estate agents whom she likes.  They all appear competent, experienced, and trustworthy.  Since she is comfortable with all of them, how is she going to be able to pick just one to list her home and one to buy the new one here?

This does happen sometimes!

I have a few suggestions.

One Thing to Watch For When Interviewing An Agent

tips-for-hiring-an-agentI attend a lot of real estate conferences, seminars, and trainings. And sometimes what I hear makes me shudder.

Some of it aimed at deceiving you.

Let me give you an example. A new agent dreads the question “How long have you been in real estate?”  Trainers tell them to respond, “seems like forever!” and then tell the new licensee to change the subject.

But how do you KNOW? One way is to do a licensee lookup. Every state in the US has a state run website that includes every type of licensee, whether to sell insurance, practice law, practice medicine, sell real estate, etc.

The hard part is just locating that website lookup.

Let me help you out. For real estate, you can see how long someone has been licensed to sell by going to the California Department of Real Estate’s site and looking up folks here: