Some Thoughts For Sellers
Posted by Fred White on
Whether you are a “First Time”, Second Time or more home seller, or if you are an entrepreneur looking to sell an office, commercial or industrial property, or that particular person who may be in financial difficulty requiring special assistance in a possible “Short Sale” or “Pre-Foreclosure” transaction. The following will offer you some insight as to why you want to be particular in how to choose a Realtor ® that is going to be beneficial for you and your family. In the event it may be a commercial property, for you and your business.
Check out my Blog page on selecting a realtor. This is the most important step. Contact at least three (3) agents from different firms. Ask them to do a market analysis of your home. They should ask you a lot of questions about your home over the phone first. This way, they can be as prepared as possible. To do a proper job they will need to see the inside as well as the outside of your property. Try to schedule the appointments within the same business week, then review the analysis each completed, comparing their information, especially the comparable properties and the price range they offered. Pick the Realtor ® who impresses you the most, which may not be the highest price suggested but who proves their information.
The MOST IMPORTANT thing to do to your home to make it more saleable is to make sure it’s CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN and free of clutter. This can’t be stressed enough. Don’t worry that your walls are purple instead of beige; just make sure there is room to go through the home and that the home is clean and presentable. If the home is dated or requires extra TLC, the Realtor ® will cover that in the analysis and price the home accordingly. No dirty dishes should ever be in the sink. Make sure your shower is clean because prospective buyers WILL peek behind the shower curtain into the tub area. If the grout is so bad then do something about that right away. If there’s so much stuff piled around that you can’t walk down the hallway that’s a bad thing. Put some stuff in storage if you have to, or have a garage sale. The extra cash you get for your house will make up for the storage fees.
When it comes to a discussion on commission, let me dispel a popular myth. The Realtor ® that you choose to work with does not personally get the entire commission. Let’s say you put your house up for sale at six percent, in most cases half (3%) of that goes to the co-broker that the buyer’s agent works for. The other half (3%) goes to the broker that the listing agent works for. Out of each half, the agents involved get a percentage of that, less fees that their broker charges them (usually called a franchise fee, desk fee, processing fee), less the cost of the advertising that the agent pays for out of their pocket. Yes; in most instances the advertising costs come out of the agent’s pocket, some of the costs are paid for by the broker. Virtual tours on Realtor.com and the MLS are not cheap.
Ask the agent to show you the “comp” sheets of the properties selling in your area and make note of the amount of commission those sellers are “paying out” (a six-percent listing will typically be paying out three percent). If you want to be competitive, you need to pay out what the other listings are paying out, otherwise buyers’ agents will put your property on the bottom of the list of properties to show their clients. This is the reason that agents don’t show some of the properties listed by “discount brokers”- I won’t mention any names. Why do all the work involved with showing 20 or 30 properties to someone, doing contracts, handling home inspections, title work, mortgage commitments, appraisals, etc., etc., etc. all the while getting paid less than half of one percent when you could be getting substantially more on a six-percent listing? And when it comes down to it, we’re talking about the sale of your home here- your most valuable investment. Do you call the plumber that uses cheap pipe, or do you call the guy who uses something that’s decent quality? This is a legal transaction, and not something you want to fool around with.