Selling Your House – How to Select a Realtor

The decision to sell your home and moving to a new home is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. It will impact every part of your life going forward. There are lots of things that go into selecting your realtor, but at the top of the list, you need to work with a realtor who you trust. I want to list your home for sale, and here are some of the reasons you should hire me, or a member of the Neighborhood Real Estate Team as a full service realtor.

PRICING STRATEGY. The most important factor in selling your home is price. If a home is properly priced, in a good location, and in good condition it will sell fast. How do I recommend the list price? First, I look for similar houses, in similar condition in the same neighborhood, and see what they sold for. Were the photos professional? What kind of description was used in the MLS? Did the listing agent have a good reputation? Did the property show easily? How was the layout of the home? Did it have good bones? How long did they take to sell? I look at the listings that expired without selling, and figure out why. Which houses sold quickly, and which one took months or longer? Finally I look at the competition. Each house in the area in your price range is our competition. Why would someone pick your house to buy rather than any of the other’s on the market?

The first instinct of the buyer is to price their home 5% to 10% more than what they think it will sell for. Many realtors do the same, recommending a high list price to get the listing. The best pricing strategy is to price the listing exactly at the homes market value, or even a few percent below market value. This will increase the likelihood of more showings, and possible multiple offers. This is why trust if so important.

DIGITAL MARKETING. The game has changed. More than 90% of the buyers today start their search online. The big real estate search engines are Zillow.com, Realtor.com, and Trulia.com. It is important to have your property not only listed on these websites, but featured there. This is why I pay for a “Showcase Listing” on realtor.com for each of my listings. I also advertise on zillow.com. This allows me to collect more potential buyers for your home. Additionally, all of my listings are syndicated, so that they show up on hundreds of real estate websites.

OPEN HOUSES. Many realtors talk down open houses and claim they are unproductive. They are wrong. I have one or more open houses for every one of my listings. I will continue holding open houses at each listing so long as they are producing walk-through visitors. Think of it this way… if I or a member of my team, holds several open houses in the same general location each week, and if each open house produces 8 visitors on average; then over a span of just a few weeks we can produce a hundred potential buyers for your home.Many realtors complain that open house visitors are “just looking”, and do not want to leave their name. When I prepare for an open house, I script out my walking tour of your home, pointing out features and possibilities. I show the around and engage their imagination. Then I free them to explore the second floor or the basement on their own and request them to register on their way out. My open house registration ratio is very high. Some realtors complain that all they got were “nosey” neighbors.I embrace neighbors. Indeed I invite them ahead of time by sending out neighborhood mailings advertising my open house. Who is better to sell the benefits of your neighborhood, than someone who already lives there and loves the neighborhood.

SOCIAL MEDIA.Maybe you use Facebook, Twitter, etc. maybe not; but a hundred million people do. I have digital marketing background, and certainly understand SEO (Search Engine Optimization). That is why you are on this website in the first place. I understand that Facebook is like a cocktail party or a picnic with friends. Yes I have a Facebook business page, but I engage people with my personal facebook page. I post pictures of my family, and grandkids, the community events I visit, and great recreational activities that our communities boast. I budget a little time each day to like my friends posts, and share some when they are special. Then about 20% of my personal posts are about your listing, and my real estate business. So when I post a video or announce an open house on Facebook, and my friends share the post… it might be viewed by hundreds or even thousands of Facebook friends. I have had cases where people I have not seen for years, stopped by one of my open houses simply because they saw it on Facebook.

PROFESSIONAL NETWORK. I understand that real estate is a team business. That’s why I employ a team of real estate agents each with a different specialty. And I work closely with a team of professionals that include lenders, title agents, independent inspectors, and contractors from every trade. Because I personally buy and renovate about three properties per year, I can recommend contractors to my sellers and to potential buyers whether the issue is electrical, plumbing, roofing, updating, or any other trade.

HOME STAGING. I employ a profession stager to offer advice to home sellers and potential home buyers. In some cases, I might include a free consultation to someone who sees the home at an open house; or otherwise use this as a marketing tool.

PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY.How important is this? Really?I know investors who buy homes without ever stepping a foot into them. Similarly, I have sold houses sight unseen to out of state buyers. Photography sells houses, and it is imperative to get the best photos we can. For luxury homes, my photographer will use a drone-copter to take arial photos.

BROKER’S OPEN HOUSE. Every Tuesday I visit the area Broker Open Houses. Surprisingly, most realtors do not. These events are hosted to show off listings to other real estate agents. I host my Broker Open Houses, invite all of the area realtors, and many will come… because I come to theirs, and because I always serve lunch at my Broker Opens.

POWER OF THE BRAND.I am the brand.But there are a few national real estate brands, that when I mention them, you automatically think that this is a successful, professional real estate company. My brand is REMAX. We are the #1 brand nationwide. Stop by my Brecksville office and you will see a sharp, modern, professional looking office, staffed full time including Saturday and Sunday with professional administrative staff. The owner/broker for the ReMax Trinity office is in her office every day. We have beautiful conference rooms to meet with clients and discuss their real estate needs. Of course the ReMax Trinity #1 yard sign, tells drivers by that your home is for sale.

TECHNOLOGY. I use a service called Dotloop. Dotloop is the state of the art in electronic document signing. I can prepare any of dozens of real estate documents at my office, from my home office, or even when I am out of town. Similarly, when we get an offer, the buyer can sign electronically from any computer or smart phone, from anywhere in the world.

SHOWING SERVICE. I use a showing service called Centralized Showing Service. This service is amazing. When someone wants to see your home, their realtor will call my showing service. The realtor will identify themselves with their caller ID, and their secret password on file with CSS. The request for appointment is permanently logged. CSS will then follow the showing instructions, whatever they are. Call the owner, call the listing agent, give the lockbox code, confirm the appointment, etc. Most importantly, CSS will encourage the showing agent to follow-up and give feedback. I give all of my clients access to their own listing, so they can see the actual feedback left by the showing agents.

NEGOTIATION. One of the important reasons to use a seasoned realtor is to negotiate the deal. I have 30 years of business experience negotiating deals. Sure, sometimes the buyer walks in, loves your home and makes a full price offer. But even when this happens, there are terms to discuss and negotiate. Who will provide the Escrow and Title service? When do you close the deal? When do you need to be out? How will you deal with issues that come up during inspection? Is the buyer pre-approved? How strong is the buyer? How good is their lender? Should we counter-offer? Should we have our attorney review? These and many other items can come up in the sale of a home.

INSPECTION. I always recommend my buyers hire an independent inspector. So you should expect the buyer of your home to do the same. Because I buy three houses per year myself, renovate them, and sell them; I understand what the inspector is looking for. Sometimes, they “find” things wrong simply to justify their fee. It is important to understand your options after an inspection, and I help my sellers respond.Need to get something fixed… I will help you find a contractor.

WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG. Hopefully, nothing will go wrong and you will enjoy a smooth transaction. But I must admit that I learn something new on every transaction. If there is a problem, you want me on your team.

HOMEOWNER WARRANTY. Providing a homeowner’s warranty gives the buyer of your home some sense of security. Many realtors will recommend that you buy a homeowner’s warranty for your buyer. I take it a step further. I personally pay for your homeowner’s warranty when the list price is more than $100,000. I do this because it is a good marketing tool to offer this to your buyer.

DUAL AGENCY. I generally try to avoid dual agency. This is when the realtor represents both the buyer and the seller. I do this, because in negotiation, it is impossible to advocate for two parties at the same time. Therefore, when this opportunity comes up, I will either reduce my commission by 1%, or recommend that the buyer seek a buyer’s agent to represent them.

CHALLENGING SITUATIONS. I am often recommended as a realtor when someone has a challenging situation. Examples might be a short sale situation where the owner owes more money than their house is worth; or a where the house needs so much work that the owner just does not know where to turn; or an estate/probate property that needs to be sold. If there is pain, am here to help. I solve problems.