Knowing the top 5 real estate secrets, will help you sell your house faster and allow you to get more value from the commission dollars you pay your agent.
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1. Real Estate Open Houses Don’t Have the Same Efficacy
Years ago, when you wanted to sell your home, the only way that buyers could see the inside of your home was to be invited to view your home via an open house or making an appointment with the agent listing your home. Now, if a buyer wants to see your home, they can just go online, to any of a dozen sites, and see the inside of your home without ever having to leave their living room.
The truth is open houses don’t have the same efficacy when with no other marketing method. Real Estate agents today need to incorporate all Marketing Activities, including your Open House, into a grander, more holistic plan.
2. Marketing is Job Number #1
If you are selling your home, the real reason you hire a Real Estate Agent is marketing. An Agent’s job is to get as many qualified buyers to your home as possible so that you can sell your home quickly for the highest price.
Marketing is the cornerstone of Real Estate and a Real Estate Agent that does not understand marketing, is not worth the commission. Many Real Estate Agents avoid the topic of marketing and try to confuse homeowners with internet terms and the size of their firm, all of which means nothing to the actual sale of your home.
• Make sure you select a Real Estate Agent that truly understands marketing – proactive marketing. All agents use the internet, so that is no big deal. All listings will likely be on Realtor.com and Zillow. Have your agent do a S.W.O.T analysis for you, find out if they work full-time as a Real Estate Agent, and ask them what they do that DOES NOT involve the internet to sell your home. Find out how long they have been an Agent, and ask to see any 3 homes sold in each of the last four years. In a very short time, you will be able to sort through the wheat and chaff.
3. All Agents Are NOT Created Equal
Just like any industry, there is a range of competence within the Real Estate world; However, many people believe that all agents are the same. I suggest that when you are interviewing agents, request that they send you the contracts ahead of time, and prepare a set of questions for them to answer. If you are in Greater Capitol Region, here are just a few questions we recommend:
• What is dual agency? And do you practice dual agency?
• What is the difference between due diligence and earnest money? And what happens if a buyer cancels the contract?
• Am I required to do repairs on my house, or is my home sold as-is?
• Show me the marketing plan for my home, not a generic presentation.
4. First Time Buyers Programs, may not be what you think
Many first time home buyers rely on programs to offer 1st time buyer assistance. Buyers assume that the programs provide down-payment assistance or money for closing cost. Many buyers do not realize that the money they receive is often a low or no interest loan. Since the money is often a loan, buyers may have higher than expected monthly fees or residency requirements that dictate how long the buyer must stay in the home. When using a first time buyers assistance program, always ask if the money comes with conditions AND ask for a comparison of your monthly mortgage with and without the assistance provided.
5. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Homes MAY NOT Save Money and Time
The company line for agents is that they will help you buy any home; however, most agents do not like to deal with FSBO properties. First and foremost, Real Estate is a FOR-PROFIT job. Owners selling their own home have made a decision not to pay a Real Estate Agent. Which is a problem since Real Estate Agents do not work for free. As a buyer, if you choose to consider FSBOs, you need to have a discussion with your Real Estate Agent regarding how commission will be paid. In many cases, you as the buyer could be responsible for paying the commissions on the deal in addition to closing costs and down payments.
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