You are ready to list your home! What are the correct steps? Should I try “for sale by owner” or hire a realtor?
All great questions that need good answers. First there are many reasons using a realtor becomes important. A few are listed below:
1. Realtors have loads of expertise
Want to check the MLS for a 4B/2B with an EIK and a W/D? Real estate has its own language, full of acronyms and semi-arcane jargon, and your Realtor is trained to speak that language fluently.
Plus, buying or selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. Realtors have the expertise to help you prepare a killer deal—while avoiding delays or costly mistakes that can seriously mess you up.
2. Realtors have turbocharged searching power
The Internet is awesome. You can find almost anything—anything! And with online real estate listing sites such as Realtor.com, you can find up-to-date home listings on your own, any time you want. But guess what? Realtors have access to even more listings. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A Realtor can help you find those hidden gems.
Plus, a good local Realtor is going to know the search area way better than you ever could. Have your eye on a particular neighborhood, but it’s just out of your price range? Your Realtor is equipped to know the ins and outs of every neighborhood, so he/she can direct you toward a home in your price range that you may have overlooked.
3. Realtors have bullish negotiating chops
Any time you buy or sell a home, you’re going to encounter negotiations—and as today’s housing market heats up, those negotiations are more likely than ever to get a little heated.
You can expect lots of competition, cutthroat tactics, all-cash offers, and bidding wars. Don’t you want a savvy and professional negotiator on your side to seal the best deal for you?
And it’s not just about how much money you end up spending or netting. A Realtor will help draw up a purchase agreement that allows enough time for inspections, contingencies, and anything else that’s crucial to your particular needs.
4. Realtors connected to everyone
Realtors might not know everything, but they make it their mission to know just about everyone who can possibly help in the process of buying or selling a home. Mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, home stagers, interior designers—the list goes on—and they’re all in your Realtor’s network. Use them.
5. Realtors adhere to a strict code of ethics
Not every real estate agent is a Realtor, who is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of Realtors®, the largest trade group in the country.
What difference does it make? Realtors are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.
6. Realtors are your parent/data analyst/therapist—all rolled into one
The thing about Realtors: They wear a lot of different hats. Sure, they’re salespeople, but they actually do a whole heck of a lot to earn their commission. They’re constantly driving around, checking out listings for you. They spend their own money on marketing your home (if you’re selling). They’re researching comps to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
And, of course, they’re working for you at nearly all hours of the day and night—whether you need more info on a home or just someone to talk to in order to feel at ease with the offer you just put in. This is the biggest financial (and possibly emotional) decision of your life, and guiding you through it isn’t a responsibility Realtors take lightly.
Interview at least 3 different realtors. It’s not the company that defines how the realtor will perform, its the realtor itself. Feel comfortable with the person you hire. Know that they will represent you fully and always have your best interests in mind. Know that they will work well with other realtors, speak articulately and respectfully. Make certain the agent uses professional photographers to take photos of your home, it does cost the realtor more money but great pictures are extremely important tool when information is disseminated on the internet. If the realtor has a top notch camera, that would be acceptable but always review the photos before they are added to the internet.
The realtor you choose should give great tips regarding staging and how the showing process works. LISTEN to the staging tips, it is extremely important. Often times a seller will ask whether it is prudent they update their formica kitchen countertops to granite/quartz. This is where a seasoned agent comes. Recently I listed a higher priced home that had dated kitchen countertops and worn carpeting. To install the countertops and carpeting, the sellers would have spent approximately 10-15K extra. The bathrooms also had dated fixtures (shiny brass) and formica. I advised against updating the kitchen, here’s why…a buyer would note the change in kitchen countertops and carpeting but would state that the bathrooms now need updated. Often times it takes their mind off the kitchen but greater focus on the dated bathrooms. Additionally, if you install a low grade carpeting the buyers often state “I like the fact that it’s new carpeting but i don’t like the color and it’s cheap!”. Again, this is where a seasoned agent can give you great advise! BTW, the house did sell at a reasonable price!
Sign paperwork and off you go! Have faith in the realtor you choose. If you have done your due diligence and interviewed at least 3 realtors you should feel comfortable with he/she. Let them do their job! We work hard behind the scenes promoting your property and spreading the word. A great agent will make any real estate transaction smooth and enjoyable.
Selling your home is stressful. But with a great agent, it can be fun!
Katy Can, Katy Will, Katy Did…Call Katy!!