Why Use a REALTOR®?
All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR "®" logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.
But if you're still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are additional reasons to use one:
- Your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
- Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.
- Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF EALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
- Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing -- a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
- Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).
- Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
Price Your Property Correctly
All sellers want the highest possible return from the sale of their property.
And, determining that price point is an very crucial decision on whether you leave money on the table AND if your property will sell at all. This narrow range of pricing is not calculated on a slide rule. It involves recent comparable sales, unique features or issues about the property, the urgency of the seller to locate a buyer-- coupled with the motivation of the seller to negotiate a deal with a buyer, how well the property will appeal and show to today's buyer, and the overall health and trend of the local real estate market in general.
The first 30 to 45 days on the market usually generate the most enthusiasm from other agents and their buyers. One never quite regains this enthusiasm later on when the list price is reduced. If on the market too long, properties become tired and stale to the buying market.
If local real estate market sales are accelerating and prices are on the rise, putting out a list price that is just a bit too high might work out just fine. However, in flat or declining real estate markets, pricing just a bit too high can be a disaster.....showings are few and offers non-existent. From here, the only way to get noticed is to shed your old overpriced image by slashing the price....possibly well under what the original correct price should have been on day one.
Keep in mind that most buyers have been and are still looking for their property. By this stage, most are educated (and their agent's help educate them) regarding current property values. If your property catches their eye but is overpriced, they may make an offer or they may determine that it's not worth the effort....and keep looking. This means that qualified buyers may not even look at your property if it is over priced.
Last but certainly not least, most real esate purchases will need a loan. This means an appraisal must be done. If the comparable sales won't support a buyer who is paying too much for your property, that buyer won't get the loan he thought he was going to get and the seller may find his/her property going back on the market because the loan and appraisal fell through.
So, what is one to do? Price your property correctly from day one and insist your real estate agent give you the most accurate market value of your property that he/she can deliver.
Ten Questions from Sellers