When Listing Your Home – Things You Should Expect From Your Realtor

Jess Garrison BY JESS GARRISON · SELLING YOUR HOME

How to Choose a Good Realtor

When you decided it was time to move, the first question that you certainly asked yourself was, how do I sell my home? The second key question that you’re probably asking is, how to choose a good realtor. When you contact a Realtor (or better yet, several realtors) when selling your home, you want to be confident that you’ll be working with a trusted real estate agent, a successful professional realtor who knows the industry, knows your area, and is in tune with current buyers that are looking for a home like yours.  

To do this, here are some basic questions you should ask to give you a solid understanding of your potential Realtor’s background, experience, and ability to help you succeed with selling your home:

    • How much production do they do? This tells you how successful and involved in the profession this agent is.
    • What is their home agency’s market share? Is their company strongly represented in the real estate markets in your area?
  • What is the Realtor’s market share? Another indication of the agent’s dedication and commitment to their profession.

The realtor you choose doesn’t have to be closing $20 million a year in properties to be a great agent, but you should expect that real estate is their full-time job, the one they get up for and work daily. Ideally, you’d like to know that the Realtor you choose is closing around 20 home sales/year. Closing 20 or more home sales a year tells you an agent is active in the market and committed to the real estate profession.

What a Good Realtor Does

Once you’ve asked the basic questions that will help you identify a good Realtor, you should expect certain actions from your agent that will ensure success in the sale of your home at a price that will satisfy you. When you’ve chosen the Realtor you believe you can work with, a top real estate agent should provide you with several services immediately.

Advise and Counsel

A professional Realtor offers top-notch service, advice, and guidance. Upon signing with an agent, you should expect them to do the following as soon as possible:

    • Come to your home and take their own measurements of all the rooms in the house - living room, dining room, family room, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.
    • Advise you how to properly stage your home. This includes pointing out touch-ups, simple repairs, how to declutter, etc. so that your home is at its most appealing the day it hits the market.
  • Recommend a listing price for your home within 48 hours of the first visit. This shouldn’t be a price pulled out of thin air. Your Realtor should show you some ‘comps’ - recent listings and sale prices of similar houses in your area, and homes currently for sale in your area (your competition) and their asking prices.

Take Professional Photographs/Videography

Once you’ve signed with the Realtor of your choice and settled on a listing price, your home needs to be professionally photographed and perhaps even videoed as well. A top-selling Realtor will pay for a professional to provide this service, regardless of the size or listing price of the property.

Today, the first place a potential buyer will see your home is on the internet. This initial introduction is critical because buyers form their first impressions based on your pictures. First-rate photographs can capture your home in its best light and give it the kind of compelling ‘curb appeal’ that will make potential buyers want to come and see it.  In just about every real estate market there are multiple professional real estate photographers. Any agent that is still taking photos with a cell phone camera shouldn’t be listing homes.

For certain high-end, luxury homes, your agent should go further than just interior and exterior photographs. Any leading real estate agent in this particular market should take aerial photos of your home, landscape, the exterior, and any notable viewing vistas with a drone camera. Your Realtor should also take videos of the interior, use 3D imagery, publish the floor plan, and more.

Devise Your Selling Plan

A top-selling Realtor always devises a selling plan for each client and has it in place on the day you launch your home for sale. Your Realtor’s plan should include more than just putting your home on the market and waiting for the phone to ring. It should be multifaceted to ensure that your home gets maximum exposure to the buying public.

The components of this plan should include the following at the very least:

    • Social media material ready to put out on the agent’s feeds
    • Facebook business page ads (these are paid advertisements on Facebook used to get in front any buyers specifically looking at a house like yours).
    • Paid ads in local free magazines to the public
    • Ads on all social media and internet listing sites
  • Announcements in local newspapers of an upcoming week-end open house

The idea is to have as much exposure as possible in the first 2 weeks that your home is on the market. Studies show that this is the critical selling period for any home.

What to do When There’s an Offer

Once you have an offer or multiple offers, it's time to pick the right one (if they’re in your target price range), or decide the proper way to negotiate a counter offer and reach a mutually acceptable sale price for you and the prospective buyer. If you have multiple offers, try to get a backup offer accepted. This can help safeguard you in the event that your first offer falls through.

An experienced and top-selling real estate agent should know how to maneuver easily around a purchase agreement and show you where there might be issues or complications that could delay closing the sale of your home.

You never want a deal to fall through if you can help it. Having your home go back on the market after you’ve accepted an offer and the deal falls through is one of the worst things that can happen to a listing. You are no longer the new, shiny listing on the market that everyone wants to see. There is a negative energy to these homes because potential buyers assume that if something went wrong with the first deal, the problem was with the home, not the buyer who walked away.

Once Your Home is Sold

At the start of selling your home, the only two people directly involved in the process were you and your trusted Realtor. Once you accept an offer, effectively ‘selling’ your home, a lot more people get involved in the process. Among them are:

    • The buyer
    • The buyer’s agent
    • The buyer’s agent’s assistant
    • The home inspector
    • A county inspector if your property has a well/septic system
    • 1, possibly 2 title companies
    • The buyer’s lender
  • The lender’s assistants

Communication is key during this entire procedure. Your agent should be flawless at keeping you updated throughout the closing process, as well as keeping all the other participants in the loop. Oftentimes, a good agent will be in touch daily, even if there is nothing to update.

When all parties involved in the sale know exactly what’s happening every step of the way, then there are never any surprises. A good Realtor won't let any of the details fall through the cracks.

Summary

I hope this blog has helped to give you some insight and understanding about listing and selling your home. These are the basic elements, but you may have other questions that weren’t addressed or weren’t completely answered here. If you do, feel free to drop me an email at [email protected], or give me a call directly at 616.502.2665.

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