Disclaimer: This is from one person’s point of view so it is far from definitive but tries to be comprehensive.
Almost two years ago I started at CENTURY 21 Action Realty as an Administrative Assistant. I have never purchased a home and knew little to nothing about what is involved with the real estate industry. It occurs to me that there may be others out there that find the whole realm frightening and scary. How do I list my home to sell? What do I need to do to buy a home? Maybe you have already listed or spoken with an agent, but still aren’t quite sure how it all works. So here we go…
(Remember, these are only MY observations from the inside of the industry.)
How do I list my home to sell? The most obvious answer is to call a realtor and talk to someone about the process? But which realtor should I call? If I sign up with an agency, is that the only agency that can show my home? Do I even need an agency to sell my house? Can I do it on my own?
Clearly I work for CENTURY 21 Action Realty. I would love for you to use one of our agents and am happy to make recommendations. However I am also a realist and know that this is a people industry. We all have friends, neighbors, and family that own a home and have worked with an agent. If they love that agent they are going to refer you to them. I’m some random unseen individual. They’re your favorite Aunt, your Father, best man from your wedding, and so on. So let’s just take CENTURY 21 Action Realty off the table and talk as one person to another.
I recommend that you actually talk to all those people you know that have used local realtors. Find out who they used and why they like them so well. Also find out who they don’t like and don’t trust. Having the wrong agent can really make the process more difficult than you would like. I sincerely believe that it is important that you trust your agent and the advice they give you. And don’t be afraid to invest in a new agent versus a seasoned agent. That seasoned agent will be a well spring of knowledge, but that young agent is eager to make a name in the community. Plus, they are likely to be around for a while if you decide you need to sell your home down the road.
So once you have researched the agents, give some thought to the agency where they work. Is that agency a local place or is it a franchise? Why does that matter? It depends on the level of exposure that you want. A local place will have a website and will try to get as much of the web traffic as possible. They will do their best to sell your home. A franchise is likely to have a local and national site. Maybe even an international site. This really equals more exposure, but again it is only as good as the traffic it can attract.
Whether you sign up with a local place or a franchise place, either one of them can show your home. There are some agents that might indicate that they can do a better job if they list your home. Maybe they can. However they won’t have any more access to your venue than any other agent that wants to show your home. This is where the exposure and marketing come in. Also, how much you trust your agent.
One of the things that I see quite often is that an agent will tell their clients what homes are selling for only to be ignored. Six months later the client will go with someone else and reduce the price of their home to what the original agent suggested. Not only will you sell your home finally, but you will hurt your previous agents feelings. (Agents are people with lives and feelings. They invest a lot of energy into their clients. They want to sell your home just as much as you do.) So, this brings up the next suggestion for selling your home. Know exactly how much money you have to make on the sale of your home. Know what you have left on your loan. Your agent will tell you what to list for but they will list for whatever amount you want. It’s your home.
Which leads us to the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) option. If you have a home you can certainly list it as a FSBO. It all comes down again to exposure. Most individuals no longer really buy a paper. They get their news through their phone or some app. Nor can a lot of people read more than you have your home for sale. If you put a sign in the yard you are inviting individuals to pull in randomly. Let’s say you do find someone to buy your home, closings rarely go smoothly. There is paperwork and pitfalls. Most seasoned agents I know list their home through an agency. But should you decide you want to go the FSBO route, decide if you would be willing to pay an agent a commission if they bring a customer your way to show your home. That is always an option.
Since this is really running quite long, we’ll stop at this point. Let me know what you may have already known. Let me know what was new information. Thanks.