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.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.
- Here’s a great place to begin the process:
Ask a few friends or family members that have recently bought (or sold a home) about their experiences. Be sure to ask specifically about their real estate agent. Did their Realtor go above and beyond to ensure all the details were handled correctly and in a time efficient manner? Could they make a solid recommendation? If so, call or email the agent and invite them to meet you in person so you can chat about your new adventure and what they can bring to the party.
- But why hire a Realtor? Why not just handle it yourself?
Selling your home without representation could place anyone 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 value to every transaction.
- Yes, Realtors must follow the National Code of Ethics.
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.
- What should I expect from my Realtor anyhow?
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!
- What to do when the agent arrives:
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.
It’s important to make sure you disclose any upgrades or repairs you might have done and when. Also let the agent know if they were completed professionally. We highly recommend a pre-inspection to make sure your home shows its best.
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 realities of selling. Fact and fiction revealed:
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.
- Talk about marketing strategy:
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. Online photos are your first real open house.
As a part of the marketing, it’s also important to have creative, well-written descriptions and narratives that not only share important facts about your home, but express to the prospective buyer what your house has to offer by speaking to the emotional attachments a buyer should feel for a home as they envision bring their family into it for living, growing, celebrations, and of course as a place to feel safe and always cherish.
- The bottom line on selecting your agent:
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.