- Hire a good REALTOR® .A professional who knows your neighborhood and has a good track record in your community will go a long way in helping to find a buyer.
- Clean out the clutter. Open spaces look best. Clean, and clean some more to make a good first impression.
- Spiff up the property. Make any improvements that will improve the show of your home. When possible, stick with the simpler (and less expensive) options to be sure the buying price covers your investment.
- Determine the worth. Know the fair market value of your home. Your REALTOR® can help assess the cost. You may also want to have the home appraised.
- Price it right. A REALTOR® can help you objectively set the price so that it reflects the value of your home and the trends of the surrounding community.
- Come up with a plan. Are you set on your price, or eager to move? How low are you willing to go to settle?
- Get pre-approved for your next move. If you’re looking to buy another house, make sure you know your financial situation.
- Figure out your selling costs. Commission, ad costs, attorney fees, taxes and prorated costs may all come into play. REALTORS® deal with transactions every day and can give you a very close estimate of seller closing costs.
- Set the stage. Clean the windows, open the curtains, turn on the lights, display fresh flowers. A bright house is a welcoming house.
- It’s show time. Be ready and willing to have your home shown any day, even with short notice. Making it difficult to see will also make it difficult to sell.
Can a Realtor Help Me in Selling Real Estate? YES!
This process generally begins with a determination of a reasonable asking price. Your real estate agent can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms, and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
The next step is a marketing plan. Often, your agent can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of the property. Marketing includes the exposure of your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your agent acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients. Advertising is part of marketing. The choice of media and frequency of advertising depends a lot on the property and specific market. For example, in some areas, newspaper advertising generates phone calls to the real estate office but statistically has minimum effectiveness in selling a specific property. Over exposure of a property in any media may give a buyer the impression the property is distressed or the seller is desperate. Your real estate agent will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends and family, and personal contacts.
When the property is marketed with the agent help, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Agents will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
The negotiation process deals with much the same issues for both buyers and sellers, as noted above under the buying process. Your agent can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections, and financing — a lot of possible pitfalls. Your agent can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your agent is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).
Real estate agents or brokers are generally paid through the sales commission paid by the seller when a transaction closes. Agents have expenses and financial obligations just like you, so it will be to your mutual benefit if you choose a real estate agent and stick with that person. The agent will respect your loyalty and respond with a sincere commitment to you.
Why a Realtor
All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR® logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.
Using a Realtor®
You Be the Judge
Real Estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®!