Do Your Homework
Congratulations you've done it, the big decision to put your house on the market is made. The choice to move probably wasn't easy and warrants some homework. Before going forward with getting the house ready, some other decisions are to be made. So let's talk about some of those important factors to consider.
First, deciding on who is going to represent you for the sale. I believe a real estate agent, Realtor, is the best way to go. There's so much they can offer before, during and after the sale.
My top 10 reasons to hire a Realtor
- After pulling 3 comparable home sales within your area and analyzing the similarities of your home to those, they'll work with you to come up with the best price to market your home.
- The access a real estate agent has to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) can help market your home. This will allow your home to be instantly available to other agents with buyers who might be interested.
- An experienced real estate agent provides you with some suggestions to get your home sale-ready. They also could point out some zoning and housing code violations before it hits the market.
- They're connected to everyone. Word of mouth to other real estate agents is so powerful. This can lead to a sale before the house even hits the market.
- Agents have a super bag of tricks. They can pull out numerous referrals of qualified contractors, home inspectors, home stagers, photographers, you need it, they have it. The Mary Poppins of the industry.
- Once the house is listed the agent will hold open houses to draw in new potential buyers. They'll also hold a pre-showing for other agents. This is a wonderful addition because if they like the home they'll be talking about it to their clients.
- Paperwork is their specialty. They always know what ducks need to be in the row. Starting from the beginning to the end, a real estate agent can help you fill out the paperwork you'll need to sell your home.
- The agent also negotiates on your behalf with your best interest in mind. Sometimes it might require for them to be savvy and competitive but always in a professional manner.
- After the sale is complete, they'll orchestrate the closing for you and get you ready to hand off the keys.
- Overall, when you hire an agent to come alongside you, they become a friend, therapist, and co-worker. The hats agents wear are many. The job sometimes requires hours of driving around, working on the computer and phone during times that they should be with their families. While they go the extra mile for you, keeping you in the loop and comforting you is a primary goal.
When you go looking for an agent, friends of friends can be your best place to start. However this might not always be an option for you. I recommend when you contact Realtor's who you haven't had a rapport with, that you take some questions to interview them.
Questions to ask a potential Realtor
- How many homes have you sold last year? How many this year?
- How long have you been a Realtor? Are you a member of the National Association of Realtors?
- Are you a full time Realtor?
- If I list my home with you, will you be the one I work with? Sometimes if its a top agent they might have an assistant.
- How will you market my property?
- Will you hire a photographer or home stager?
- How will we communicate?
- How much do you think my house is worth?
- Do you have any advice for me to get my house ready to sell?
- What would your past clients say is the best thing about working with you?
While it's tempting before hiring a Realtor to add value through improvements, it's better to hold off. They know what's trending in your neighborhood and what improvements will add value on the return. However, it's helpful to provide a list of upgrades or improvements that your home has gone through during the course of ownership. Any information made available for your Realtor, will give them a better overall picture of your home, which in return a more accurate number to list your home. This is the goal right, to receive more return on your house. Doing your homework is key to a good experience. Trust your instincts also your Realtor and everything will work out.
Hope this information has been helpful. There's so much to think about when your getting started in the process. That's why we'll be going over the 3 D's- Disassociate, Depersonalize, Declutter in the next step of the series. Get you some coffee to energize, get ready to roll up those sleeves, because this part of the series will bring your buyers in to fall in love with your home.