Hiring a Realtor
Selling a home is an important decision and hiring the Realtor is the first and most important step in the process. Interviewing Realtors and asking the right questions will help in determining which Realtor to hire. There are some basic questions that will help in the decision making process.
- How long have you been in real estate?
- Are you a full or part time realtor?
- Do you have a team?
- Do you have a marketing plan for my home?
- How is your communication with your clients?
- How and what do you use to price a home for sale?
Pricing a Home
As a seller, you want to get as much for you home as you can. I understand that and want that for you as well. When determining market value (selling price), there are factors that affect the value and there are factors that don’t.
Factors that affect value:
- Supply & Demand
- Economic Conditions
- Asking & Selling Prices of Competing Homes
- Your Home’s Conditions
- Buyer’s Perception of Your Home
Factors that do not affect value
- The Price the Seller Paid for the House
- The Seller’s Expected Net Proceeds
- The Amount Spent on Net Improvements
Marketing Plan – What must be in the marketing plan to sell your home
Besides pricing, marketing is essential to selling your home. The Realtor you hire should have an aggressive marketing plan that maximizes the exposure, of your home, to potential buyers and Realtors of potential buyers. A good marketing plan should include at least these four things.
- Lead generating website/tools – Custom website that is specifically designed to generate leads – Through pay-per-click campaigns, blogs, newsletters, community page, etc. A good example is my website at totalatlantarealty.com.
- Social media campaign – A good Realtor will have a solid social media plan. That would include twitter, facebook, google+, Youtube, etc. Take a look at mine as an example – totalatlantafacebook
- 24-hour automated number – to capture potential buyers that are interested in your home.
- Marketing Coordinator – A good marketing coordinator to help market your home.
These four these things should be in the marketing plan of any Realtor. It is important for a Realtor to stay up-to-date on the most current marketing techniques used in real estate.
For more information or explanation about marketing watch my video below.
Preparing your home for sale
A magical metamorphosis occurs the moment you decide to sell your property. The “home” you
love so dearly, turns into a “house”. This shift in vocabulary is part of letting go, i.e., the emotional detachment process all sellers experience sooner or later. Home is where your heart is. Houses, on the other hand, are commodities sold on the open market. Focus on the three Cs:
- Clean it up
- Clear the clutter
- Make cosmetic improvements.
You’re getting ready to sell a house. Most people don’t really see their houses after they have lived there for a while. They don’t notice the effects of gradual physical deterioration and junk accumulation. Little stuff to them. Not so little stuff to a buyer! If you make the right improvements when preparing your house to sell, you increase the odds of selling it quickly for top dollar. If, conversely, you do nothing, or if you make the wrong changes to your property, you waste the time and money you spent, prolong the sale, and probably reduce the ultimate sale price. Things to do to maximize your home value:
- Creating curb appeal – add some flowers, keep yard mowed, new pine straw, get rid of weeds, and reseed areas of the yard that are dead
- Spruce up the exterior of the home – painting the trim, replace rotten wood, power wash the house and driveway, repair any roof issues
- Interior – de-clutter the space – clear items out of closets, remove knickknacks, touch up paint walls, professionally clean the carpet, have a good deep cleaning of your home before you sell
- Staging – Staging a house goes way beyond your efforts to make it look neat, clean and well cared for. Just as stagehands set the stage for Broadway productions, you can stage your house to create a production designed to wow prospective purchasers. Change your drapes, hang art on the walls, and move furniture around to create a look of a bigger space – you might need to move furniture out.
For a complete list of ideas and to get your home ready to sell – click on the links below
You get an offer – Negotiating
Always remember this is a business transaction. It can be hard because it is your home that you have lived in for a long time. When you get an offer, everything is negotiable such as:
- Closing costs
- Closing date
- Earnest money
- Closing attorney
- Due diligence
- Special Stipulations – these are things like a home warranty, termite letter, etc
The first offer a buyer submits will have a lot of things that a buyer will ask for. You can expect a lower price, seller paid closing costs, and some special stipulations. Do not take it personal, it is business. Evaluate the offer and talk with your Realtor. Counter with price and terms that you feel are fair.
Repairs are always an issue, most buyers feel they should have a majority of the repairs completed by seller. This is not the case. The idea behind repairs is that everything is negotiable. This means that a good buyers’ agent will have the buyers focus on the major items in a house. This would include:
- Roofing system (roof, gutters, downspouts)
- Water heater
These items are important in the overall structure and functionality of the home. So when a repair amendment is presented to you, don’t get frustrated. Work through each repair item on your list and decide if you want to fix it or not.
If the buyer is getting financing the bank will complete an appraisal. The appraisal is done to determine the value of the house. If the appraisal comes in at the purchase price or higher, everything is ok. If it comes in lower, the seller has three options.
- Reduce the price to the current appraised value
- Make the buyer pay the difference
- Take the property off the market
It is always the seller’s choice on what to do. Most buyers will walk away from a deal if they have to pay more money than the house is worth.
The closing for a seller is much easier than a buyer. The seller will only sign a few documents such as the settlement statement and the deed. When a seller comes to closing they have to make sure that they have done all contractual and agreed upon items in the contract. These can possibly include:
- Home warranty
- Complete all repairs and provide receipts
- Termite inspection or bond
- Any additional items that were in the special stipulations of the contract
A seller will also need to bring the keys, garage door openers, any manuals, and a picture ID.
Total Atlanta Realty is client and customer service focused, not benefit driven. If you are interested in selling your home, we invite you to meet us today.