We have all heard and read the stories about how the real estate market is or will be, slowing to a snail’s pace. For those who have been involved with real estate for a while know that this is normal (and cyclical) in the real estate markets across the country, and, is commonly referred to as ‘market normalization’. This is commonplace throughout the industry and country. This slowdown is not evident in all markets, in all states and communities, however. There is no question that in many parts of the country, many houses are currently remaining on the market a little longer than they were a few weeks and months back. With this, competition for buyers takes a little more work, more ingenuity, patience, and good customer service skills.
The following simple steps are just common sense rules to apply if you are planning to sell real estate property soon, either residential or commercial.
SIMPLE STEP # 1
INTERVIEW & HIRE A
‘REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL’
If you want to sell your home in the fastest and safest manner, hire a professional real estate broker. Put the solid foundation of his office and reputation solidly behind your listing.
By forming a relationship with a real estate professional, you are tapping into all of the resources available to real estate brokers and agents for both buying and selling real estate. You want to make sure that your home gets the absolute maximum exposure and the best marketing strategy, and, only a professional real estate broker, agent or realtor can do this.
No one knows the local real estate market like the local ‘real estate guy or gal’. They usually live in the area, know the market inside and out, know the schools, employment options, business environment, who’s doing what in the city, planned future developments for the community that will add or subtract ‘real value’ to the property you want to sell or buy.
When you work with a qualified real estate professional, your home will be listed on a MLS database that other real estate professionals can access and use. In addition, you get the benefit of an experienced marketer and negotiator who is familiar with all of the real estate issues in your community.
INTERVIEW THE REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL
AND ASK QUESTIONS
When selecting someone to represent you, interview at least 3 real estate professionals who are located in your area, and who are familiar with the real estate markets in your area. Before interviewing or hiring, visit their offices and talk to their staffs. Ask for references and then go visit them. Ask which escrow company and title company they use. Then go visit them and ask questions. This won’t take more that a couple of days and could mean the difference of selling your house period. Or, it could mean thousands of dollars in your pocket, or theirs, or someone else’s.
When visiting the Real Estate office, bring a well thought out list of questions to ask them. Know in advance what you are going to discuss with them. You can base your questions on the interviews you did with their staffs, the escrow and title companies and any references they might have given to you to check out.
- What is their plan on marketing your property?
- What will they do to get the marketing messages to the greatest number of buyers?
- Are they planning open house on certain weekends or? * Who will be showing the property?
- What price should the real estate property be listed for? * What is the margin for negotiation?
- What is the average time their listings have been on the market? (Verification of this can be found with a Comparative Marketing Analysis and will provide the names of 2 or 3 of their most recent sellers who you can then contact for references)
These are just some questions that should be asked. Don’t be afraid to dig into the background of the real estate brokers and agents you are interviewing. Visit their offices and probe around and ask questions of the other agents in the office.
And do find out about escrow (if applicable) and title companies and any other vendor services the broker uses.
Remember, You are the boss!
You are contracting with real estate professionals to market, sell,
and maybe arrange for the finance of your single most valuable investment in life.
SIMPLE STEP #2
IS YOUR PROPERTY PRICED RIGHT?
Interest in your property will be at the highest in the first 30 days or so.
If your property is over priced, potential buyers will not even be touring to look at the property and its hard to get them interested again if you drop the price later. A house priced at just below market value grabs the interest of real estate professionals and of buyers while overpricing chases them away. Remember that you can always drop your price later on, but the longer a property remains on the market, the fewer the prospects and lookers, as well as real estate professionals, lose interest in it as other and more competitive properties become available.
SIMPLE STEP #3
IS YOUR PROPERTY IN GOOD SHOWING CONDITION
* DOES IT HAVE GOOD ‘CURB APPEAL’
Get the property in Tip Top Shape and keep it that way. You only have one chance for a “good first impression” !
The important thing is to get rid of all trash, all clutter and any unsightly messes. When a potential buyer comes to view the property, it should be neat and clean as much as possible. Yards should be manicured and clean. Clean up the garage areas. Touch up paint or repaint if necessary. Have the carpets cleaned professionally? You should have your property inspected by a certified inspector to be able to answer any and all questions that might arise from a buyer and his possible inspector. Make all necessary repairs.
Don’t overlook the outside areas. The lawn should be trimmed and green. The plants well-groomed, blooming and trimmed. Be sure the sidewalks and gutters along the street are clean. Put away bikes, skateboards, etc.
Check the little items; doe’s the mailbox look good? Or, is it rusty and worn out?
SIMPLE STEP #4
Offering an incentive may just be the thing that a potential buyer needs to close the deal. An incentive creates impetus with the right timing. An example of a small incentive is offering a carpet allowance or a painting allowance. This goes a long way if the potential buyer is hung up on a particular problem with the property like the paint color, or worn carpets. You might even pay for the home inspection or home warranty for the buyer if he wants the property.
Depending on your budget, etc., you might offer to help out with some of the closing costs. All of these things create an impetus for the buyer to ‘take the worm’.
HANG IN THERE
Don’t be discouraged if there are competing homes for sale in your immediate neighborhood. Making the right moves before the property is put on the market and staying in close contact with the real estate brokers’ office and getting feedback on potential buyer comments are important so you can continue to be flexible during the marketing of your real estate property. Today’s real estate market is very competitive and will continue to be that way if you are to be successful with your property sale.