The Three Most Important Habits For New Real Estate Agents

When you are just starting out in your career as a real estate agent it is important to develop habits that will allow you to survive those first lean years and build up a practice that will sustain you for many years to come. This article will discuss three of the most important habits to have to make your career take off and keep on going.

The first important habit you will want is to have self-discipline. In business, it is from this habit that all other things come. If you do not have self-discipline, you will likely not get past your first six months. If ever there was a profession where a person could set their own schedule and choose exactly how much work they will do, then real estate is it. And, if you do not have the discipline to use your time in the best way possible, you will soon be doing something else for a living.

The second important habit for you, as a new agent, is the ability to learn from others. You will have gone through training to prepare for and pass the test for your license, but nothing you learned really tells you how to make money. These skills only come from what you learn at your office and from other agents. Pay attention and absorb everything you can from everyone you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you never know what you will learn.

The third important habit for you to learn is to consider everything you do as a business decision because that is exactly what it is. It is too easy to spend half your day surfing the web or chatting with your fellow agents over coffee when you could be introducing yourself to residents in your local market or preparing a mailing to your contact list. The former is not going to make you any money but the latter probably will. Both, however, are business decisions that will play a role in your ultimate success or failure.

Real Estate Brokers – Divide and Conquer Your Commercial Real Estate Market

When it comes to winning market share as a commercial real estate broker or agent, it pays if you can divide up your market or listing territory into segments. In this way you can then focus your marketing efforts and activities.

Results in commercial real estate come from systemised focus and you have limited time available each day for prospecting and marketing.

It is a fact that you cannot be everywhere at once when it comes to prospecting and networking. As an individual broker or agent look at your market and consider the following facts:

  • What is your specialised property type?
  • Where is your market?
  • Why should people do business with you?
  • How can you cover the sales and listing territory?
  • What is your competition doing now with marketing?
  • What is your market share and how did you get that?

When you answer these questions quite clearly you can soon see the strategies required to move ahead as a top agent or broker in your local area.

So let’s look at some rules that can help you divide and conquer your local area for increased commercial real estate activity and opportunity.

  1. Determine a key service that you will be focusing on. That could be leasing, sales or property management. You can also have combinations of sales and leasing, or leasing and property management.
  2. Build a marketing package for your ‘key services’. Carry that package of information with you so you can connect with new people at any opportunity. Practice your scripts and dialogues for your ‘key services’.
  3. Identify and set up your main primary territory for new business based on local area growth and opportunity. The primary area of focus should give you 80% of your business. Assumptions should be made on the local area and how it is changing.
  4. Determine geographical or road boundaries that contain your primary area of focus. From that you can determine the desirable and active zones for sales and leasing activity. You can also determine the better streets and properties to connect with.
  5. Your territory is likely to contain many properties and businesses. On that basis split up the zone into segments of 100 properties. Segment by segment (each of 100 properties) you work through the local area to identify owners and businesses. Talk to more new people every day in those zones to identify property change and opportunity.
  6. In addition to the above strategies, connect with property developers and franchise groups separately. You never know when they may require a new location or parcel of land to build on.

New agents and brokers in the industry need a system to proceed and attract clients and property listings. This process will be a very good start in doing that. You can modify it to suit your market circumstances.

Top Ten Tips when Buying Real Estate!

In today’s financial climate, real estate continues to be a strong investment in many areas. Educated buyers will always make the most out of the real estate market. These top ten tips to buying real estate will help you enter into your next real estate transaction with confidence.

TIP #1: Hire the right Agent!

Hiring the right Real Estate Agent is invaluable. If you are unfamiliar with the area, the realtor you choose is your link to important information regarding schools, zoning, city and county regulations, neighborhood trends, building and remodeling and rental restrictions, and property values. Every city has different laws governing what can and can’t be done with a property. Sanibel is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States due in part to its strict building codes and city planning. Having experienced many aspects of real estate transactions on a personal level, I understand situations and concerns of my buyers and sellers. I have been an island property owner for many years and have walked through several local real estate transactions myself. From buying and selling lots to building new homes with local builders, to investing in rental income producing properties and utilizing 1031 Tax free exchanges, I don’t just sell island real estate; I invest in it because I believe there is no place in the world like Sanibel and Captiva. Whether you work with me or someone else, finding the right realtor is invaluable.

TIP #2: Utilize 1031 Tax Exchanges and Save Money!

1031 Tax Exchanges are tax free exchanges of investment property. Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code is one of the last great tax shelters. If you purchase an investment property of “like kind” within 180 days of the sale of a similar type property, and you are willing to increase the amount of debt or value of the property, your capital gains taxes can be completely deferred. Having just completed a Reverse 1031 tax exchange myself, I believe in using this powerful tax shelter. Feel free to contact me if you are considering using a current Sanibel, Captiva, or Ft. Myers property in a 1031 Tax Exchange, or want to purchase an investment property that might qualify in the future for a 1031 Tax Exchange. A Reverse 1031 Tax Exchange is the same exchange concept as a 1031 Tax Exchange except you have purchased your replacement “like kind” investment property first, before selling the property to be exchanged. Learn more about 1031 Tax Exchanges, and how to use them to your financial advantage. Keep in mind that a neutral party must have act a Qualified Intermediary. Real Estate may also be bought and sold through your self directed retirement account. Whether you utilize a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP, or company plans such as 401 (k) plans, Keogh, or profit sharing plans, investigate your options.

TIP #3: Pre-qualify for Financing!

Pre-qualifying for a loan may not seem that important until you find your perfect paradise property at the same time as another buyer. When a property is priced to sell, it will usually attract more than one buyer. Once a seller receives an offer, the two most important things they consider are …the price, and the contingencies. For some sellers, a contract contingent on the buyer obtaining financing makes them uncomfortable with the offer. Eliminate any doubt in the mind of a seller, by pre-qualifying for the amount you may spend on the purchase of any property. This is especially important if your dream property suddenly has a price reduction. When this occurs other buyers might come into the picture, that didn’t look at that property before it went “On Sale”! Often times a seller will take a financially solid contract over a higher offer. Be ready to put a deal together!

TIP #4: Location, Location, Location!

“Location, location, location”, while overused as a real estate phrase, is still and always should be a huge consideration to you as the buyer! If something about the location of a property bothers you, be aware that the same location drawback will bother any buyer you hope to attract when and if you need to resell the property! It’s important to ask a lot of questions, but often times it is difficult to know the right questions to ask if you are unfamiliar with the community. This is why it is so valuable to choose and hire the right real estate agent to represent your interests when buying a property.

TIP #5: Get a Home Inspection!

Obtaining an inspection report performed by a licensed professional building inspector of your choice, can protect you from many defects that are hidden from view. Why gamble with such a large financial investment? Let a professional building inspector point out areas to be fixed or replaced that aren’t obvious. A good inspector will give you a lengthy report covering all systems in the home from electrical, to plumbing, to roof conditions, and structural concerns. Once you receive a report you may begin negotiations again concerning repairs. Often a seller will agree to make necessary repairs up to a specified financial amount. When a seller lists their property “as is” they are letting you know that they are not willing to fix or replace any part of the property. If you are interested in an “as is” property and aren’t going to level the structure and build new, it is still in your best interest to obtain an inspection report. Don’t rely on the building inspector to look for termites and other harmful pest problems. Although an inspector will see pest damage, it is best to have a separate termite inspection conducted by a licensed company that understands pests and can eliminate them.

TIP #6: Obtain a Survey and Title Insurance!

Surveys will show easements, encroachments, and boundary lines of a property. By surveying a home in an established neighborhood you are assured that the property boundary lines have been maintained. As homeowners add on the their properties over time with fences, sheds, docks, garages, and other structures, boundary lines can be crossed placing part of their structure on your property, or vice versa. Surveying vacant land is also important for same reasons as a home, plus a survey will help determine the size home, or amount of coverage the lot will allow.

Title Insurance will protect your investment from another party claiming ownership interest in your property. Title searches will uncover liens placed on a property by vendors, or mistakes in past transfers of the title. The last thing you want to discover when you’re in the back stretch of a transaction is that there are encumbrances on the property such as tax liens, undisclosed owners, easements, or leases. Should a claim arise after the purchase of a property, the title insurance company is there to protect your ownership interest in that property.

TIP #7: Be Realistic!

“Wants” and “Needs” are very different when is comes to real estate features. If every home you see has the upgrades you “want” but exceeds the price range that you “need”…. be realistic. Who wouldn’t love a large, oceanfront, professionally decorated home or condominium, with all the bells and whistles? Looking at properties that exceed your price range is always fun, but it can be extremely frustrating and upsetting. Be realistic by looking at listings in the price range you “need”, keeping an eye out for that special property that has the potential to evolve into the dream home you “want”. Always look beyond the furnishings, wallpaper, and floor coverings to the architecture of the home; it is then that you will find properties with potential.

TIP #8: Use Contract Contingencies Wisely!

Contingencies in a contract for the purchase of a property are designed to protect you, the buyer! This may seem silly to mention but it’s important to remember that you need to work with the seller to come to an agreed upon contract. Valid contingencies to an offer are expected by the seller. Common contingencies include building inspections, termite and pest inspections, financing, and surveys. Many deals fall apart over small details, and easy to fix issues. Remember that sellers are emotional about their property. If you can see that major repairs or replacements need to be made due to neglect or age, make allowances for this in your offering price. The old adage “Everything is negotiable” still holds true, unless you upset the seller so much that they refuse to work with you. Try to avoid listing cosmetic changes you would like the seller to make as contingencies. Cosmetic changes are subjective, be objective when writing a contract.

TIP #9: Understand Regional Health and Safety Issues!

An informed realtor will help you understand other health and safety issues that should be considered when purchasing a property. Safety and Health topics can include EIFS (Synthetic Stucco), indoor air quality, mold, radon, and lead paint. Many of these require the seller to sign a disclosure statement, while others may not apply due to the age, type of construction, or location of the property being purchased.

TIP #10: Ask for Information!

Don’t be shy. When you have hired a realtor to work for you, ask them for information. Do you want to look at all the properties in your price range, with the features you need, or just the houses a realtor wants you to see? You deserve all the information you need to make an educated decision. Can you imagine buying the home that you felt was good for your family, only to find that you never received information on a similar property that is perfect for all your needs? I provide many services to insure my buyers always have information at their fingertips.

5 Important Questions To Ask Your Prospective Real Estate Agent

If you believe that selling a home is a daunting process, then don’t even think about selling your home on your own. In the real estate game, the seller is the one who takes the main role of establishing the sale price, finding the right buyer, and facilitating the transfer of all the necessary documents and paperwork.

In addition, he or she has to ensure that the deal is also lucrative. With a significant portion of your time spent on your busy life and work, finding the time to sell your home, in a fast and productive manner, can be overwhelming to say the least.

This is why you should hire a real estate agent. There are literally hundreds of real estate agents out there, and finding the right one can prove to be a formidable task. That is why it is so important to ask the right questions when sourcing an agent to handle the sale of your home.

Here are some questions you can ask, which will help you narrow down your search.

  1. Ask whether he or she is an accredited real estate agent in their respective province and how long they have been in the business. It is essential that you check out a realtors’ credentials and references. Just like in any other field, experience matters However, it does not necessarily mean that established realtors are far better than new ones. A realtors experience helps you to gauge their efficiency and turnaround times.
  2. How many successful sales have they made in the past 2 years? By establishing the number of successful deals a realtor has made, you can determine whether or not they can live up to your demands.
  3. Does he or she operate locally, and if so, what are their sales plan strategies? A real estate agent who operates locally has all the necessary information with regards to the current real estate demands, demographics and local marketing solutions. All these factors play a crucial role in determining the success of a sale. It is important that you ask how he or she plans to sell your home. Thoroughly evaluate their marketing techniques, home staging and other kinds of initiatives that they plan to use, in order to speed up the sales process.
  4. Does he or she work alone or with a group of people? And what is their communication method? It is important that a real estate agent not work alone. He or she can work with either actual or virtual assistants. A good realtor has a team that does all the necessary paper transactions, various management solutions and online marketing. This provides the realtor with the time to focus on the core elements of her sale, such as negotiations, arranging an open house, and renovations. Also, do not forget to keep in mind the method of communication and its frequency. A good realtor has to develop a clear line of communication, providing constant updates to the client.
  5. What are your rates? In most cases, realtors usually charge a commission of 3%-6%, however, these rates are negotiable and vary depending on the province. There are also some realtors who have fixed commissions according to tiered percentages.

Selling your home, or any kind of real estate property, can be a very difficult and exhaustive task, which is why it is so important to have a capable real estate agent in your corner, working for you.

You just have to ask the right questions.

How a New Realtor Can Get Their First Real Estate Listing

Getting your first listing can be one of the biggest hurdles in the real estate sales business. There are many ways to get listings, but let’s just cover some of the fastest and easiest ways. I’ll assume that you will like to keep your marketing budget low for your first listing.

I always go back to this, but start by asking your family, your friends, co-workers, ex schoolmates, Facebook friends, and anyone else that knows you. Ask them of all the people they know, who would they say is most likely to be the next person that would think about selling their house. Get them thinking about it. Even if the person they tell you about is not ready to sell yet, you now have a good potential listing lead. You can follow up with them every couple of weeks, and even set up a buyer profile for them on the MLS to keep your name in front of them.

Another way to find motivated sellers is by looking for “for sale by owner” properties, and also by following up with expired listings from the MLS. Again, I am assuming your marketing budget is very low, so let’s go ahead and use an effective yet uncomfortable technique. You can do the same with expired listings. Go directly to the house, bring your marketing material, and knock on the door. What you will say is going to differ between these two types of potential clients, so let’s go through both sales scripts now.

FSBO sales script.

“Hello FSBO person, my name is _______, and I’m a Realtor at _____________. I just wanted to stop by and ask if you plan to use a Realtor to help you buy your next house after you sell this one? (Let them respond). The nice thing about using a Realtor as a buyer’s agent is that you do not have to pay a commission, that is paid by the seller. Can I get a little information about what you will be looking for so I can keep an eye out for you? I can even set up a profile for you on the MLS that will email you listings so you get a feel for what is out there, and of course these services are all free for you.”

Note: Don’t ask to list their house when you first meet them. Most FSBO’s think they will sell it themselves, then get tired of trying. If you are the agent that has been in contact with them during this time, then you have a great chance of being the one that lists their house.

Expired listing sales script.

(Use this the same day the listing expired on the MLS)

Hello homeowner, my name is _________. I’m a Realtor with _____________. I was just stopping by as a courtesy to let you know your home is no longer listed for sale on the MLS. Your listing expired today. (let them respond). Are you still planning to sell your home? (response) Why do you think your home didn’t sell? (Response) (If they are planning on relisting with their current agent, don’t waste any more time. If it is looking promising try to go straight in to a listing appointment, or at least try to set an appointment for the same day or at least within 24 hours.)

Note: Going directly to the persons house is time consuming, but more effective than mailings or phone calls. As your marketing budget grows, your time will become more valuable and you will not want to spend so much time going to all of these houses. Use these techniques effectively and you should be able to bring in some new listings within a week or two. It is a lot of hard work, and you will need to put in a lot of time, but this is a great way to get started spending almost no money.

Ways to Market Yourself As a Real Estate Agent

Congratulations on passing the state licensing exam and getting placed with an agency! Now it’s time to find your clients – and to have them find you. Some agencies will provide assistance for marketing, but they might not give you all the tips you need. Read on to learn more about tips to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Your new agency may give you some leads to get started with. But those are not going to expand your business very well. You can also start with marketing to your so-called warm market – your friends and family. It’s the least expensive type of marketing, and you know that your audience will be receptive, or at least polite and hear your message. They can also give people they know a referral to you, and that kind of marketing is both free and invaluable. Your warm market paired with your agency’s leads will be a solid place to start.

Adding on to that, there are traditional types of marketing like newspaper ads and local city magazines. But in today’s digital age, these marketing formats don’t yield very strong results. Here is where you can let your creative talents shine. Think of ways to make digital videos that not only make your clients’ home look dazzling, but get you noticed.

Viral videos can take off and get people watching them for reasons other than their original purpose. Even if 90% of people viewing your clip are doing so for reasons other than buying a home, your name is getting out in front of all of them. One clever agent in Northern California did a parody of “YMCA” and garnered so much business, he was named by the Wall Street Journal as the top real estate agent in the country.

You should also have a robust website that invites people to click and contact you. Use those clicks to collect e-mails for your newsletter that you can also use when you get a new property to sell. Having good topics like ways to get stubborn grease off of your range hood or quick fixes for a leaky toilet will keep people coming back for what you have to say and build loyalty to you.

Keep up with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, too. These are the two most popular social media sites. If you have the time, you should maintain Google+ and Instagram accounts as well to broaden your horizons.

Lastly, know your market and use that knowledge to your greatest ability. There are all kinds of things people from out of the area need to know about schools, traffic patterns, and shopping, just to name a few things. Your local market guide will be a great asset to them – and lead to you getting more business. People want an agent who knows his or her stuff about the area. Your market guide shows potential clients that you are that expert.

Remember, a comprehensive marketing plan is not inexpensive. You will have already paid for your license and your testing fees, so be sure to factor marketing into your starting budget. While your agency might give you some tools like a set of personalized postcards or business cards, you will still need to have your own personal marketing set of tools as well.

Commercial Real Estate Agent Prospecting Facts and Strategies

When you work as a commercial real estate agent or broker, it is essential that you develop and implement a prospecting program to generate new business leads. It is a personal process and it is not something that you can or should delegate.

I am amused sometimes when I hear that an agent has paid considerable money to a marketing company to ‘cold call’ their entire sales territory or market segment looking for leads and prospects to serve. Delegating the prospecting process to a marketing company or another ‘unskilled person’ is a waste of time and money. Commercial real estate is an industry built around personal relationships and trust; a marketing company or employed canvasser cannot offer that level of communication or service.

So why would a real estate agent employ such a ‘marketing firm’ to make prospecting calls? The answer in most cases is glaringly obvious; the agent doesn’t have the skill or the discipline for the prospecting process to be successful.

If you want to win the new business, then you will need to do it yourself. Yes, it takes time to get results and you will need to develop some new skills, but discipline will help you get to the results that you are seeking.

One thing should be said here; commercial real estate brokerage is tremendously rewarding for the sales people that can work hard and to a system or plan. Looking for leads and opportunities is part of the process or game. It’s a personal thing and it can’t be delegated.

Here are some way’s to find new business, better property listings, and good clients:

  • Redundant Properties – Some properties will move to a level of redundancy due to age, deterioration, change of zoning, or lack of tenants. When this happens it is time to move to the next phase of the property ‘lifecycle’. A good real estate agent can see the signs early and work closely with a property owner as they start to deal with the issue of investment change.
  • Vacant Land – As a city expands or suburbs change, vacant land will be rezoned for new development. Keep ahead of this opportunity by monitoring the planning and development applications at your local planning approvals office. Get copies of the public minutes of the planning committee meetings.
  • Old Listings – Some listings don’t sell or lease at the first attempt. What you can do here is withdraw the property from the market today and then revisit the property marketing effort a few months later in another and perhaps different marketing approach. Refreshing a listing is a valuable business process.
  • Open Listings – The best way to sell or lease a property is through an exclusive listing process. Open listings are very much a process of luck; most open listings stay on the market for a very long time and on average are far less successful when compared to the dedicated marketing efforts of an exclusive listing. Revisit old open listings to see if they can be optimised for a fresh marketing effort.
  • Larger Businesses – Local businesses are involved in property either as tenants or as owner occupiers. Business owners will need help with property from time to time. The best way to tap into that opportunity is through direct and ongoing contact. Cold call every business in your town or city and speak to them regularly about property needs and changes.
  • Surrounding Other Listings – When a competing agent puts a property on the market, you can use that listing as a reason to talk to all adjacent and nearby business and property owners. One property listing can be the catalyst to talk to others to see if they would like to compete or do something themselves.
  • Street Canvass – On a street by street basis, systematically move through your sales territory and research all property owners. Eventually you will create a good list of owners for your database. Ongoing contact will allow you to build valuable client relationships and the levels of trust that help grow commissions and listings.
  • Cold Calling – The telephone remains the most effective business tool that we have. Direct calls handled in a professional way will help you reach out to new people. Selectively researching the property owners and business people in your area will support the cold calling process.

A simple list like this will give you an abundance of property leads and opportunities. The secret to making things work for you is in doing it yourself.

Tips for Writing the Best Real Estate for Sale by Owner Ad

The property ad is your chance to create a great first impression and to make the potential buyer contact you to find out more. When planning a private property sale, it is vitally important to spend some time thinking about the wording of your real estate ad.

Writing a real estate for sale by owner ad can be difficult, despite the fact that most publications have a strict word limit. There are several important things you need to say and a few tricks that will help you make the real estate ad text more exciting.

A Great, Catchy Title

Most people interested in real estate for sale take a look at the title of the listing and the photographs that accompany it. These are the two factors that will often determine whether a person will continue reading.

Work on a catchy and descriptive title. It should mention the location of the real estate for sale by owner, the size, the price and the most important features of the house. Squeezing that much information into a title may appear to be a great challenge. Do a bit of brainstorming and write down your ideas. You can refine the most promising titles after you put all of your possibilities on paper.

Make It Very Specific

The lack of specifics and details will instantly kill the interest of potential property buyers. Do your best to include enough descriptive information in your listing.

Refrain from saying that the house has a modern and beautifully designed bathroom. Say what makes the bathroom modern – is there a water massage system in the bathtub? Did you install faucets that decrease the consumption of water? Such details make all the difference in the world.

Avoid the Real Estate Ad Cliché

Go through several property ads. You will see a number of phrases repeated in the majority of ad listings. These real estate ad clichés are very dangerous. They make your listing boring and very similar to everything else that the market has to offer.

Clichés are safe and easy but they will never give your real estate for sale by owner the attention that it deserves.

Some of the most common ad clichés include hidden gem, conveniently located, original interior design, vibrant, spectacular, amazing view, modern, easy access, majestic, stunning, just renovated and special offer.

Write a Little Bit about the Neighborhood

As a house owner and a private property seller you have one great advantage over the realtor or the agent – you know the property and the neighborhood by heart. Use that knowledge to create the perfect real estate ad.

Adding a sentence or two about the neighborhood will help paint a complete picture. Get the reader interested. What makes the neighborhood special and worth relocating to? Mention these interesting details towards the end of the listing.

Encourage Potential Buyers to Ask More Questions

Finally, encourage the potential buyers to contact you and to get their questions answered.

Provide a few communication options. Instant messaging, emailing and calling are the most popular possibilities. Each potential buyer has a preferred method of communication, so you should have a few options available.

The perfect private property sale listing is difficult to create. See what the competition is doing but do your best to keep your text original and fresh. Provide specifics and be as descriptive, as possible. Spending some time on writing a house listing that stands out can help you sell your house faster. The results are worth the effort.

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.

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.

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