June 19th, 2014 5:27 PM by Gregg Mower
You think it is time to sell your home but not sure where to start or where to price your home. So you go to the internet to look at Zillow and that seems to confuse you even more. So you have landed on this article in hopes to get some insight on what you should do. I have written several articles on this, as you are probably seeing. I have been in the Mortgage and Real Estate Industry for 30 years and have seen many different markets and many different strategies on how to market homes for sale. One thing I have seen throughout the years is that everything changes. So you might have sold a house 10 years ago, in what you think is a similar market, and you go to sell now and it has all changed. You realize you need professional help to list and sell the home. As a professional in an ever changing market I have to tell you that it is hard to keep up on all the changes and I am in the business every day of my life. That said, I would love the opportunity to walk you through the Real Estate Maze (selfless plug I know) but in reality you need a professional that has knowledge of, not only the Real Estate Market, but you need someone who knows financing. This is more important than ever as it has to do with the potential buyers of your home and the time it will take to close if it can close at all.
An Agent that has a National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) license can easily look at a potential buyer and advise you as to how long and hard the escrow will probably be based on the type of financing the potential buyer is trying to obtain. For Example; if you receive an offer and the buyer is using a Conventional loan and putting 20% or more down that transaction will probably go smoother than a FHA transaction where the buyer needs financial assistance. If your Agent representing you has no knowledge of financing then you could pay the price with your transaction falling out of escrow and taking far more time than it should have if there were some initial knowledge of the questions to ask. Mortgage lending has changed so dramatically over the last several years that an average agent, that has no lending background, will generally have no knowledge of the new pitfalls to look for even if that agent has been selling Real Estate for years. You see when an Agent has an NMLS license he or she must go through annual training to maintain that license. More specifically to maintain a NMLS License you must have 8 hours of continuing education every year to maintain your license. So you should be dealing with a professional that is up to date on the current changes in the industry.
Next when looking for an Agent to list and sell your house you should see how long they have been in the Real Estate industry. Not to say a fresh Agent that just passed their Real Estate exam can’t help you, but I would ask them if they have a knowledgeable Broker, or partner in the industry to walk them through the transaction. I understand that everyone has to start somewhere, but I also understand that they need help as I did when I first entered the business. In fact, I struggled the first year of my career as I got no training and had to seek it out by myself. I think this made me a better professional as it was not given to me I had to seek out my training. I now make sure all the New Loan Officers and Real Estate Agents I hire go through my special training program and all are required and sign to the effect that I will mentor them for the first year in the business. Why do I do this? Simple I do not want people representing my company that are bad apples. My approach is to be as professional and as knowledgeable for my clients as I humanly can and treat them the way I would want to be treated and communicated to myself.
You have to watch out for the so called “Listing Agent” that comes across great and knowledgeable in the beginning to win your business and soon after you sign the listing agreement you never hear from them again. Some Agents think that marketing your property is just putting it into the MLS system and putting a sign out front. I am here to tell you that putting your home into the MLS system and paying the dues to do so is just a start there is so much more than can be done to market your house. An Agent should be up on the latest internet marketing techniques. For example, they should be putting your home into Zillow as Zillow no longer pulls their listing information from the MLS in our region. Then an Agent should know how to get your home marketed on all the search engines out there such as Trulia, Redfin, Realtor.com, Homes.com, cribclick.com and the over 60 other Real Estate Search engines. Why is this important you ask? Simple answer is most all Real Estate searches start on the internet; after all you are reading this on the internet. Your agent should know how to make a property website for your home so he/she and you can post it to social media and email to all your contacts so anyone can see your home. Your Agent should have a quality camera especially if your home is a high end home so they can take wide angle shots to make your home look bigger and spacious. Your agent should know how to make the photos they take look even better with software enhancements. It is the little things sometimes that people see that gets them to visit your house verses another home. Your agent should also offer staging advice, so your home shows as well as it can.
When it comes to pricing your home there are several approaches and they are all based on your (the seller) financial situation. The first thing any seller should know is that price sells. If you want to move a house fast you should be willing to price the home under market. Sometimes when pricing your home under the value you will get a bidding war and end up with your home selling at market price anyway. I just had a listing sell in a not so desirable area sell over list price with several offers all because I priced the house under what others were selling for and it ended up selling for the right market price. You must remember that “market value” is what a willing seller will sell for and a willing buyer will buy it for. That said if you have the ability to list your home under market value for your neighborhood you will sell your house faster than others for sale in your neighborhood that is just a fact unless your home is a major fixer. If the home is a major fixer you should be prepared to mark it well under market to entice investors to buy and rehab it so they can make money on the flip. Or you could pour your money in to rehab the house yourself and you could make the profits from a fully renovated home. A good Agent could tell you what the fixed up value of your home would be so you could make an informed decision on remodeling or not yourself. As you can see there is a lot more to listing and selling a home other than putting a sign out front and putting in MLS. Having the right selling partner to offer you advice and guidance is of the upmost importance. If you would like to talk to me further about listing and selling your home you are more than welcome to, in fact, it is one of the reasons for writing all of these articles. My name is Gregg Mower and I am the owner Broker of MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan and would love to earn your business. I can be reached at the office at 916-672-6130 or my cell at 916-849-7170. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I truly hope this and other articles and this site helps you in your quest for knowledge.