Guide To Hiring The Realtor Who Will Set You Up For Real Estate Success in Strongsville
Your home is your happy place – your safe haven. It has been there for you through thick and thin. It has seen birthdays, Christmases, and many other occasions. Your home is everything. And now it's time to part ways with it.
Your home quite literally holds everything you own (or close to it). It has protected you and your belongings for a while. It's understandable that you feel a little anxiety at the prospect of selling it. Do not blame yourself for being a little overwhelmed... How often do you sell a part of your past?
Whether you're in Westwood Farms, Waterford Crossing, Meadowood, Ledgewood, High Point, or elsewhere in Strongsville -- the good news is that you don't have to go at it alone, or reinvent the wheel to do it successfully. A good listing realtor has your back when it comes to planning, financial details, current property value, and a marketing agenda to sell your home in the most efficient way possible.
For those reasons and many more, it's important to find a well qualified and compatible listing agent to help you get what you want out of your real estate transaction. Here's how:
What Can A Listing Agent Do For You?
It's important to understand what you want or need out of the selling process. Do you need to sell at or above a certain number? Do you need to conduct this transaction in the quickest way possible? Can you wait a little longer for the right buyer at the right price? With so much money resting on a single transaction, it is important to understand your needs before interviewing real estate agents. This way, you have a better chance at finding an agent who speaks to your goals.
Of course, it always helps to know what a listing agent does. A real estate listing agent will:
- Work with you to price your home. Your REALTOR should provide a Competitive Market Analysis of your property – a customized report describing a forecast sale price of your home on the open real estate market in Strongsville.
- Market your property for it's sale – this includes staging consult, professional photography, traditional real estate marketing, digital marketing, social media, etc...
- Lead the negotiations with the buyer/buyer's agent.
- Operate as the communications hub as your home goes through the purchase process from signed offer through inspections, appraisals, and to closing.
- Manage the litany of paperwork necessary to close a real estate transaction and transfer it's deed.
That's the question, right? How much should you ask for and what should you settle for? After reviewing your competitive market analysis, this question will seem easier to answer. A competitive market analysis will provide the following objective data:
- Homes that have sold near you over the last six months, and for what price
- Homes currently listed near you, and for what price
- Expired homes near you over the last six months, providing insight to what prices the market will not bear
Additional information a competitive market analysis home valuation might provide is current price per square foot ratios, current days on market, and average listing price/sold price ratios for comparable properties.
Comparable market data is the most powerful information you possess when determining a price to sell your home. Though, it is not the only information to consider. Subjective analysis also goes into a price determination – such as the condition of the home. Does it need a roof? Does it need a kitchen/bath remodel? How is the flooring? Paint? What is the physical condition of this home's elements vs. comparable recently sold homes?
How do you consider all this information into a single price? The short answer is that you need to trust your REALTOR. It is their job to do just that.
Ask your prospective REALTOR about pricing history for recent transactions of other homes they have sold. Specifically, you want to look at their List Price vs. Sold Price. This data will provide insight to how close they can predict a true sale price. Accuracy is important. Anyone can predict a high price knowing it's what you want to hear. It takes an experienced realtor to deliver news that you may not want to hear – an accurate market value prediction for your home.
Marketing Your Home in Strongsville
Your agent should use a number of different methods to market your home. Traditional real estate marketing such as open houses, signage, and ads are proven, and still work well to gain attraction. More technologically advanced realtors will use modern digital marketing methods to further advance the attraction of your property on the open market. Local property search websites and social media are common ways for successful agents to expand your reach. A good agent will post pictures and listing info on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, to name a few.
The #1 way your real estate agent will market your home in Strongsville is through the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). This is a broker-to-broker open data stream. This is the means by which all other agents are able to see that your home is for sale – and the pertinent information about it's listing.
When offers to purchase your property come in, it's often necessary to negotiate (counter) price and/or contingencies. Contingencies are special circumstances to the purchase contract, such as – “contract contingent the sale of ...” Meaning some purchase contracts are contingent on the sale of the purchaser's current home. Analyzing and comparing purchase agreements can become a tedious task, and an experienced Strongsville realtor can decipher and explain the pro's and con's of each offer. This can be a stressful time, and an experienced negotiating agent can benefit your end goal to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars.
When you have negotiated the deal and landed a purchase contract, then your agent will facilitate the remaining steps to closing. Inspections, appraisals, negotiated repairs, hoa agreements, title, and state/county doc are all managed by your listing agent in the preparation of your deed to transfer.
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Questions To Ask When Finding An Agent
Proper planning prevents poor performance -- 5 famous words that relates to most everything in our lives today. With that said, start your realtor search at least a month before you would like to list your home for sale. You want to put your best foot forward. It takes time, effort, and a plan to sell real estate.
Here are the best questions to ask your perspective agent in the interview process:
Do you work full-time or part-time as a real estate agent near Strongsville? Like any other profession, there are many people who work on a part-time basis. These agents can be very well qualified and experienced. However, an agent who works on a part-time basis may be unavailable at times of necessity. Furthermore, a full-time agent is more likely to have more transactions under his/her belt, thus by definition, more experienced.
How long have you been in business? Piggybacking off the first question, this answer should provide further insight into experience. Generally speaking, a more experienced agent will have more accurate listing prices, and will be able to provide info and answers “on-demand” rather than “having to get back with you on that”.
How many homes have you sold in the past year? Another way to gauge the experience of a prospective agent. You would prefer an agent with at least a few transactions near you over the past year.
What's the price range of the homes you sold last year? Most agents sell homes at many different price points. However, you wouldn't want an agent who only sold $500,000+ homes last year to represent your property with a value of $160,000. It's easy to imagine that another agent may possess marketing tools/techniques that are more representative of the demographic you are targeting.
How do you get paid? What is your commission? A perspective agent will effectively communicate their cost structure and value you receive in return. The average real estate agent's commission on listing contracts range from 5%-8% of your home's sale price. You will never have to pay a REALTOR up front, as it is industry standard that real estate agent compensation is paid after services are rendered – at the time of closing.
What is your marketing plan for my home? A well prepared perspective agent will detail a plan with you on how they will bring your home to market. These details include staging consultation, photographing, signage, “going live” details, open houses, and internet marketing plans. Social media platforms and property search sites are also common ways successful agents expand the reach of your property listing.
Do I call you? Who do I work with during this process? Many agents work individually. Other agents work with a team. Still other team agents work individually, while other team agents work together on specific tasks. If you prefer to work with one person as your main real estate counsel, then this question may be important to ask.
What is your average time-on-market? What is your average sold-to-list price? These are stats that can be pulled from any local/regional Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. These stats reflect the accuracy of the agent's former list prices vs. true market values, or sold prices.
Your task is to choose a person you are comfortable working with, and who will work diligently to achieve your real estate goals. Communication is key in any real estate transaction – choose an agent you can communicate with easily and freely.
Know Your Listing Agreement Contract
You have completed the first step – choosing the right REALTOR for you. Next, you must understand their “listing agreement”, or “representation agreement”, or “listing contract”. All names refer to the same document – Your signed contract agreement with the real estate agent you choose.
Common Listing Contract
The most common type of listing contract is the “right-to-sell agreement”, which is the legally binding contract stating that you will use the agent's services to sell your home. In these contracts, the homeowner is giving the exclusive right to sell their property to an agent and brokerage firm for an agreed upon period of time in exchange for compensation made to the agent/agent's firm, upon sale, and at the time of closing. Commonly, additional details are included in the listing contract such as the agent's duties to you, a dispute resolution plan, and a mutual release plan.
In the case you may not be satisfied with the services of your new agent, a release clause allowing you to terminate the contract agreement without financial penalty would be beneficial.
Listing agreements expire after a determined amount of time. An abundant amount of listing contracts extend for six months. Remember, you are not selling a bicycle. Real estate transactions take time to attract and negotiate a purchase offer. Your probable purchaser will be making a life changing financial decision. However, your goals and limitations may exclude a six month agreement. In that case, 90 day listing agreements are not uncommon.
How Does A REALTOR Get Paid?
Real estate commissions, including the listing agent's compensation, is paid at the closing, upon sale of the property. Nearly all real estate sales commissions are a percentage of sale price. Commonly, real estate marketing commissions are 6%-8% of the sale price. So, a $200,000 home sale would result in $14,000 in agent commissions paid on a 7% listing agreement. The commission is then split between the buyer's agent and the listing agent. The agent split of the commission is described in the listing agreement, and is typically about 50%-50% between agents.
Your listing agent's fee is a portion of the entire agent's commission outlined in your listing agreement. Split between buyer's and seller's agents, and then further divided between each respective agent and their brokerage, your agent's compensation also includes hard costs such as photography and internet advertising.
Now that you've done your homework and chose an agent who you feel comfortable working with, it's time to sell that house! Good luck!
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