So, You're Selling Your Home?Feb 1, 2001 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line Find an agent that you feel comfortable with and that is going to work FOR you, not AGAINST you!
Deciding to sell your home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Picking the right Real Estate Agent, therefore, is something that should not be taken lightly.
I have lived in my present home for just about 6 years. I absolutely love my home but our family is definitely outgrowing it. We explored our options of staying here and living with our cramped space, we looked into modifying our home to turn the den into a bedroom, we even considered adding on to our home. However, after much discussion these seemed to be just temporary fixes.
Then we found our answer...a new community being built very near where we live now! We wanted to stay in the same area for many reasons and we were adamant about staying in the same school district. That really limited our options in terms of finding a good resale home. This new community was the answer. We decided it was time to begin the process of finding a Real Estate Agent.
Interview The Agent:
Most Real Estate agents offer a Comparitive Market Analysis or a Fair Market Evaluation free of charge. Call agents who specialize in your neighborhood and ask them if they can come out and do this CMA or FME for you. This will be a time when you can show the realtor your home and talk about any additional features that your home has. The Realtor will then tell you what the Fair Market value of your home is and this will give you an idea of what to list your home out.
Ask your questions now. This is a great time to get to know the agent. Find out how often they work, what they plan to do to sell your home, and what their advice is. Of course you also want to find out what the costs of selling your home are going to be and what the realtors commission will be.
I have always been amazed at some of my neighbors who have always just hired the first agent to come out. I recommend interviewing a few agents. The reasons are that you can be sure that you are getting top dollar for your home by comparing what they have determined what your asking price is. You also will have a good feel for how well you like this agent. You will be spending a lot of time with this person and you want to be sure you feel comfortable with them.
We chose our agent after interviewing a few other agents. I would like to tell you why.
•I liked him! This was the key. I knew after the first time that I talked to him that I liked him. The reason that I had called him was that he had listed another home in our area for a fairly large sum. I asked him point blank if he thought he really could get that much for the home, and he answered NO. He then told me that the people were in no hurry to sell and so they figured they would price it a little high and just see what happens.
He was always up front with me and I just had a feeling he wasn't going to BS me.
•He wasn't pushy! We had made it abundantly clear from the get go that we were not interested in listing our home at that time. We needed to find out what the homes and prices were going to be in the new community. The agent I selected was fine with that and in fact advised that we wait until we found out what those prices were going to be. He offered to help us every step of the way and had himself worked selling new homes before so he kind of knew the ins and outs of it.
Other agents that we interviewed pressured us and called regularly to advise us to get our home on the market immediately even though we were not prepared for this.
•He answered our questions! My husband had a lot of questions and this agent answered all of them in a straight forward manner. He told us that we should list our home about $10,000 higher than the other agents had suggested. We thought he was crazy and we told him we felt more comfortable pricing it somewhere in the middle. He was fine with that.
There were other agents that we interviewed that were more interested in bragging about what club they were in and danced around all our questions. In fact after one agent left my husband asked me if she had ever answered his question. She had not, she had danced around it and got us on some other topic. She was a definite no go.
•He kept in touch. Every step of the way he kept in touch with us. He would call us and let us know what was going on.
Negotiating a deal:
We happen to be in a sellers market right now so we were able to negotiate a fairly good deal with our agent. There are different ways that their commission works and you need to be aware of that.
The agent we chose gave us breaks on the commission if we found our own buyer (through doing our own open houses), if he sold the home (or someone in his family), or if another agent in his office sold the home. We only had to pay the full commission rate if an agent from another company sold the house, which is in fact what happened.
We also had a unique situation. There were 3 other families in our neighborhood that were also planning to move to the new homes. That meant that all of us would have our homes on the market at once and this was a huge concern to us. He suggested that we all list in the same range as to show consistency between the home prices since we all lived in different models. He also noted in the Multiple Listing Service that we were all moving together so as not to scare potential buyers off.
We couldn't be happier with the agent we chose. We always felt extremely comfortable with him, like he was an old friend. He had plans to do open houses with the other houses that were for sale in the neighborhood, kind of like a "grand opening" tour of homes.
Get some marketing strategies:
There are several things you can do to market your home.
•Pictures: Our real estate agent had his wife come out and take 5-6 digital pictures of our home for their internet page.
•Flyers: A lot of agencies have holders on their signs for flyers. These flyers can be in black and white or in color and can show pictures of the interior of the house. It will also list the features of the home and the price. These come in handy because only interested buyers will call.
•Open Houses: You can have an open house that is hosted either by your agent or your self. This is a great way to get a lot of people to come look at your home.
•Newspaper Ads: Our agent ran an ad every week and also on the weekend when he planned to do an open house.
How did it turn out?
It turned out very well. We ended up selling our home in less than 1 week. We sold it for over asking price, which ended up being the price that the agent had originally told us to list at.
Our agent was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and accomodating. The other agents in the office were just as great and this is important since you may be communicating with them frequently. It is very important that you feel comfortable with this person and feel that you can trust them.
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