[highlight]Why Use a Home Living Realtor?[/highlight]
If you’re planning to sell your home, it’s probably crossed your mind to try to sell it yourself and save the sales commission. But, there are some very good reasons why that would be a mistake.
According to housing industry experts at HomeGain.com and Realtor.org, more homes listed by real estate agents are sold than homes marketed by owners, and they sell more quickly and for more money.
Homes listed by real estate professionals get more exposure and their sellers get more support. Real estate professionals offer many advantages:
• They’re trained and licensed professionals.
• They have experience in your neighborhood and your market.
• They have oversight from brokers and state licensing officials.
• Their job is to advise you the best way to reach your goals.
• Their continuing education keeps them up-to-date on housing issues.
• They know how to present your home and deal with buyers.
• They know how and where to market properties.
• They know how to overcome typical snags that occur in all real estate transactions and closings.
• They understand state-required disclosures and look out for your best interests.
• They understand personal safety and security for your belongings during showings.
• They know the best resources to make transactions go more smoothly, from bankers to homestagers
• They have the most accurate data sources – the MLS, the only data repository that has the most up to date listing and sales information.
• They know how to negotiate.
• Their job is making real estate transactions successful.
When you market your own home, you have to make the time to do all the jobs a real estate professional would do, and you’ll be competing against other sellers who have real estate professionals by their sides. If you can’t leave work to show your home, or you feel it requires more knowledge and experience than you have, you can’t go wrong by hiring a well-respected real estate professional.
[highlight]The Value Of Your Home[/highlight]
In a neighborhood of similar homes, why is one worth more than another? That’s the question that’s teased buyers and sellers for ages, but the answer is simple. Every home is different.
When a home is sold, a willing seller and a willing buyer have just announced to the world the value of that home. From there, other similar homes are benchmarked, but other factors come into play. The most important are:
Location – The closer a home is to jobs, parks, transportation, schools, and community services, the more desirable it is.
Size – Square footage impacts home values because they’re built using more materials. Larger lot sizes mean more privacy.
Number of bedrooms and baths – Over time, median homes have grown larger. Decades ago, household members shared bedrooms and baths without complaint, but today, families want more
privacy. The median home purchased today is a three-bedroom, two-bath home.
Features and finishes – Features such as outdoor kitchens and spa baths make a home more luxurious. A home finished with hardwood floors and granite countertops is going to cost more than a home with carpet and laminate countertops.
Condition – The closer a home is to new construction, the more it will retain its value. It’s perceived as more modern, up to date, and perhaps safer. Homes that are not updated or in poor repair sell for less. It’s a good idea for homeowners to keep their homes updated and in top repair.
Curb appeal – From the street, the home looks clean, fresh, and inviting. Fresh landscaping and flowers won’t change the size or location, but they certainly add charm. When two homes are identical in the same neighborhood, a higher price may come to down to something as simple as views, or paint colors, or the overall taste of the homeowner.
Valuing a home will never be an exact science, but if you buy wisely, keep your home updated and in good repair, you should recoup most if not all of your investment.
[highlight]Intelligent Timing and Pricing[/highlight]
Pricing a home for sale is as much art as science, but there are a few truisms that never change.
• Fair market value attracts buyers, overpricing never does.
• The first two weeks of marketing are crucial.
• The market never lies, but it can change its mind.
Fair market value is what a willing buyer and a willing seller agree by contract is a fair price for the home. Values can be impacted by a wide range of reasons but the two largest are location and condition. Generally, fair market value can be determined by comparables – other similar homes that have sold or are currently for sale in the same area.
Sellers often view their homes as special which tempts them to put a higher price on the home, believing they can always come down later, but that’s a serious mistake. Overpricing prevents the very buyers who are eligible to buy the home from ever seeing it. Most buyers shop by price range, and look for the best value in that range.
Your best chance of selling your home is in the first two weeks of marketing. Your home is fresh and exciting to buyers and to their agents. With a sign in the yard, a description in the local Multiple Listing Service, distribution across the Internet, open houses, broker’s caravan, ads, and email blasts to your listing agent’s buyers, your home will get the greatest flurry of attention and interest in the first two weeks.
If you don’t get many showings or offers, you’ve probably overpriced your home, and it’s not comparing well to the competition. Since you can’t change the location, you’ll have to improve the home’s condition or lower the price. Consult with your agent and ask for feedback. Perhaps you can do a little more to spruce up your home’s curb appeal, or perhaps stage the interior to better advantage.
The market can always change its mind and give your home another chance, but by then you’ve lost precious time and perhaps allowed a stigma to cloud your home’s value. Intelligent pricing isn’t about getting the most for your home – it’s about getting your home sold quickly at fair market value.
[highlight]The Home Search Process For Buyers[/highlight]
• Ten percent of home buyers first looked online for information about the home buying process.
• The use of the Internet in the home search dipped slightly to 88 percent from a high of 90 percent in 2009 as the demographics of home buyers shifted to slightly older repeat buyers from younger first-time buyers.
• Real estate agents were viewed as a useful information source by 98 percent of buyers who used an agent while searching for a home.
• The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 12 homes.
• Nine in ten recent buyers were satisfied with the home buying process.
• Eighty-nine percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.