Selling your House From A-Z

By
Real Estate Agent with Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -

Selling your House From A-Z

 
First question is, "Where do I start?" One place is to call the Agent who sold it to you.  Can't find him or her?  OK then, drive around the neighborhood and look at the signs posted on the units that are for sale.  Pick out three or four agents who have the signs and call them.  Let them know that you are in the "Discovery" phase in selling.  You want to interview them to seek their advice.  Make appointments on different days, not all on the same day.  Give yourself about 60-90 minutes for each interview.  Ask each agent the same questions.  Take notes.
Sample questions might be:
1-What do I need to do to sell my house with the least cost and effort to me?
2-How will you market my home?
3-Can I see some of your marketing material?
4-Will you be here each time a prospective buyer comes to view the property so they will see all the best  features?
5-Will you update me on all the feedback you hear both written and spoken?
6-Will you be available to speak with me when I call with a question?
7-Will you show me 3 different homes in the area that are comparable to mine so I can see the competition?
8-How did you come to pricing my house at that number?
Let's look at each of these questions and see why they are so important.
1-What do I need to do to sell my house with the least cost and effort to me?
Do you want to spend money to make upgrades so your house will look better?  You will not get back 100% of the cost.  Depending on the feature, you will recoup only 25-60%.  The only exception is a fireplace.  That can have a 125% gain.  But the question you must ask yourself is, "Will the upgrade be a feature that the buyer wants?"  If not, you wasted the time and money on it.  My opinion is don't do it.  Repair is not an upgrade.  For any item that will cost you $500, a buyer will deduct $5,000 from the asking price. Cheap "Fix ups" can be paint anywhere that is in need, fix anything that is broken, maintain the front lawn and shrubs, sidewalk repair or power washing, hardwood floor touch up or refinishing, just to name a few. Good looking hardwood flooring is a must.  Rent a storage place to put all your "extra" stuff that will not be needed for the next 6 months.  You need to make your place look bigger. Closets and cabinets are big items that buyers want more of and less clutter will make your place look better.  Folks, when you move you will need to pack these items anyway so you will be ahead in packing, a good plus.
2-How will you market my home?
Putting your unit in the MLS (Multiple Listing System) and nothing else will not be enough in most cases. If you live in a sought after area and there are no units on the market, then yes the MLS might be enough. Otherwise, you will need great exposure.  You will want a sign posted on your property for drive-by buyers and also a neighbor may have a friend looking to buy so that will be good advertising.  Yard signs result in about 28% of sales.  Don't pass this feature up.
With internet marketing,  people all over the world can see that your home is for sale.  Make sure your agent takes GREAT pictures.  Iphone photos in most cases just don't do the job.  Look on the net yourself and see who takes their job in selling seriously with great photos.  You deserve nothing but the best. You are paying for it so demand it.  
Pictures are only part of the internet marketing. You want an agency that spends a lot on internet marketing advertising.  When you do a search for homes for sale, see what is on line, not just the house but the agency promoting it, and give them a call.  See how long it takes for an agent to return your call.  Think like this, if it takes a day for an agent to return my call to the office, will the prospective buyer of my house, when it is listed, find another home to buy because he got another agent who showed him something else while he was waiting for the agency that is marketing my place to get back to him?  Think about that for a minute.  Time is critical here.  Don't we want results right away?  Think like a buyer if you are selling your house.  Most big Real Estate agencies have a receptionist answering the phone.  They are not allowed to answer questions about units that are for sale so they must get your phone number so a agent can call you and give you the information you want.  If you call another agency while waiting for agency #1 to get back to you and you speak to an agent who then helps you, you may not even answer the phone when agency #1 does finally call you back.  This is a major part of marketing.
3-Can I see some of your marketing material?
Don't be afraid to ask to see postcards, fliers, and internet advertising on properties the agent is marketing for his other clients.
 
4-Will you be here each time a prospective buyer comes to view the property so they will see all the best features?
This will be a hot item for some Realtors.  Busy Realtors don't have the time to be at each showing, and some don't want the listing agent present either.  Ask yourself, "Outside of me, who knows my home the best?"  The answer should be, "My Agent."  So why is he/she not here when an agent who never saw my place is showing the house?  Will he/she ask me about the best features?  Folks, you don't even want to be in the house when a prospective buyer comes.  First, they will feel funny coming into your house, they want to come into THEIR HOUSE. Second, they ask questions that could cost you thousands of dollars if you answer the wrong way. Give your agent the key and go for a drive while the showing is on-going.  Your agent will find more features each time the unit is shown and also can add to the conversation when questions come up about something like where to put the table in the kitchen or what additions can be made to fit the buyers needs, like adding another bath for example.  I ask the showing agent, "Do you want me to show?"  I'll be nearby if you have any questions.  Just give me a holler.
5-Will you update me on all the feedback you hear both written and spoken?
Feedback is important if you don't sell quickly.  What are buyers saying about your house? What can you  fix so that  future buyers don't have that same problem with your place?  Make adjustments accordingly.  This is a part of your agent listening to what is said and expressions on buyers' faces.  Are they smiling from ear to ear or making funny faces as they enter a room?  It's not always the spoken word when it come to feedback.
6-Will you be available to speak with me when I call with a question?
A busy agent may not want to answer routine questions about the process of selling your home or other questions you may have.  Some just refer the call to their secretary.  If that's OK with you then fine, if not then you will want an agent who is available to talk and calm you down a bit during this time of tension for some folks who need that little bit of assurance that all will be well.  The process can make you feel a lot of tension in areas of the unknown.  Your agent can make it a lot smoother by calming your concerns.
7-Will you show me 3 different homes in the area that are comparable to mine so I can see the competition?
Like the advertising says, "An educated consumer is our best customer."  So it should be with selling your home.  You want to feel comfortable with the pricing  so get to know the competition  and beat them.
8-How did you come to pricing my house at that number?
This will go along with number 7.  Get to know the competition and beat them.

 

May I just add one more thing?  Your agent will become like family, as least that is what I have experienced with my clients.  You must feel comfortable with this person who will be in charge of what is for most of us, our most valuable financial possession.
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Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

That's a pretty concise list of the correct way to list and sell a client's home

Nov 15, 2014 12:46 AM #1
Rainmaker
536,206
Kenneth Cole
Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com... - Staten Island, NY
NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Thanks Ed.  I made this list for my daughter, after completing it I thought why not publish it for others?  So many people don't know where to start.  I was one of them "Back in the day" when I sold my first house as a consumer, not as a Realtor.

Nov 15, 2014 12:50 AM #2
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Rainmaker
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Kenneth Cole

NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
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