I’m going to get straight to the point: When thinking about what NOT to do when selling your home, this tops the list:
Do not think, in today’s day and age, that you don’t have to change anything in the house prior to selling because it’s better to let the buyer do whatever he or she wants to do to the house. It’s not.
I’m not sure where this belief same from. Maybe it’s a holdover from the pre-cable TV and pre-internet days. But it’s an outdated way of looking at selling one’s home. Let me give you an example.
A couple of years ago The Brent Germany Team had a client with a lovely two-story home — I’ll spare you the details. Suffice to say, there were a few things that needed attention. One: the carpets needed replacement. Two: the shower stall in the master bathroom needed replacement.
The owners thought the housing market was so hot their house had to sell no matter what. They chose to offer a generous allowance for new flooring and the shower stall, which would have allowed the buyers to install much higher quality materials. They reasoned: “It’s better to choose what you want.”
Not a thing. People who walked through the house, said they loved its layout and location, but no offers were made because no one wanted to do the work required to replace flooring and a shower stall. One lady told me, “I don’t even want to call a contractor.”
In today’s real estate market, buyers want turnkey properties where they buy, move in, and everything is done. No need to shop for flooring or call a contractor.
Everybody has their process. Designers. Engineers. School teachers. Realtors are no different when it comes to selling a home. There is a process to follow.
The number of steps vary from realtor to realtor, but The Brent Germany Team has found over the years that sellers can generally can expect:
#1A: Finding a Realtor (something to consider)
Ideally this is the starting point.
But, before you find a realtor, I’d like to interject this: If you think you want to sell the house in the near future, don’t wait to find a realtor to get started.
Here’s why: There are plenty of articles on the web — including ones from The Brent Germany Team (here) — detailing what homeowners can do to prepare their houses for sale. Preparation is a big step in the selling process and, depending on what needs to be done, may take some time (and money) to complete.
Why not start preparing as soon as you can — even if you don’t have a realtor?
#1B: Finding a Realtor
If preparing your home for sale is not a daunting issue and you don’t need extra time, then plow ahead and find a realtor you are comfortable working with. He or she will certainly advise you on what needs to be done to prepare your home for sale.
Now how to do you find me?
How do you find a realtor you like and can work with?
Most people find a realtor through referrals from friends or neighbors, but you don’t have to take the first one you come across. Take some time to research. Drive around neighborhoods....
With all the resources available on the internet and the real estate smartphone apps for on-the-go access, I understand why people would want to be their own realtors. For Sale by Owner — or FSBO — is easier than ever. Or is it?
Not surprisingly, Brent Germany Team members are hearing that homeowners who are considering selling their houses are looking at FSBO not to just save the commission fees but because “it looks so easy” with all of the real estate apps and resources available these days.
Whenever people ask me about FSBOs, I like to “peel away the onion” with them and look deeper at the relationship between realtors and FSBOs. There are so many more benefits working with a realtor and greater risk when going the FSBO route.
#1: Realtors Usually Sell Homes Faster than FSBOS
There are many reasons for this, but I’m only going to look at a few.
- Experience: Many realtors have years of experience working with homeowners and homebuyers. We know our way around the entire process — selling, buying, marketing, pricing, inspections, appraisals, negotiation. We are nimble, can react quickly, and know how to get to information, people, and solutions much quicker than FSBOers because we’ve been there, done that.
- Resources: The Brent Germany Team has better access to real estate resources than most FSBOers. Not only that, we know the ins and outs of using specific tools, what the data we dig up means, and how to use what we find. Again, this allows us to sell homes faster than most FSBOers, who are slowed by not...
I talk with people every day who want to sell their homes. And always, without fail, I’m asked what they need to do before putting their house on the market.
It’s a great question because, for the most part, they just want to sell the house and don’t realize how much more work it will be than buying one.
In order to help people understand this, the Brent Germany real estate team collected what it considers critical steps to take before listing a home for sale.
#1: Find a Realtor
Before climbing too far down the rabbit hole of making repairs and spending money, find a realtor who has:
- A demonstrable record selling homes not only in Dallas but in the area of the listing. He or she will know the ins and outs of the location and what buyers are looking for.
- A support team of other realtors and real estate professionals. This is important because you want a realtor who has access to resources that will give you a competitive edge to sell your home as quickly and for as much money as possible, which is everybody’s goal.
- An easy-going personality. This is important because, as I’ve said, selling a home is a lot of work and can be exhausting — physically and emotionally. You want to be comfortable working with the realtor you choose because you’ll be working closely for as long as it takes to prepare and sell your home.
#2: Set the Right Price
This is critical and a reason why you want to work with a realtor in the first place.
Why? A lot of people tell the Brent Germany team they expect their home will list as...
I get this question a lot: What does a realtor do? It depends, I say, if you are selling a house or buying one. If you are selling we do this, this, and this. If you are buying, we do that, that, and that.
The common thread that runs through a realtor’s life is his or her relationship with you, the buyer or seller. We represent you when it comes to real estate transactions and it’s something we at The Brent Germany Team take very, very seriously.
But what does “represent” mean? How does it differ from what a realtor does?
I’m focusing on representation because these are overarching traits and characteristics that I want you aware of. These are things that make great real estate agents.
So here goes.
#1: A Good Realtor Listens and Understands
I am your advocate. By that I mean that, yes, of course, I listen to your needs, wants, and goals. I walk in your shoes. But I also walk in mine. The thing is I walk with you, side by side, through the entire process — a process that is intimidating for most people.
Every client is different, just like every home is. Some people want to list their house “as is.” Others need advice on how to stage or what repairs to make. Still others may have special requirements like the company they work for is moving the family ASAP.
When buyers tell me their circumstances, often times I have to dig deeper to understand what they’re really telling me. Someone once said that’s understanding “unexpressed needs” because they don’t express something because they’re...