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So you're ready to sell your house. Now what do you do? Go it alone or hire a real estate agent to list your property?
If you're thinking about "going it alone" be prepared to:
- Set the price right - Do you know what the selling price on your home should be? Set the price too high and your home could just sit there. Then again, set the price too low and you could be throwing money away.
A real estate agent is able to look up comparable home values and help suggest the best price to list your home for sale.
- Prepare Your Home for Sale - Time to clean, paint, replace and/or repair and organize your entire home inside and outside... including the garage and storage bins. Do you know what all needs to be done?
A real estate agent is able to advise you on the steps you need to take now in order to get your home "market ready".
- Marketing your home - Time to get creative. First you'll need to place a yard sign with your contact number so people can call to get more information about your home. And you'll need to prepare marketing materials such as flyers, pictures and videos of your home.
A real estate agent will do all of this for you and so much more (send info to their mailing list; add home to MLS service; create a listing web page; promote your home on social media sites; etc)
- Answer Telephone Calls - Remember that sign in the front yard with your telephone number on it. Whether it's 8 a.m.; 8 p.m.; movie night or you're in a meeting at work.... No matter what you're doing or what time of the day it is (everyday) ask yourself: are you really prepared to answer every phone call about your listing?
A real estate agent knows how to answer inquiries to encourage showings and get your home sold.
- Showing Your Home - Somebody called and wants to see the inside of your home. And you think great! The problem is they are only available to view it Friday morning and you're suppose to be at work then. Now what?
A real estate agent has the flexibility to make appointments that best meet the needs of prospects and further knows exactly what to say during showings. Furthermore, listing agents cooperate with selling agents and in so doing can make your home more visible by putting a lockbox on your house. This will allow other real estate agents working directly with buyers looking for a home in your area, access to show your house to their clients.
- Documents - Have you prepared a disclosure statement? Are you ready to write up an offer? What if potential buyer wants a home inspection? What if repairs are needed?
Again, a real estate agent handles all this for you and so much more. Maybe going it alone isn't what it's all cracked up be after all. Are you really going to save money? When you think about all the things a real estate agent does plus the considerable amount of time you would have to invest in selling your home... having a professional real estate agent list your home is well worth it.
A WORD OF CAUTION:
Don't just let anyone who calls about your house come inside.
5 Tips to Minimize the Risks:
1. Screen prospects before showing your home. Get their names and phone numbers. Make a showing appointment. Day before appointment, call prospect to confirm.
2. Don't show home to drop-ins; after dark; and/or when you are home alone. Safety first.
3. Keep your home well-lit and all curtains and blinds open during showings so your neighbors and/or passers-by can see what's going on.
4. Hide Valuables - Don't wear expensive jewelry during showing appointments and safely secure all other small valuables (like watches, jewelry, loose money, etc) that might be out in plain sight.
5. Call Plan - Tell a friend or family member that you have a showing set and at what time. Have a call plan in place where you will call them back within 30 minutes or they should call you to see what's going on.