Selling Your Own Home – Are the High Priced Commissions Really Worth Having a Realtor?

It really does not matter whether you are selling a house or trying to buy a house, the real estate agent will say that they are working for the seller. On the other hand, if they are trying to find a home for the buyer, then they will say they work for the buyer. No matter what works for them is what they will do. Keep reading if your interested in selling your own home.

In reality, the real estate agent works for themselves alone. They want to get their business built up and earn a good reputation. They need to get their name out there as much as they can, so they try to sell as many and list as many houses that they can get their hands on.

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) signs are vastly different from a real estate agent sign. The FSBO lists the listing ID and a phone number, or maybe even a website. This type of FSBO services keeps the focus on selling your home, which is exactly what you want to do. They will deal with the owner directly and not have to go through a real estate agent. All the real estate agent is concerned with is selling the homes with the larger commissions. If your home is not one of these, then you real estate agent will not try very hard.

If you will look at a sign from a real estate agent, you will notice their picture on the sign, their logo, and their business name. The agent really is not focused on the seller, they are more interested in building up their name and getting their business and picture out there for everyone to see.

The seller is going to have to pay a lot of money to get a big name agent. Many times the agent is so busy you will not even get to meet them face to face. They will most likely send out someone who works for them to get the job done. You really need to do your research and find out if it is worth it to you to hire a real estate agent so they can build up their name and business, or if you would rather sell your own home and save giving the commission away.

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Source by Jackson Montgomery

Tips For Selling Your Own House

Not everyone is willing to use a real estate agent, since they do take a commission, usually around 7%. That means, by selling your own home, you’ll end up with upwards of $10,000 that would have gone to an agent. And given today’s slow market there is a very real chance your home will sit unsold for a year or more.

Today, more than ever selling your own house can not only be more profitable, but it is your best chance at getting it sold quickly.

In this article, I am going to show you how to go from „selling your own house“ to „I SOLD my own house“.

In a hot market selling may have been as easy as putting a „for sale by owner“ sign in front of the house and collecting offers. But let’s face it, times are tough and most houses are sitting unsold for months and years.

It’s a war zone out there. Foreclosures are at an all time high and that creates a lot of houses for sale on the market. In order to survive in a war zone you need special skills and a competitive advantage. With this special training you can get your house SOLD, despite the doom and gloom of the newspaper headlines.

If you’re selling your own house you need a secret weapon. And that weapon is highly specialized marketing!

Here is a killer marketing tip that will give you a competitive advantage over all other sellers on your block.

Don’t list your home in a traditional method. Instead of „starting high“ and being talked down do the EXACT OPPOSITE. Start low, get a lot of attention and let the buyers drive the price up. I am talking about a do-it-yourself auction style sale.

What is working best now is what’s called a „round robin auction“. Here is how it works:

First you will advertise that your home is for auction. In these tough times buyers are looking to get a good deal. Auctions are the place to get great deals, and your message will leap out at them.

Next you will hold an open house for two days only, Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 5 pm. This will allow you to funnel all the buyers through your doors all at once.

Those that are interested in the property will place their name and phone number along with the price they would like to bid on an „initial bidding sheet“.

On Sunday night you call all those people that put in a bid and conduct the auction. You will simply call down the list tell them the current bid amount and ask them if they would like to raise or pass. You will go around and around making calls until the highest and best offer has presented itself, hence the name „round robin auction“.

Now that you have found your buyer you will meet with them and get the paperwork started.

That’s the unique marketing method that is working now. And if you are planning on selling your own house there is no better method to attract droves of buyers and compel them to make offers on your house.

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Source by N Big

Will Commercial Zoning Increase Your Property Value?

If you have the correct combination of items and you have a large enough pocketbook, this may be your ticket to retirement. But sometimes, it’s your ticket to the poor house.

I looked at a home that is zoned mixed use. In this area, this means that you can either use the residence as a home or use the residence as a commercial site. These types of sites are usually limited to low impact items such as office buildings, apartments, etc.

What’s the catch? Well, you’ll have to own a large enough parcel of land to make a commercial deal work. This is why you see five homes along a busy street all for sale at once and the zoning is commercial. This is because in order to be approved for commercial development, there must be a large enough parcel to make the commercial development work.

Usually, for mixed residential zoning, these areas are close to town or close to other apartments or business in the area. I’ve appraised several of these types of property. Many times, advertising the zoning as mixed use is enough to sell the home for more just because it may appeal to that specific buyer that wants to live in the same home and run a business out of the home. One home that I appraised offered a living area on the main level and a daylight basement offered office buildings that were rented out.

My understanding is that some banks that specialize in residential zoning will not loan money on mixed use properties. This, of course, is a downfall, if you’re trying to get a residential loan. Some buyers will not want to use their residential home for office use. This will limit the number of buyers that may want to buy your home.

So, will commercial zoning increase your property value? If your home is a residential home with the best use as a residential use, commercial zoning may decrease your home value and make it difficult to get a loan and make it difficult to sell, because you’ll be located on a busy street. If your home is residential use and the highest and best use is to build a commercial structure, most often, your land used as commercial use will be more valuable than your home used as residential use.

So, the moral of the story is to keep an open mind on these types of properties. I looked at some homes the other day where the home is an older residential home with a larger lot. The zoning can be switched from residential to commercial for $1500. Residential homes with larger lots with similar zoning were selling for $350,000 to $400,000. Residential homes that have been switched to commercial zoning were selling for $500,000 to $700,000. So for $1500 and some time, this would be a good investment for your money.

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Source by Tim D Page

For Sale by Owner – Marketing Your House for Sale

You’ve decided that the house you are presently occupying no longer suits the needs of you and your family and, after careful deliberation, have opted to put it up for sale, the proceeds of which you will use to purchase a new unit. Since you’re now ready to sell, you must know how you can properly market the house in order to attract the attention of as much potential buyers as possible.

The cheapest and easiest way you can announce to all and sundry that you are selling your house is to put a big „FOR SALE“ sign in front of the property. Unfortunately, you are only likely to attract the attention of your neighbours or travellers who are simply passing through the area. Another relatively cost-effective way of marketing your property is by placing attractive posters on community bulletin boards (in church, the supermarket), where foot traffic is high.

If you want to reach a wider market, you can place an advertisement in the classified ads. Placing an ad is not very expensive but you may have to limit the number of words or characters. If you plan to place an ad in the classifieds, make sure that you are familiar with the real estate lingo and abbreviations, and it is advised that you put several short ads over an extended period of time rather than place one long advertisement once. An alternative is to place an advertisement in real estate related publications and magazines.

To reach a bigger market, you can place an advertisement on the internet. Being visible on the World Wide Web is no longer as costly as it was before. If you do your homework well, you would be able to find sites that offer very competitive rates and prices. Compare services first so you can get the most out of your money.

In addition to these marketing strategies, it also helps if you prepare brochures or flyers showing a photo of your property and listing down main points of interest (of the house and the community / neighbourhood). What’s good about brochures is that they are very handy. You can place a brochure holder in front of your home (by your For Sale sign or beside your mailbox), you can bring several copies with you to the office and distribute it to your colleagues, you can even ask your friends and relatives to help out by handing over a stack and requesting them to give it out to their friends. These brochures will also come in handy when you host open house events. Potential home buyers can just grab a copy and compare your home’s features with the other properties they are contemplating on buying.

There are several other ways by which you can effectively, cost efficiently and creatively market your home. You just have to think out of the box. Make sure, however, that your marketing activities will not bother or annoy other people.

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Source by Gloria Smith

Pricing A Home For Sale: The Fine – Line Between Too High, Too Low, Just Right!

For a variety of reasons, at some point, most people decide, the time is right, for them, to sell their home. Since, for most, the value of this house, is, their single – biggest, financial asset. or one of them, wouldn’t it make sense, when this time arrives, you are more aware of some real estate realities, and proceed, with a better knowledge, of a variety of relevant factors, especially, pricing decisions. How one prices his home, from the onset, often, has significant ramifications! Wouldn’t it make sense, to better understand, as many relevant factors, as possible, in order to avoid, the tendency, to, either, over – price, under – price, or, list your home, just – right? With that in mind, this article will attempt to review, consider, examine, and discuss, what this means, and why it matters.

1. Pricing too high: One of the age – old challenges, is, the conflict, between what a homeowner, believes, his property is worth, and, what, qualified, potential buyers believe, and/ or, are willing to pay! When, a seller, over – prices his house, he risks, getting the best possible results, because, in the vast number of cases, the best offers, are received, within the first few weeks, after a house, is listed, on the real estate market. Whether, it’s because of greed, optimism, wishing/ wishful – thinking, or failing to realize, a listing a selling price, are far different entities, this approach, rarely works. There is, generally, lots of competition, and, what lenders, appraise properties for, and, unless these align, few houses sell!

2. Pricing too low: The risk of listing a house, too low, is turning – off, some potential buyers, because, they feel/ believe, there must be something wrong, if it’s being offered, so – cheap! There is a fine line, between, offering something, at the lower end of the market, as compared to, significantly below, that point!

3. Pricing just – right!: The listing price, a home is initially offered for, should depend on the existing local real estate market. Since, this varies, from region – to – region, state – to – state, and neighborhood – to – neighborhood, and even, sometimes, depending on the specific block, and the location on the block (corner, mid – block, adjoining properties, etc), one should hire a qualified real estate agent, to serve and represent them, and their best interests! The pricing range, should be determined, by having a professionally prepared, Competitive Market Analysis, or, CMA, guide the process. A homeowner’s unique needs, and personal situation, are significant factors, in determining, where, in that range, is the finest, listing price.

Obviously, the best way, and approach, to pricing your house, for sale, depends on a variety of factors, conditions, needs, and priorities. However, when the initial listing price, is just – right, instead of too high, or low, your results, will generally, be better!

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Source by Richard Brody

What You Need to Know About Selling Your Condominium in Today’s Market

In today’s California condominium market not only should the seller prepare the unit for sale, but the seller should be prepared with certain information about the homeowner’s association–prior to listing. Do you as a seller know how many owners live in the association? Are you familiar with your association’s Conditions, Covenants & Restrictions (CC&R’s)? What about upcoming assessments for planned maintenance work on the common areas?

You’ve worked hard repainting your unit, cleaning the carpeting and possibly upgrading the countertops in your kitchen and bathroom, and you’re ready to have buyers take a look. Then perhaps you obtain an offer from a motivated and excited buyer and you open escrow and plan to close in 30 days. But wait, have you considered other issues that could impact your sale?

For instance, did you know that having less than a 50% owner occupancy ratio means you may need to obtain an offer from an all cash buyer? Unfortunately, many condo owners do not realize that with a higher number of rental units comes a lower probability of buyer mortgage financing. Many lending sources have a higher criteria than required under FNMA loan rules, and may require 70-75% owner occupancy before agreeing to your new buyer’s loan. At a minimum, 50% owner occupancy is required for FHA loans (this applies only if your building is FHA approved, by the way). In a 32 unit building for example, 16 renters will be too much. Lest you think otherwise, this situation is not unheard of and in fact exists in a very upscale area where the owners don’t want to let go of their units after they have moved on to a single family house. It has presented a lot of difficulties for those owners who wanted to sell. If you wait until you are in escrow for the buyer/buyer’s lender to find this out, much time will have been wasted and the transaction may end up cancelling. Wouldn’t it be wise to bring this issue up to your Board of Directors so that the general membership could review the policy for handling rentals?

Property owners should not be living in oblivion while allowing their association’s owner ratio to decline year after year. This could mean the difference between selling a unit while it still has equity or as a successful short sale, or forcing one into foreclosure because the owner has no other way out of their situation because no lender would grant financing and no all cash buyer could be found. A foreclosed unit in an association means a drop in collected owner’s dues and a possible increase for remaining members, or at the least a lack of contribution to normal operating costs. Plus, the market value of all units in that association may be impacted if it now becomes impossible to obtain financing, or cash buyers bring in „lowball“ offers to a desperate seller. Typically, a lender’s HOA Certification submitted to the Board or property manager may ask how many owners, how many renters, and how many vacant units. You can circumvent wasted time by contacting your Board or property manager beforehand to obtain this information.

Let’s say the owner occupancy ratio is still fine, but there are delinquent owners in the building, possibly due to loss of employment, or units already in foreclosure. Did you know that if an association has over 15% of its owners 30 days (or more) behind in their association payments, the lenders will probably not make a loan until that number is decreased to less than 15%. In a smaller building of 30 units, that would take only 5 units. What if those particular owners are foreclosures held by a bank which is not paying dues until the unit sells, or owners who have abandoned their units and are unreachable? Has your Board of Directors suggested a remedy to assist current sellers in good standing? This is information you the seller should look into before you list your property. Why wait until you’re in escrow and then find out the lender won’t go forward due to this issue? Again, your Board of Directors (possibly the Treasurer) or your property manager representative should be able to quickly provide you with this information.

These are two of the biggest issues that a seller may confront, but others may include whether or not your association has a reserve study–how much money is set aside in your annual budget for reserves? Ideally it would be about 10%. Does your association have CC&R’s updated in the last 5 years, or are you still operating on your original documents that are probably very out of date with today’s laws? What is the pet policy in your building? Many buyers have pets and will need to know in advance what to expect, i.e., two dogs may not be allowed, but one dog under 35 lbs is allowed. Are you aware of any litigation within the association? This is a disclosure asked of California sellers in which lenders have a direct interest in the risk of lending there, depending on the particular issue.

In a homeowner association, the concept of „the greater good“ is very close to the surface. Members of an HOA are bound together by a particular legal umbrella found in the California Civil Code that does not exist in a non-association neighborhood. Condominium living was and is really meant for the owners who plan on living there, and it may not work well for long-term absentee landlords, because now more than ever, the transfer of these units is greatly controlled for the first time by mortgage lending criteria.

For more real estate information please visit my websites. I would be happy to respond to any questions concerning this article, or condo selling in general.

http://www.longbeachrealestate.blogspot.com

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Source by Julia Huntsman

Cheap Home Appraisals – 2 Ways You Can Get a Free Home Appraisal

If you are looking for a cheap home appraisal, or free home appraisal, then read this article. I will show you two ways to get your home’s value for free. In today’s real estate market you need to know the true value of your home before you list it for sale. If you are buying a home you need to know how much that home is really worth in a declining market.

Real Estate Agents – Using a local real estate agent you should be able to get a close estimate of the value of your home or property. Real estate agents have at their fingertips many tools that will give a fairly accurate estimate of your home’s value. What will this cost? Usually it is free. So what’s the catch? Well, most realtors will do this for you in hopes of getting your business. Should you let just any real estate agent do this analysis? I say no. You want to select a real estate agent that is familiar with your subdivision or area. You also want an agent that understands how the features in your home will either increase the estimate or decrease the estimate. Once you receive an home value estimate, then you should use the next method to verify that the estimate is correct.

Home Appraisal Websites – I like using some of the free online home appraisal websites, like HomeGain. HomeGain will give you a fairly descent estimate within a few seconds. All, you have to do is supply your address and a few details about your home. Click the button, and within a second or two you will have a free home appraisal. There are other sites on the internet that do this type of appraisal but many are not free. I suggest that you get at least two estimates from an online source and then compare it with a real estate agents estimate. This should give you a fairly good idea of how much your home is worth.

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Source by Jordan S Ashton

Mortgage Options for Home Buyers

To first-time or even repeat buyers it can be daunting to figure out what all your martgage options are. Especially when you’re time pressed to make a commitment to one after you have drafted a contract to purchase a home. Here is an overview of available mortgage products. I’ve added common loan terms from mortgage lenders.

-Affordable housing loan: umbrella term used to cover various loan products targeted to first-time homebuyers.

-Assumable loan: existing mortgage loan that can be assumed by another person; most conventional loans are not assumable; government loans are assumable with qualification of the new person.

-Bi-weekly mortgage: one-half of the mortgage payment is paid every two weeks, resulting in one extra full payment toward principal each year.

-Blanket mortgage: mortgage secured by more than one piece of property.

-Blended rate (or wraparound) mortgage: refinancing plan that combines the interest rate on an existing mortgage loan with current interest rate for an additional amount of loan.

-Bridge (or swing): loan used to bridge the gap when someone is purchasing a new home before they have gone to settlement on their previous home.

-Budget mortgage: another name for a loan that included taxes and insurance along with the principal and interest payment (PITI).

-Installment sale (also called a land contract): usually a private agreement between a seller and buyer where title is not conveyed until all payments have been made.

-Carry-back financing: whenever a seller agrees to finance either the first or a second mortgage on the property.

-Chattel mortgage: a pledge of personal property to secure a note.

-Construction loan: short-term loan made during the construction of a house.

-Home equity loan: either a lump sum or a line of credit made against the equity in a home.

-Interest-only: Your monthly payments only cover the interest on your mortgage loan. Your payment does not include any principal payments to create equity. In a market transitioning from a sellers to a buyers market, you might loose money on the sale of your home.

-125% loan: A loan product in which you are actually borrowing 25% more than the present value of the property you are purchasing. If you should have to sell the property in the first few years, you will find yourself „upside-down“ in the mortgage, owing more on the mortgage than you can sell the house for.

-Open-end mortgage: one where additional funds may be borrowed without changing other terms of the mortgage, typical for construction loans.

-Package mortgage: mortgage secured by a combination of real and personal property; often used for vacation property such as a cabin, beach condo, or ski chalet.

-Portable mortgage: new concept; mortgage loan can be carried with you from one property to another.

-Purchase money mortgage: any loan used to purchase the real property that serves as collateral but usually refers to seller-held financing.

-Reverse mortgage: special program for senior citizens (62 or older), which utilizes the equity in the seniors‘ home to provide additional income without having to sell their home.

-Sub-prime loan: loan with risk-based pricing for persons unable to qualify for prime conventional loans; typically has higher rate of interest; credit scoring and appraisal are critical.

Mortgage terms.

-Mortgagee: the party receiving the mortgage, the lender.

-Mortgagor: the party giving the mortgage, the borrower.

-Mortgage: document establishing property as security for the repayment of the mortgage loan debt.

-Note: a written promise to repay a debt.

-Deed of trust: document conveying legal title to a neutral third party to provide security for the mortgage loan debt. The choice of whether to provide collateral for the loan through a mortgage or a deed of trust depends on individual state law.

-Default: failure to carry out the terms of the contract; the most important term being the agreement to make regular payments.

– Loan-to-value (LTV): percentage of what the lender will lend divided by the market value (e.g., property worth $200,000 with a LTV of 90% means that the lender will loan 90% of the value, or $180,000, and a down payment of 10%, or $20,000, will be required from the borrower.

-Qualifying ratios: the percentage of gross monthly income allowed by different loan programs.

o Front-end ratio is the amount allowed for total housing expense.

o Back-end ratio is the amount allowed for total debt. Example: Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac ratios are 28/36 or 33/38 for affordable loans. FHA ratios are 29/41.

-Points: each point is 1% of the loan amount. Lenders often charge a l% loan origination fee. Additional points may be charged to discount (lower) the rate of interest.

-Buy-down: a cash payment to the lender that lowers the rate of interest; often used a marketing technique by new homebuilders. Example: Property selling for $200,000 with a 2-1 buy down. Interest rate for first year is 4%, second year 5%, and life of the loan 6%.

-PITI: usual components of a mortgage loan: principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. Payment is attributed first to principal, next to interest. Taxes and insurance are paid from an escrow account. Interest and taxes are tax deductible.

-Principal: the balance due on the amount originally borrowed.

-Interest: the amount charged by the lender for the use of the amount borrowed.

-Conventional loan: any mortgage loan that is now government insured or guaranteed.

-Government loan: FHA-insured or VA-guaranteed loans.

-Conforming loan: conforms to Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guidelines.

-Nonconforming loan: does not conform to Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guidelines.

-Jumbo loan: one that exceeds current Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan limits.

-First mortgage (or Trust): the primary loan placed on the property.

-Junior, or second mortgage (or Trust): secondary loan sometimes used in conjunction with first mortgage or one placed sometime after closing on first; such as a home equity loan.

-Portfolio lender: one who retains and continues to service the mortgage loans in-house.

-Prepayment penalty: a fee charged by the lender if you wish to pay off part or all of the balance due prior to the scheduled end of the term; penalty not allowed on any conforming or government loans; most often seen in jumbo loans and ARMs.

-Negative amortization: occurs whenever the monthly payment is not enough to cover the interest charges for that month with the additional amount being added to the principal balance; results in an increasing principal balance rather than a decreasing principal balance as occurs with a fully amortized loan.

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Source by Mark Nash

For Sale By Owner – What You Want To Know About It

When the owners of houses want to sell their own house without the help of any real estate agent or broker, they are called for sale by owner. The National Association of Realtors did a survey report in 2006 that showed that only 7 percent of all sellers were FSBO. There are a lot of hurdles that they have to face when selling their house without the help of any professional. Some of the hurdles may be marketing techniques, timing among others, preparing and designing the house for sale and negotiations.

They need to undertake these hurdles and have to do proper planning because only then you can sale the property successfully. There are many advantages of having for sale by owner, because when there is no middleman, there are no commission fees, so profits are more. Another benefit of this method is that when the owner of the house makes the sale himself, he takes care of all the conditions and clauses in the contract. In case you take the help of a real estate agent for selling your house, the broker is more concerned for the commission and thus forgets other aspects.

If you want to go for FSBO, then you must take care of all the paperwork yourself, and therefore you need the complete knowledge of the market. First of all, you must consider the market price of your house. If you overestimate the cost, you will not find buyers, and if you underestimate the price, you will be at a loss, so proper cost analysis is required. Once you get the market price of your property, you need to get all the papers that are needed to do the sale.

After all these things, now you have to place an ad of your house to attract potential buyers. For this, you can use multiple listing services, and there are various websites for this purpose. You can get the opportunity of allowing tour of your house as a lot of websites give you this kind of service. If you do not want that, you can just include the images of your property so that buyers can have an idea about your property.

You have to face many challenges and hurdles in spite of having various attractive options, like saving in commission etc. You need to sort out all the matters yourself since there will not be any agent or broker to help you out.

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Source by Adam Sawyer

How NOT to Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you do NOT read this report you will almost certainly lose thousands of dollars when you sell your home…

Home sellers don’t know how to spot a good real estate agent

This is understandable when you consider that you will only buy and sell one or two properties in your lifetime. Your home is probably your biggest asset. So, be careful whom you choose to sell it; one slip-up from an agent will wipe thousands off your selling price.

Ask the right questions

Many home sellers ask the WRONG questions when they interview an agent. They ask questions such as „How much do you charge?“ or „What’s my house worth?“. While these questions are important, they should only be asked after the agent has told you what they’ll do for you and how they’ll get you the best price.

This report is your guide to hiring a real estate agent. I’m going to show you how to spot and select the best agent to sell your home. After all, I believe there’s no one better to sell your home than a highly skilled agent. The problem is that highly skilled agents are hard to find.

WARNING! Don’t settle for second best. Too many sellers make the mistake of picking the ‚best of a bad bunch‘. You could be better off without an agent

Check out your agent

It’s a sad fact, but many people don’t check-out their agent until after they have signed with them – by then it’s too late. After you sign you’re stuck; you could be locked into a ‚minimum 90 day‘ contract.

The questions and information in this report will give you the knowledge you need to keep the power when you’re selling a house. After you sign you lose your power.

Agents love to say they are all different but basic research will prove most are the same. It’s the ‚cookie cutter‘ approach when it comes to selling your home – every property is sold the same way.

What to look for when choosing an agent

In 2006 Neil Jenman (my Dad) was asked to provide a list of questions, comments, and hints to help home sellers choose an agent for a TV show he was hosting. He called his list of questions and comments, GUIDE TO GRILLING AGENTS. Over the last few years I have given the guide to many home sellers. This report contains many of the questions and comments in his original guide.

What does a good agent look like?

Most agents will be well dressed, on time, and prepared. But the best real estate agents will be the ones who put your interests first. They will offer solutions that suit you first, not them.

Agents who ask for money to advertise your home should rarely be hired. After all, if advertising was the only reason your home sold why do you need a real estate agent?

Questions are the answer

Sometimes the answer to one good question will give you the confidence you need to hire the best agent to sell your home. Good questions do the hard work for you. Before you jump in and start grilling real estate agents, take a step back.

Put your home buyer shoes on. And start with a mystery shop…

MYSTERY SHOP

Department stores do it, so why shouldn’t you? Use the ‚process of elimination‘ to weed out the poor agents. Why bother interviewing a real estate agent who doesn’t bother to return buyer’s calls? Start with an email. Approximately half of all buyer enquiry arrives via email.

If you send out 10 emails to 10 local real estate agents, I can almost guarantee that you will not receive 10 replies. If only 5 reply, then you have just saved yourself having to interview 5 agents. Include your phone number in your email. Do they call you back? Or do they just email a standard response? An agent who follows up with a call has a much better chance of ‚closing a sale‘ than an agent who sends a standard reply.

QUESTIONS ARE YOUR BEST WEAPON

If you don’t ‚test‘ your real estate agent before you hire them – one thing is for sure – the buyers for your home will do it for you.

What follows are questions that have proven to be a huge help to sellers.

REMEMBER: You are the owner of the property. You are considering employing an agent to sell your property. You are the boss. You have the power BEFORE you sign up. Make sure you keep that power at all times. Control the agents, do not let the agents control you.

Your home’s selling price is determined by your agent’s ability to negotiate

• HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET THE BEST PRICE FOR MY HOME?

When you ask this question many agents will start throwing around the word negotiation. You want to be certain that they are capable of negotiating a high price for your house, ask them to teach you something about negotiation.

Question their ability to negotiate.

Ask them what they know about negotiation. It’s a big point that most home sellers miss because they focus on what the agent says rather than on what they do.

Here’s one of my favorite questions to ask a real estate agent:

• WHEN/IF YOU BRING ME AN OFFER, HOW CAN I BE CERTAIN THAT IT’S THE ABSOLUTE BEST PRICE THAT THE BUYER CAN PAY?

Many real estate agents will have difficulty answering this question. It’s a question that’s rarely asked of agents. Ask it. The answer will tell you a lot about an agent.

Some more questions you can ask are:

• Are you a good negotiator?

• Can you tell me some of the main points you know about negotiation?

• Can you give me some examples of the results of your negotiating ability?

The Biggest Liar Gets the Job

When hiring a real estate agent, the biggest liar (the agent who quotes you the highest price) often gets the job. It’s an old (and very true) real estate saying.

Unfortunately many home sellers hire liars. This happens because people who hear what they want to hear don’t perceive the information as being a lie.

One of the best questions you can ask is:

• WHAT WILL YOU DO TO GET THE BEST PRICE FOR MY HOME?

Once you are satisfied with the answer then ask:

• WHAT PRICE DO YOU THINK YOU CAN SELL MY PROPERTY FOR?

Most agents will try hard to hedge around this question. They may be vague and say such things as „It depends on the market,“ or they may use the common ploy of answering a question with a question, such as, „How much do you want?“

Sellers should stand firm and press the agent on this point by making such comments as:

You are the agent, you sell lots of properties in this area, surely you know how much you can sell my property for – even if you have to give me a range. After all, you are the expert, aren’t you?

Once the agent has given a [verbal] quote, ask the following:

1. Will you give me that quote in writing?

2. Do you usually sell properties for the price that you quote the sellers?

Regardless of the answers, don’t dwell too long on any point at this stage. Just keep the questions rolling…

It’s not what you pay an agent, but what they cost you, that counts.

• How much commission do you charge?

Most agents will talk about ’standard rates‘ or they will say that the rate is recommended by the Real Estate Institute – this is to soften the shock. Sellers should make comments such as:

Is your fee negotiable?

Have you ever reduced your fee for anyone?

If you should ask me to accept a lower price than the price you have quoted me, will you also accept a lower fee?

NOTE: Be wary of agents who cut their commission to get your business.

These agents are often poor performers who rely on discounts to get you to sign with them.

• What is it about you and your agency that makes you better than other agents?

This is a great question. The agents all want to say that they are „the best“ but they will struggle to define what is meant by „best“. Of course, „best“ to a seller means the highest price with the lowest risk and the lowest cost.

The Issue of Advertising

With almost every agent, advertising will be a big point. Be careful, this is the most common way in which thousands of home-owners lose thousands of dollars without selling their homes!

The Golden Rule when selling a home: Never pay any money for any reason to any agent until your home is sold and you are satisfied.

The Silver Rule is this: Don’t sign anything that requires you to pay any money [in the future] for any reason if your home is NOT sold.

Some agents will say „you don’t have to pay for advertising until your house has sold“ but what they fail to mention (or make clear) is that if your home fails to sell you will still have to pay.

Here are some comments and questions that can be made to an agent which show the absurdity of the advertising policies in most real estate offices.

• Why do you expect me to pay for the advertising to find a buyer? Surely the commission should include advertising?

• Why should I pay twice – once for advertising and once for commission?

• If you put ads in the newspapers [and charge sellers for those ads] and the buyers are going to come via you, what are you doing that sellers can’t do for themselves?

• If you advertise my home and I pay for the ads and you get calls from buyers and those buyers buy a home other than mine, do you give me any money back? If not, why not?

• If I pay you [thousands of] dollars for advertising and you do not sell my property, what happens to the money I paid?

• I notice that your advertising has your name and the name of the agency prominently featured. Surely I don’t have to pay the cost of advertising you and your agency?

• Based on the length of time you have been in business and the number of people who contact your office, don’t you already have a list of buyers on your books?

• I am not going to be paying any money to any agent for any reason until my home is sold. Once my home is sold within the price range that you quoted me, I will be delighted to pay you a GENEROUS commission as a reward.

This is my firm policy as a seller. Do you accept my policy?

Random comments and questions… [or other ways to make the same major points] might include…

• I want an agent who will get me the highest price at the lowest cost with the lowest hassle and, of course, without any risk of loss if there is no sale. Are you comfortable with being able to meet these simple requests of mine?

• How many properties do you sell? (Let them ask you if you mean weekly, monthly or annually, to which you reply that the time frame doesn’t matter. You just want to know that they are capable of getting results).

• What provisions do you take to ensure the security and safety of my home when it is being shown to prospective buyers?

• If I find a buyer – such as a close friend or relative – will you want me to pay you any commission?

• Have you ever had any unhappy clients?

• What were they unhappy about?

• If I employ you and I am not happy with your performance, I want to be able to dismiss you without any penalty to me. Is this okay by you?

• The agent I choose will be given an initial time period of 30 days on the selling agreement between us. If my property is not sold in 30 days and if I’m happy with the performance of the agent, I will be happy to extend the term of the agent’s appointment. Is this okay by you?

SELLERS‘ TERMS & CONDITIONS

Get the agent to agree to your terms BEFORE you agree to the agent’s terms.

Finally, the biggest and most important point of all for home sellers – DO NOT SIGN the document that the real estate agent asks you to sign – at least NOT on the agent’s first visit.

Ask the agent the following questions:

• If I decide to employ your agency to handle the sale of my home, what document will you be asking me to sign?

• Can I have a copy of that document so that I can get some independent advice about it?

• The following is the start of your final words to the agent at the end of the agent’s first visit…

As I am the owner of the home and as I will be employing an agent, I will be preparing a list of my own terms and conditions under which I employ an agent. I will be asking the agent to sign my terms and conditions before I sign any terms and conditions prepared by the agent. Further, if any of my terms conflict with the agent’s terms, then, of course, my terms will take precedence.

• Are you okay with me, as the owner of the home, telling you, the agent, what I require you to do?

Thank the agent for coming and tell the agent that you will be in touch should you require the services of his/her agency. Stand up, shake hands, walk towards the exit or front gate. Wave goodbye.

Smile, you have done well. You are in control.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg Makler Heidelberg

Source by Lloyd Jenman
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