Seller's Guide to a Successful Sale
Selling your home can seem like a daunting task. Below is a checklist of questions you will begin to think about:
- How much is my home worth?
- How quickly do I need to sell my home?
- What are my motives for sale?
- Can I find a buyer?
- Is now a good time to sell; are we in an hot/neutral/cold mark?
Many homeowners may consider selling their home as a "for sale by owner" (FSBO), by listing it on popular websites like Forsalebyowner.com or zillow.com. This is not a bad approach, as you will save on paying a seller agent's commission, but be prepared to wait. These websites produce very limited exposure for your property. Most buyers opt for buyer agency representation, for the simple fact that the seller usually pays the buyer agent's commission. Buyer agent's first step in the home search process is to get their buyers search criteria setup in the localized multiple listing service (MLS) database. If your home is listed on Zillow or any other for sale by owner website, your listing does not get populated in the MLS system.
There are two main types of seller agency representation: an Exclusive Agency representation, or an Exclusive Right to Sell representation, the latter being most common. In an Exclusive Right to Sell agency relationship, the seller agrees to work with only one real estate brokerage, and must pay the agreed upon commission no matter who brings a buyer to the table. In an Exclusive Agency agreement, this is also true, with one exception: if the seller finds a buyer directly, no commission is owed to the Broker. There is a third type of agency relationship that is not common, which is a non-exclusive agency relationship, and if fact, many brokerage firms do not offer these types of agreements. In this agreement, the seller is allowed to work with more than one brokerage, and owes commission the broker who brings the buyer to the table first. The reason this is not a common practice is because an agent is less likely to realize a commission, and therefore does not offer their full and undivided attention to the listing.
At Realtysaber, our agents are dedicated representatives that advocate and negotiate on your behalf to ensure you get the best price available, or a price that is acceptable to you. We offer both Exclusive Right to Sell and Exclusive Agency agreements, to ensure our agents provide you with the full suite of professional services. We encourage you to speak to a few different broker firms, and select a designated agent that best suits your needs. Every real estate agent has their own set of unique experiences.
Flexible Commission: Perhaps the most important part of selecting a brokerage firm is negotiating a commission charge. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN INDUSTRY STANDARD COMMISSION. This is very important to understand, as anyone who tells you otherwise may be violating the law, as this may be an indication of price fixing. However, each Sponsoring Broker will have an established commission rate. So how does this work? You will commonly see listing agreements call for anywhere between 5-6% commission for residential sales. While this has become commonplace, there is always room for negotiation. It is up to your agent to understand your individual needs when it comes to selling your property, and tailor their services accordingly. Some properties tend to sell themselves, while other may need some time and/or work. Your designated agent is required to disclosure the broker's policy for sharing commission with other brokerage firms who may represent the buyer on the other side of the transaction. You will typically see this commission being split in half; 50% to seller's brokerage, and 50% to buyer's brokerage. For information on our Commission Policy, contact an Agent today.
Professional Photography: Whoever came up with the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" was definitely a real estate agent. Our agents utilize the newest technology when it comes time to photograph your property. We utilize advanced drone technology to capture high-quality photos and video.
Custom Marketing Strategy: In addition to posting your listing on the MLS, we utilize social media, including Facebook and YouTube, to help market your property (with your permission of course). We will advertise open houses via Facebook posts, and publish Drone captured video to YouTube. We also have custom For Sale posts to place in your lawn, drawing attention from through traffic.
Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): We are professionally trained and licensed to provide you with an opinion of fair market value for your property*. We do so by pulling comparable homes (comps) in your area, for both active and recently sold properties, then make adjustments for features. This should be done with a minimum of 3 properties, but typically will have around 6 to ensure the most accurate opinion. We then average the result to present you with a price range. It is ultimately up to you on what to list your property for. The CMA is part of our seller presentation package, and does not obligate you to sign with our Brokerage. Contact an agent for a free analysis today.
*Please note that this is different from an appraisal. An appraisal is completed by licensed appraiser for a fee.
Negotiation Specialists: We will take you paragraph by paragraph through the Offer to Purchase to help you understand all terms and conditions of the offer being presented. We will walk you through contingencies, buyer requested repairs, and counter offers. We put your best interests above our own to ensure you receive an offer that is fair to you. We are contractually obligated to present you will all offers until the time of closing.
Seller's Net Sheet: Our agents will prepare for you a quick analysis on what you will potentially walk away with if you accept a certain price. Sales price - commission - outstanding mortgage. Will you walk away with a profit, or will you need to come up with cash to close?
Property Staging: We can recommend tweaks, updates, and other ways to ensure your property shows in its best light possible. First impressions are everything. Let's talk about curb appeal, de-cluttering, deodorizing, organizing, etc. Simple DIY Tips include:
- Let the light shine in: open shades/blinds to expose natural light. This will make small spaces appear larger and inviting
- If you have pets, it is a good idea to remove them from the property during showings. Yes, we love your dog, but some buyers may be allergic to your pets. Have a neighbor give you a "sniff test". Buyers want a clean slate. Plain and simple.
- Steam-clean carpets. You'd be surprised how well the $30 Rug Doctor rental goes!
- A little paint goes a long way. Pick neutral or earth tone colors. Revere Pewter is a great color in style right now. Trust me, and google it!
- Clean. This may seem like common sense, but ensure there are no dishes in the sink, no laundry thrown across the floor, and your kids' toys are put away. These little things out of place may subconsciously indicate to a buyer that you did not maintain the property.
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