So you’ve decided to sell your home. Congratulations! It’s a big step, and definitely a life-changing event not to be taken lightly.
An obvious question you might be asking yourself is: How do I put this all into motion and formulate a plan that will work best for my family?
Truthfully, once you’ve decided that selling your home is the next thing on your to-do list, call a professional, local Realtor. In fact, call two or three of them.
Selling your home without representation could place any family in a compromised position with complex, and expensive consequences in the event something goes terribly wrong. If you don’t understand your State’s real estate laws and practices about disclosure, fair housing, and contract negotiation (just to list a few examples) could find yourself sweating in a court room, when you should be relaxing in your new living room. Professional and competent real estate agents absolutely bring uncompromised value to every transaction. Keeping family’s on target and staying clear of trouble is imperative.
Realtors in the United States are required by law to stay informed and take continuing education every two years. Otherwise, they can’t renew their license or practice real estate at all. Realtors spend a lot of time and money receiving education and being involved in the day-to-day challenges/events that not only protect the public, but serve their clients individual needs. The competent agents must have a deep understanding of how the business works. You on the other hand, are not required. Often times, this is where trouble starts.
Many agents that work in a full-time capacity spend a lot of time dealing and negotiating with other colleagues “in the biz” and often form strong alliances. Friendships and networking can work to your advantage and bear fruit when buyers are out looking for that “perfect” home that isn’t on the market yet. Sometimes, word of mouth between agents about an up and coming listing gets a deal negotiated and closed without it ever hitting the MLS, or if it does go public, a well-informed agent can help you get a jump start to the front of the line without missing an opportunity.
Generally speaking, a local, professional real estate agent will be able to explain the process of getting your home ready for sale. This can include a multitude of things including pricing the home, estimate the time it may take to sell in the given market, and a little thing called “staging” which turns out to be a big thing after all!
When the agent arrives, walk him or her though your home explaining what you love about it or how it’s helped accommodate your family. Talk about charming features, square footage, neighborhood amenities or proximity to shopping, schools, events you enjoy, and any other practical or functional facts. In addition, it’s a good idea to call your bank and ensure all the paperwork on your home is current and all lines of credit you might have taken out are satisfied, or at least have current pay-off amounts associated with them.
The agent should present the facts about your home and tell the truth about how your home currently stands among the competition that’s out there. It’s important to note that while many websites out there claim to know the value of your home simply by plugging in a few numbers, or submitting your address, are to be taken with a grain of salt. Those sites can be fun to explore but trusting the guidance of a local agent that can back up his or her facts with the latest MLS data is far more accurate and an absolute trust worthy source.
These days, it’s not just a “clean” home that attracts modern buyers. Today’s home shoppers are more educated and expect more than ever before. With so many Reality TV shows promoting fix and flip or home restoration style programming, along with having access to everything at their fingertips at all times via the Internet, the modern buyer is at a better advantage then yesterday’s buyer. They expect their home buying options to include more functional, clean spaces, trendy color pallets, powerful appearances, tasteful upgrades, and a smart use of storage.
Discussing a marketing strategy will come next. After placing your home into the local MLS, most agents make certain your home has a strong online presence. This ideally includes professional photos, a video tour, and maybe even mini YouTube presentations that can be shared via Social Media channels. A few open houses may help here and there but in 2015, we have virtual tours and video so, your home is open for viewing 24/7. If it’s priced right, in good condition, staged well, in a desirable location, and we’re in a decent market with low interest rates, showings should come strong and steady, and a few offers should quickly follow.
Before you sign the listing contract, it’s important that you believe in your agent. You truly believe he or she is going to get the job done. You trust in your heart that you see things eye-to-eye regarding the pricing, the marketing, the possible options for staging, and everything else that will ultimately lead up to the grand finale – a successful closing.
You might have noticed that some Realtors have designations behind their names. GRI is one example and ABR is another. There are a few more and they all stem from receiving higher education from the National Association of Realtors. This does not mean that an individual must ascertain all of these levels to handle selling your home or help you find a new one. Everyone out there that holds an active real estate license must follow the National Code of Ethics. They are standards of practice that MUST remain in place to protect the public’s interest first before their own addenda in any and all circumstances. If there is a complaint filed against an agent and it’s found through a court of law that they did not adhere to the code, they face severe penalties including fines, license revoking or suspension, and possible prison. Being a licensed Realtor is very serious and nothing to play around with.
My job is helping my clients through what may be the largest and most important investment of their lives. My knowledge and technical expertise of the market and community makes me a powerful resource, so clients can make educated and confident decisions.