Real estate agents can be the saving grace one needs in buying or selling a home. If you have done either one of these things, you know how stressful it can get. It is the agent’s job to get things done quickly and smoothly, but they could use a helping hand from you as well. Knowing just four simple things can help move along a sale or close a deal with ease.
1. Be flexible with your timeline
You may have hired the Babe Ruth of real estate agents, but that does not mean you should bank on a quick sell or a quick buy. The housing market is volatile. The average time your house will sit on the market varies drastically through the country. In one area, your house could sit for two months before a tempting offer comes through. In another area, your house may sit for half a year. Real estate agents will tell you, strict timelines are just going to give the both of you headaches. Before throwing your agent unrealistic expectations, work out a realistic schedule with them which includes the following:
- Time spent prepping your home
- Open house staging (How many days? Weeks?)
- Length of time your house could possibly sit on the market
- Time spent on negotiations
- Length of closing procedure
Working with a strategic timeline alleviates pressure from both sides and the focus stays on getting your house sold.
2. Presentation is everything
It may be hard to believe in this day and age that a seller doesn't put in the extra time and effort to spruce up his home before a viewing but it happens. Prepping your home is more than throwing magazines under a coffee table and handing out finger foods. Everything from the décor to the smell needs to be taken into consideration. Your real estate agent may advise you to rent furniture or paint the walls (if your budget allows) in order to cultivate a more inviting atmosphere. If remodeling for the sake of selling is not within your budget, something as simple as adding plants, doing a deep clean and using some fragrant plug-ins can make a world of a difference.
3. Listen when it comes to pricing your house
Your home may hold a lot of sentimental value and that’s hard to price. You may think your home has built up a lot of equity, and you want to be sure that is reflected in your sale price. It’s fair that an owner wants his voice heard when it comes to pricing his home, but you hired a real estate agent for a reason. Your agent is theoretically an expert in her field, and, in being the expert, she will know what price will work in your market. If you want to move your home quickly, it is wise to price your home just below market value. This will give your house an attractive position. Unless your home is a luxury home that is unlike anything else in the area or is unique in some other way, there is no legitimate reason to price your home above market value. Pricing your home at market value leaves you vulnerable to a wide range of competition. Have a lengthy discussion with your agent and trust that she knows the market.
4. Agents don’t make much from a sale
Real estate agents are private contractors. They set their own commission rates and fees. Usually a real estate agent works for a brokerage firm that sets them up with sellers or buyers. If there are two agents working on the property (one on the buying side and one on the selling) they may spilt the commission between themselves. It doesn’t end there. They then have to split what they take away with their broker. Depending on the brokerage firm, the split can be 50/50 or even 80/20. With that being said, be nice to your agent if she is doing everything she can to help you. Chances are she is juggling several clients.
If you and an agent can’t seem to meet eye to eye, you can always sell your house on your own. Check out this story on six ways to sell your home.
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