Are you thinking about selling your home this spring? If you are it may pay dividends to stop and think about some of the issues confronting you as a home seller. Do you plan to sell for sale by owner or list your home with a real estate company? Did you know you could do both at the same time? Not many people know that…
If you are planning on retaining the services of a real estate agent then caution is the key word. Keep in mind that selling your home is a BIG business deal and you want the best real estate agent you can find representing your project. Finding a professional real estate agent can be a difficult task if you don’t know the basics questions to ask. Many agents are part-timers with one toe in the tub and they just can’t represent a homeowner as well as a full-time agent. Beyond this, you have to ask yourself (and the agent) how much business experience do they have? Do they have a business degree? What is their background in marketing and sales? Are they full time or part time? How many homes have they personally sold? When you retain the services of a real estate agent to sell your home you are the employer and you have the right to ask these types of question. You will be paying a real estate agent a HEFTY commission for selling your home IF it sells. Your job is to ask the right questions to select an agent that will get the job done in a professional manner.
One of the main things you want to avoid as a home seller is entering into long-term listing contracts with any real estate agent or company. Keep the listing contracts limited to 90 days at a time so that you can review the performance of the agent and their company. Among the things you want to negotiate when you are listing your home and have it show on the listing contract as a legal (addendum or attachment) is an itemized marketing plan indicating the exact marketing activities that will be used to sell your home. You want to see a marketing plan that itemizes where and when your home will be advertised, how many open houses will occur, when those open houses will take place and how they will be conducted. You want specifics about the advertising campaign around the selling of your home. Many agents will list a home and basically home a new agent spins their wheels to sell for them. The old saying among real estate agents is “if you don’t list, you don’t last”. What this means basically is an agent will do and say almost anything to get a listing agreement from a seller. Then, they throw the house into the MLS (multiple listing service), cross their fingers and hope another agent finds a buyer for your property. Most sellers don’t know the listing agent and their company will get the bulk of the commission whether they actually sell the home or not. Seasoned agents often list and let the new agents drive the tires off their car showing property-the key to success for real estate agents really lies in getting listing contracts, not necessarily selling those listing. Want some advice? Stay tuned to these articles because there is more to come and get your copy of the report offered below before you run off and sign that legally binding listing contract–it will help you cover your basic legal and financial interests.
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James W. Hart, IV
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