Why You Should Work With a Realtor
Not all real estate practitioners are Realtors. The term Realtor is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Here is why it pays to work with a Realtor.
Navigate a complicated process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal for you, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.
Knowledge of the current market. Realtors work in the real estate market on a daily basis. They know how long homes are on the market and what price a market will bear for a certain home. They also know how to help your home look its best so it can sell quickly and for the most money.
Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through colleagues in their office, previous clients, referrals, friends, and family.
Someone who speaks the language. If you don’t know a CMA from a HUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.
Experience. Most people sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each one. Even if you have done it before, laws and regulations change. Realtors, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.
Simple Tips for Better Home Showings
Remove clutter and clear off counters. Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small decorative items. Put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too.
Wash your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the interior of the home.
Keep everything extra clean. A clean house will make a strong first impression and send a message to buyers that the home has been well cared for. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, mop and wax floors, and clean the stove and refrigerator. Polish your doorknobs and address numbers. It’s worth hiring a cleaning service if you can afford it.
Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows to air out the house.
Brighten your rooms. Put higher wattage bulbs in light fixtures to brighten up rooms and basements. Replace any burned-out bulbs in closets. Clean the walls, or better yet, brush on a fresh coat of neutral color paint.
Don’t disregard minor repairs. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.
Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. For added curb appeal, place a pot of bright flowers near the entryway.
Patch holes. Repair any holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.
Add a touch of color in the living room. A colored afghan or throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room. Buy new accent pillows for the sofa.
Buy a flowering plant and put it near a window you pass by frequently.
Make centerpieces for your tables. Use brightly colored fruit or flowers.
Set the scene. Set the table with fancy dishes and candles, and create other vignettes throughout the home to help buyers picture living there. For example, in the basement you might display a chess game in progress.
Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light. Show off the view if you have one.
Accentuate the fireplace. Lay fresh logs in the fireplace or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use.
Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. Put away those old towels and toothbrushes. When buyers enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, new towels, and fancy guest soaps. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight.
Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (ideally in the basement), and let the real estate practitioner know where they’ll be to eliminate surprises.
Lock up valuables, jewelry, and money. While a real estate salesperson will be on site during the showing or open house, it’s impossible to watch everyone all the time.
Leave the home. It’s usually best if the sellers are not at home. It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there.
How to Get an Offer on Your Home
Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.
Prepare for visitors. Get your house market-ready at least two weeks before you begin showing it.
Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show at the spur of the moment. But the more amenable you can be about letting people see your home, the sooner you’ll find a buyer.
Anticipate the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable.
Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, you should be prepared to at least consider lowering your asking price.
A Final Note
Selling your home is a big job that requires the work and cooperation of both the sellers and the realtor. You want the best price and the most favorable terms. There are many options, legalities and details that go into a transaction, from the time you set the price to the final closing. I have the knowledge and experience to help you get your home sold.
The various steps of selling a home should be clearly understood, for each involves you in certain obligations as well as commits others to meet obligations to you. Please don’t be hesitant to ask any questions, no matter how big or small. I look forward to working with you and helping you realize your home-selling goals!
Some information provided by National Association of Realtors and RealtorMag.