Did your home not sell during the listing period? If not, it is referred to as an “Expired Listing”. More than likely, you are frustrated and asking yourself many questions. You are wondering what to do now. You are asking yourself questions such as; “Where did I go wrong?” Was it my price? Was it something about my house? Was it the neighborhood? Was it the marketing? Was it my choice of agent? Was it a combination of these things? The answer to all of these questions lies with your previous agent. The same agent who over promised and under delivered. The same agent who was hired to sell your home but did not, all the while other homes within walking distance of yours were being sold during the same time yours was listed. Now you need the right information so you can be prepared and have confidence for your interview of your new prospective agent so you make the right choice this time around.
With thousands of dollars at stake and the time invested, don’t risk hiring another agent who can’t get the job done. It is absolutely imperative that your next agent is qualified to sell your home and can do so for market price. You should never make this decision based on obligation to a friend, relative or to the last agent who did not do the job the first (or second) time around. I think Albert Einstein said it best, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. DON’T use the same agent who failed you! Your listing has expired and it’s easy to develop the identity of having a problem property in the market place. Even more so than before, it is critical that you get the right agent.
Typically, most people will ask business associates, family, or friends for a referral to a trustworthy and dependable real estate agent. Other sellers will watch neighborhood signs to see what names come up frequently. There are those who rely on the reputation of the major national franchise companies. Solely relying on these tactics could end up in disaster. Here are a few items to think about and to help give you an insight into what your next agent should be thinking about to properly, quickly and for full market price, sell your property.
When the National Association of Realtors polled homeowners for their annual poll, more sellers cited poor communication as the biggest complaint they had about their agent. It is imperative that you work with an agent that you can talk to and just as importantly – that can talk to you honestly. If there are issues that are preventing the sale of your home, your agent needs to be able to communicate these to you. Your agent also needs to be able to relay feedback received from buyers that have viewed your home – it allows you to make adjustments on the fly for improved showing experiences for the next buyer.
It’s important to understand that you will not determine the price your home eventually sells for. A great broker will have an impact but, he will not be in complete control of the final price. The market will be the biggest factor in the final sales price of the home. So then you might ask, “Why do I need an agent then?” It is your agent’s job to help you set a list price that will attract the right buyers, get your home in optimal showing condition, and evaluate the market to put you in a better negotiating position. Marketing is extremely important – after all, if no one knows your home is for sale, no one can buy it. One of the biggest differences among agents is how effectively they can expose your home to the largest possible audience. Additionally, an experienced and successful agent will be a professional negotiator who will recognize and capitalize on the nuances of a deal to maximize the overall net for his client. Often, the professional negotiator will keep a deal together when things don’t go as planned after an offer is made, which is not an uncommon occurrence. A weaker negotiator may cost thousands of dollars to the client and could potentially lose the buyer or deal altogether. These are major negotiations with people’s money and futures on the line. A broker who has mastered the art and skill of negotiations is of paramount importance in any real estate transaction.
To arrive at the market price for the property an Agent will use his knowledge of the area as well as the MLS system to develop a comparative market analysis (CMA) for your home. Most agents will search for similar properties (square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, lot size and features) in your neighborhood and use three active listings and three listings that have sold in the last 3 – 6 months. The agent will then decide on a price using those comparative homes. This is the first big mistake most brokers make. Homes are much more complicated and require a much more comprehensive approach. This archaic method just doesn’t work any longer. Each home has nuances that must be addressed to properly compare the subject property. The experienced and most productive brokers will take anywhere from 15-25 Active, Pending and Sold listings to compare to the subject property. The next step is to make anywhere from 2-5 adjustments per property to accurately reflect the many homes values compared to the subject property. Lastly, the broker will adjust for items such as lot size, does it have a view, new carpet, recent kitchen remodel, is it on a busy street, is it in a cul-de-sac, how old is the roof, is the furnace new, is the lot flat or sloped, does it have a 2 car or 3 car garage, is the home one level, two level or three, does it have premium finishes, etc. Although this method is not an appraisal, which can only be done by a licensed appraiser, it is the next best thing as it is the closest thing to an appraisal. An exceptional broker will go through this process knowing it will take hours to complete. Why? Because this is the only way to truly get to the actual market value of a home. Armed with this information, a seller can ready their home for sale and feel comfortable about the asking price.
Preparing Your Home
What’s the quickest way to get someone to fall in love with your home? Make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to envision themselves living in it! Your job in preparing your home for sale is to make it appealing to the widest range of buyers as possible. A good agent will have lots of ideas of how you can make your home shine! Staging your home doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. Start with the yard – trim back the trees and shrubs, pull the weeds, and keep your lawn mowed and edged at least weekly. Put down some fresh mulch to make those flowerbeds pop, and consider putting in some seasonal color during the showing period. Inside the home – remove any furniture and fixtures that you don’t absolutely need to live; de-personalize the home by putting away family photos and nick-nacks, pack up and store all that extra stuff you keep in closets; and clean the house from top to bottom, including all the windows. Fix all the little “things” that you’ve been meaning to get to – eliminate the problem before the buyer sees them. Touch up the paint, and neutralize colors – think about the colors that you see in model homes. Open the blinds, keep the house a cool temperature, and always, always keep the house smelling clean – baking scents work wonders. The object of all this make-ready is to make your home seem as big and bright as possible. Buyers want to see large rooms, large closets, and great flow. They can’t see all that if your rooms and closets are cluttered with furniture and belongings. Clean smells, soft music, and bright homes make buyers sit up and pay attention. Remember, your home is competing with all the other homes currently for sale – make yours the best looking home for the money.
How Will You Market My Home?
You should always ask potential agents what specifically they do to market your property. Make note of any differences in marketing strategy and compare what’s important to you. Ask agents to elaborate on specific tasks that you think will make a larger impact in the sale of your home. Pay special attention to agent’s customer service skills – these will be crucial in dealing with buyer’s agents and ensuring that transactions proceed smoothly.
These are just a few of the several areas a seller should focus on when choosing the next broker who will list their home. Having this information will ensure the next broker selection will be the one who sells the home for full market value. To learn more about how we exceed in all of these aspects of performance along with many others, please contact us today.