April 16th, 2015 2:12 PM by Gregg Mower
Is it time to sell your home? For everyone that realization comes at different times. Maybe you just got married and its time to sell that bachelor or bachelorette pad. Did you have another child and don’t have enough rooms. Has your company decided to relocate you? Do you just want to move up? Whatever your reason is you have come to the conclusion that it is time to sell. Now what? Can I sell it myself or do I need a Real Estate Agent to help me and how much that will cost me.
These are typical questions that most everyone has had when they decide it is time to sell their home. So let’s discuss the purpose of using a Real estate Agent and the cost of using one. It has appeared to most sellers that they could probably put a post in the ground and put the listing in Zillow and sell their own home. What they have not thought through is how to show the house when they are away, and do the legal paperwork for a potential buyer. In addition, they may not have the ability to accurately figure a price to put on their home, and if they have come up with a price, will it appraise. Then there is all the legal aspects of selling a home in today’s world, and are Sellers up to date on what must provided to a potential buyer by law? If these are questions you are having then you will naturally look to a Real estate Professional for help, but who and how much will that cost?
When you hear that a typical Real Estate commission you must pay is 5-6% plus fees, you may ask yourself what am I actually getting for that fee? The truth is, you are buying piece of mind that your will house will sell and you will not be liable for it once it is closed and you have your money. An good Agent will not only give you that piece of mind they will be able to map out how the transaction will go before you even put a post in the ground. At Mae Capital Real Estate and Loan our Agents have the experience in both years in the business also in the volume of transactions seen in those years. What our experienced Agents will bring to the table is a team of professionals that are proven in their field whether that is in lending, Title, appraising, or legal.
Advertisement put aside, a good Agent will pay for themselves multiple times over. It starts with the initial marketing of your home or property. It is like the difference between buying a used car from a dealer or a private party, which one do you feel would stand behind what they just sold you? That’s right, a dealer, as they will stand behind their product and have a team of mechanics, lenders, and support staff, so you pay a little extra for that piece of mind. The same applies in Real Estate, as most buyers will feel more comfortable with a team of professionals that will stand behind their work other than an unlicensed person trying to sell their home by themselves. It is proven that a potential home buyer will pay a little extra for the peace of mind that comes with professional help. Generally, a home buyer will pay up to 10% more for that peace of mind. So when we say that “having an Agent represent you will pay for itself”, we are not kidding, it does. So that covers the argument of an Agent costing the seller more, to add to that, if you were to have a lawyer draw up a contract it would cost you considerably more money, but an Agent covers that cost as well. If you were to forgot to disclose something upfront and the buyer sued you after the sale that would cost you exponentially, an Agent will assure that you won’t bear that cost. Your Agent also bears the costs of marketing your home. All for a commission that is not collected until the transaction is completed.
So now that we have rationalized why you should be represented by a licensed Real Estate Professional lets figure out what comes after that. Yes, your Agent will tell you how to prepare your house for sale, but if you can get a jump on the process it will make the process that much smoother. If you are selling your primary residence you should have your home inspected by a licensed termite inspector. This will give you an idea if you may need to have work done to the house prior to selling it. Most buyers will ask to see a termite report when they make an offer to purchase your home, so if you have it done in advance your home will become more attractive to potential buyers. Spruce up the yard, your Agent will tell you that “curb appeal” is important to buyers that may be driving around looking at houses. Remember, if your home makes a good first impression to potential home buyers it will generally sell fast and at a higher price.
The inside of your home should ready to show, as well. This is a little trickier, as you are living in the home at the same time you are trying to sell it. A good idea will be to ask your Agent what you should do to the inside of your home to make it more attractive. This process may be a simple as de-cluttering your home. If you are person that has collectables and like to display them for your family and friends you might want to pack those away to make the house look less busy. You have to remember that you are not showing your house off, you are trying to sell it. Homes always look better without personal affects in plain view, so take down your family pictures and pack them away for your next home. Look in the kitchen, all those appliances that you love to cook with that you leave on the counter, store them away, you probably don’t use them every day anyways. Bedrooms, probably the hardest thing to keep show ready, but it is important. You should get in the habit of putting your clothes away every day, go to the kid’s rooms and get those clothes of the floor every day. Again, take down personal affects like pictures and fill in holes in the walls, paint them if necessary. Potential home buyers want a “fresh” feeling when they walk into a home that they are planning to live in, so get rid of anything that is not essential, remember you already made the decision to move so start the process of packing your stuff you don’t need. Clean the windows, that may sound obvious, but you would be surprised that is one of the most overlooked items. People want to see though clean windows even if the view is of the house next door. If you don’t feel comfortable “staging” your home, ask your Agent, or call in a professional stager and they can be honest with you on what you should do. It won’t cost a lot of money preparing your house to sell, it will mostly take your time and energy. It is worth it I have seen houses sell for top dollar by just cleaning up and make a house feel “fresh”.
Now when it comes to marketing your home, your Agent will most likely have that handled. Your Agent should, at a minimum, put your home into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) so other Agents can see it is for sale. At MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan we will not only do that but we will build a personal website for your home and syndicate that website to over hundreds of different search engines like Zillow, Realtor.com, Homes.com, Trulia, Redfin, and many others. In addition to that, we will make sure that we have an open house schedule pre-set, if you want those. Putting a plan together is very important to do upfront so you know where you are going. Being approved for a price on your next home, and how long of an escrow you will need on the sale of this home so you have time to find another home. You will also know upfront what you will “net” from the sale of your home, so you know how much money you have to work with for the purchase of your next home. These are the necessities to know when you are selling a home. Without the proper guidance, your ignorance could cost you thousands of dollars.
This article may have brought up things that you may not have even thought of and I hope this has helped you with the rationalization of having proper representation when selling a home. Over the last 30 plus year I have been in this business I have seen sweeping changes to the industry. In the last 6 years alone I have seen more changes than all the other years combined. So if you have sold a home by yourself in the past and think you know how it is done, you may need some help to know the new laws. There are also potential buyers out there in today’s world that would love to prey on unsuspecting sellers. I have seen this happen too many times where I have to come in and fix a big mess at the seller’s expense where that could have been avoided from the start and they potentially could have sold their home for more money and less costs. So we would love the opportunity to give you a free value estimate of your home and show you how to sell your home. Thank you for reading this article your comments and questions are always welcome.