Buying or Selling a Home – Finding a Real Estate Agent

Buying or selling a home is probably one of the largest financial transactions you will ever have. It can be a complicated and time-consuming endeavor. Enlisting help from a real estate agent can ensure the process will be less stressful and more enjoyable. Following are the benefits of using a real estate agent and tips for finding a seasoned, knowledgeable real estate professional.

Following are the benefits of using a real estate agent:

  • Preparing your home for sale. A full-service real estate agent can assist you with getting your home ready for sale by providing invaluable suggestions as well as pricing information for comparable properties to establish your asking price.
  • Advertising your home. When the time comes to list your house, an agent can advertise, market and show your home to prospective buyers.
  • Negotiating the cost. Once you have an interested buyer, a real estate agent can help you negotiate with interested buyers as well as make arrangements for the closing.

Following are tips for finding a seasoned, knowledgeable real estate professional who understands local market conditions and has the specific experience to best meet your needs:

  • Interview several agents to determine which one best meets your needs. Don’t go with the first one you meet.
  • Beware of hiring a family member or friend as a real estate agent. Although it would be nice to pass the real estate commission on to a loved one, it is ultimately best to go with an agent with a proven track record in your marketplace.
  • Hire a full-time agent as opposed to someone who practices real estate in their spare time. Real estate transactions are complex endeavors requiring agents who are committed to your transaction and understand the ins and outs of the process.
  • Ask your selected real estate agent for a market analysis that compares your house to others on the market to ensure the agent you have chosen has done the proper homework and understands the nuances of your housing market.
  • Inquire about past houses the agent has sold, including the list price, the actual selling price, and the average length of time it took to sell the houses.
  • Get references from their last three clients. Be wary if the real estate agent hesitates to give you this information.
  • Ask your agent how they plan to drive traffic to your home in order to generate multiple offers.
  • Select a real estate agent you enjoy working with.

Top 10 FSBO Tips to Selling Your Home by Owner

By using some simple FSBO (For Sale by Owner) tips and techniques, the average homeowner can sell his or her own home without the assistance of a real estate agent. Just as many others have done in the past. You can sell your own home and save thousands, but it takes work and commitment.

Below you will read some simple strategies that can stack the odds in your favor, greatly increasing your chances for success when selling on your own.

FSBO Tip 1. Understanding the real estate market.

Getting an idea of your local market conditions makes good sense. Just like any other product getting a feel of what’s hot and what’s not can help you make decisions that affect the sale of your home. Consider your neighborhood and the features that distinguish it from others. If you’re comfortable, contact a real estate agent to discuss what the current market environment is like.

FSBO Tip 2. Timing is everything.

Timing the decision to sell and gauging the current market conditions could be two of the most critical decisions you make. If you need to sell your home quickly, the less flexibility, you’ll be able to have. Conversely, if you’re not in a big hurry you can sit back and wait for the perfect buyer. Just remember the real estate market is a cyclical environment. If it’s a slow period now and you’re in a position to wait it out then it might be a good idea to wait for the next upswing.

FSBO Tip 3. Assemble a team of professionals to help you.

While it’s nice to think that you can handle things on your own, selling a home takes specialized knowledge. It’s more than just writing up a sales agreement. Depending on what part of the country you’re in you’ll either need to find a real estate attorney or a title / escrow company to help with the legal details. As a rule of thumb, if you’re east of the Mississippi it’s usually a real estate attorney. If you’re west of the Mississippi, it’s a title company. Either way they’ll be an indispensable part of your home selling process. Another important partner to consider is a reputable mortgage banker/lender. They can assist in helping you prequalify buyer prospects. We’ll talk more about qualifying prospects as you read on.

FSBO Tip 4.How to determine the fair market price of your home.

This always seems to be a real tricky one. For many home sellers this typically reveals itself as a major point of contention. When trying to decide on a price guessing or basing your asking price on hearsay or nontraditional methods immediately reduces your negotiating advantage. Basing your price on what the house down the street sold for or what media outlets perceives as increased market value is not the way to get a legitimate price either. There are only two legitimate and well-recognized ways of determining a fair market value. One way is to contact a real estate agent or broker to provide you with a CMA otherwise known as a comparative market analysis. The best and most accurate way of determining price comes from a full-blown appraisal done by a professional real estate appraiser.

FSBO Tip 5. You’re selling a house not a home.

While it’s important to become emotionally detached, you don’t have to become a robot. After all this is your home, be objective but don’t be cold. Keep in mind that people are going to perceive your home differently than you do. Either way remain positive and ultimately the right person will walk through the door and buy your home.

FSBO Tip 6. Preparing your home for sale.

Today’s real estate market rewards those homeowners that place a high-value on neatnessas well as cleanliness. It not only adds value but alsogenerally promotes a quicker and more profitable sale. Once again the depersonalizing of your home helps your prospect with such an emotional decision. Decluttering the inside of a home is also key to your preparation. If necessary, rent out a small storage space and store some household items there. Just as a side note, having a garage sale is also a great way of getting rid of items that clutter up the house. Not only do you get rid of the items but also you make a little money in the process.

FSBO Tip 7. Start spreading the news.

It should be understood if you’re going to sell your home and you’re going to do it yourself, the easiest way to get the word out is to put a sign in your yard. This will immediately get the attention of anybody that happens to ride by. Naturally, this is the essence of selling on your own. Coming up with a highlight sheet to outline the key features of your home is a must. With the readily available use of word processing programs putting together a simple highlight sheet is easy.

FSBO Tip 8. Knowing a few, negotiating skills will get you a long way.

It’s not necessary to become the next great diplomat. You will want to keep in mind that it’s necessary to keep your emotions and personal feelings regarding the negotiating price of your property in check. When discussing the selling price it’s important that your calculations and numbers are correct. This allows you to have greater flexibility and leverage and you can negotiate from a position of strength.

FSBO Tip 9. Qualifying buyers and stopping the lookie loos.

So what’s a lookie loo? A lookie loo is a person that comes to your house and looks in everything. They,look in cabinets,closets and drawers check everything out but never make you a serious offer. You need qualified buyers looking at your home or it’s going to get very discouraging. One of the best ways of getting qualified prospects is to have them referred by your mortgage broker/lender. You can also take the direct approach. If you’re arranging a showing over the phone, go ahead and ask them if they are pre-qualified. Don’t be too shy when it comes to your prospects. If you’re holding an open house and someone expresses interest in your home go-ahead and ask. Most of the time if they’re pre- qualified they love to tell you. So don’t worry about asking, it’s the right thing to do.

FSBO Tip 10. If all else fails go to where the realtors hang out.

If after a while, you’re not getting the results that you were hoping for you can always go to the MLS option. This doesn’t mean that you have to list with a real estate agent or broker. As a private party, you can list your home with your local multiple listing service. Usually this cost a fee but by doing this you automatically expose your house to thousands of potential prospects all over the country. The upside is that you should be able to sell your home in short order. The obvious downside will be that you will have to pay co-op to an agent. Only in unique situations would the cost of co-opting be virtually impossible, due to low equity or some other extenuating circumstance.

These FSBO tips should give you a solid foundation to successfully selling your own home. There’s many specific ideas and recommendations that are beyond the scope of this article when it comes to pricing, preparing and staging your home, and all of the items previously outlined. You should definitely research and prepare yourself for the selling of your own home process. In the long run,it will make things easier and could either save you or even make you thousands of dollars.

Everything A Real Estate Agent Doesn’t Want A Home Seller To Know! Part-1

Are you thinking about selling your home this spring? If you are it may pay dividends to stop and think about some of the issues confronting you as a home seller. Do you plan to sell for sale by owner or list your home with a real estate company? Did you know you could do both at the same time? Not many people know that…

If you are planning on retaining the services of a real estate agent then caution is the key word. Keep in mind that selling your home is a BIG business deal and you want the best real estate agent you can find representing your project. Finding a professional real estate agent can be a difficult task if you don’t know the basics questions to ask. Many agents are part-timers with one toe in the tub and they just can’t represent a homeowner as well as a full-time agent. Beyond this, you have to ask yourself (and the agent) how much business experience do they have? Do they have a business degree? What is their background in marketing and sales? Are they full time or part time? How many homes have they personally sold? When you retain the services of a real estate agent to sell your home you are the employer and you have the right to ask these types of question. You will be paying a real estate agent a HEFTY commission for selling your home IF it sells. Your job is to ask the right questions to select an agent that will get the job done in a professional manner.

One of the main things you want to avoid as a home seller is entering into long-term listing contracts with any real estate agent or company. Keep the listing contracts limited to 90 days at a time so that you can review the performance of the agent and their company. Among the things you want to negotiate when you are listing your home and have it show on the listing contract as a legal (addendum or attachment) is an itemized marketing plan indicating the exact marketing activities that will be used to sell your home. You want to see a marketing plan that itemizes where and when your home will be advertised, how many open houses will occur, when those open houses will take place and how they will be conducted. You want specifics about the advertising campaign around the selling of your home. Many agents will list a home and basically home a new agent spins their wheels to sell for them. The old saying among real estate agents is “if you don’t list, you don’t last”. What this means basically is an agent will do and say almost anything to get a listing agreement from a seller. Then, they throw the house into the MLS (multiple listing service), cross their fingers and hope another agent finds a buyer for your property. Most sellers don’t know the listing agent and their company will get the bulk of the commission whether they actually sell the home or not. Seasoned agents often list and let the new agents drive the tires off their car showing property-the key to success for real estate agents really lies in getting listing contracts, not necessarily selling those listing. Want some advice? Stay tuned to these articles because there is more to come and get your copy of the report offered below before you run off and sign that legally binding listing contract–it will help you cover your basic legal and financial interests.

Our E-Report: 101 Tips For Homebuyers, Sellers And Money Borrowers will help you with more information regarding this article-Just click the link below and request your copy and we’ll send it to your email address within 24 hours-absolutely free. Another Ezine Articles Exclusive! Until next time…

Copyright © 2006

James W. Hart, IV

All Rights reserved

Sell Your Own Home Tips

Home values these past sixty years has steadily risen. Everyone (even those who should have known better) believed that the rise would continue forever and the entire realty industry was established upon that concept. So, the worst takes place after hyper-inflation of house values starts to tank. That bursting of the real estate bubble has caused a re-evaluation how one is to interact or should work with the real estate industry.

Sell Your Own Home Without Agents
Realtors make a lot of sense when home values are steadily increasing. Surrendering six percent commission to real estate agents was not an issue when someone was likely to make a significant profit on their property sale. However, we live in sadder, poorer time, a real estate agent becomes an issue as many people may actually be selling their home at a lost.

Sell Your Own Home Legal Assistance
Realize that title companies and escrow companies will be providing a massive amount of assistance in selling your own home. Even so, for legal paperwork inquire at a form and contract provider like We The People for a retailer or LegalZoom for someone online. A free source of information to answer basic questions if used sparingly and politely is a title company. Should more unique issues arise, seek legal help from real estate attorneys. Many will have flat rates for those doing a FSBO (For Sale By Owner).

Sell Your Own Home Marketing
Put the advertisements of the house on every free Internet classified service you are able to discover. Web sites such as Craigslist, USFreeads, and Backpage, do not overlook national services as they may provide you with an investor looking at your area. Position signage about the property, thus notifying every passerby that the home is purchasable. Advertise in newspaper publishers like the Penny Saver or Thrifty Nickel, they will be more inexpensive than the general, local papers. Lastly, construct a list of a hundred people you are able to contact who may come across other people who are looking to buy a home. Your hairdresser, insurance broker, instructors, pastors, everybody who is continually in contact with or in front of people, make sure they know you’re selling a home.

Choosing a Realtor – Tips to Help You Choose a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Having a Hard Time Choosing a Realtor?

Choosing a Realtor when selling a house can get confusing and difficult especially taking into account the fact that there seems to be as many real estate agents trying to get your business as there are houses. Okay that may not be at all true but you get the picture.

There will be so many real estate agents promising you the stars whilst charging fees that vary wildly. One has to learn to pick the best one that not only will find you the buyer who is willing to purchase your house at the best price but also the one whom you can trust and work well with.

Follow These Tips to Choose a Realtor That Is Right For You

Always Ask For References – Don’t be so confident about your ability to judge a person’s character. If the agent is really good then ask him or her for references on recent sales. Contact those references and let them narrate to you their experience with the agent. Chances are if there are negative reviews, comments, or complaints about the Realtor then you would know about it soon enough. 

Cheaper Is Not Always Better – Do not always go for the real estate agent who charges the lowest commission. Realtors and real estate companies often shoulder the cost of listing and marketing your house to potential buyers. A huge pay-cut in commission may mean at the very least a listing in the open market but very little assistance and effort from the agent beyond that. Also, a relatively higher incentive will motivate your agent to drop everything and hurdle any challenges that may come his or her way. Simply put, you will get what you pay for.

Benefits Of Choosing Wisely – Another thing to consider is that in a selling transaction two real estate agents are often involved in every sale. Often times, it is a practice by the real estate agents to cede fees to the buyer’s agent. If commissions for your agent is tight then he or she might not be willing to cede fees to buyers’ agent thereby decreasing the chances of a completed sale.