Selling your home
Without any obligation, you can invite local REALTORS® to visit your home and give you a “listing presentation” about why they’re the best ones to market it for you. Two to three presentations will probably give you a good opportunity for choice. A listing presentation includes having the REALTOR® review with you the reasons why you should list with that particular individual, and providing you with information that will assist you in making initial decisions about selling your home. Recent laws in every state have defined the duties of someone specifically retained as a real estate agent. Most states require a real estate agent to explain his or her role at the outset of any conversation. A professional agent will promptly provide this such disclosure. Look for an agent who:
- Is a member of the local board or association of REALTORS®
- Explains and discloses agency relationships (the role of the agent, i.e., who they are representing–the buyer or the seller) early on in the process, at “serious first contact”
- Advises you on how to prepare your home for the market
- Shows some enthusiasm for your property, listens attentively, instills confidence, operates in a professional manner, and has a complementary personality style to yours
- Has already researched your property in the public records and the MLS
- Brings data on nearby homes that have sold (or failed to sell) recently
The following are important questions to ask a potential agent:
- Are you a REALTOR®?
- Do you have an active real estate license in good standing. To find this information, you can check with your state’s governing agency. License Check
- Do you belong to the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS)? Multiple Listing Services are cooperative information networks that provide extensive information on most of the houses for sale in a particular region.
- What homes have you listed or sold in this neighborhood lately?
- Do you cooperate with buyers’ brokers?
- What share of the commission will you offer a cooperating broker who finds the buyer?
There are many important reasons to use a REALTOR®. Some of the duties your REALTOR® will perform for you include:
- Walking through the process of selling your home from beginning to end
- Providing comparable information about the prices for which other properties have sold and analyzing data for you to gain a true comparison
- Supplying information regarding local customs and regulations you may want or need to consider
- Sharing information about your home through a Multiple Listing Service and/or on the Internet
- Placing advertisements for your home
- Fielding phone calls
- “Qualifying” potential buyers to make sure they would be financially able to buy your property
- Negotiating the sales contract
- Alerting you to potential risks
- Complying with the disclosures required by law
- Providing you with an estimate of the closing costs you will incur
- Helping you prepare for a smooth closing of the transaction.