Sep 27 2016 22426 1

Dated: 09/27/2016

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Selecting Your Agent: Listing your home

Your current home is probably your largest investment, and you probably love it dearly.  I caution people constantly about choosing an agent to list their house. A couple of things to know

* Anti trust laws forbid agents to have a standard or usual commission amount for real estate. You can see agents listing homes for as much as 10% ( the highest I have seen) and as low as 3% ( the lowest I have seen)

* Be careful of low ball agents/Listing agreements: If they are listing your house at 3% or below what exactly are they doing for you? How much commission are they offering co brokers? ( a different agent who might be bringing a prospective buyer to look at your home). You are hiring an agent to not only list but to MARKET your home. Find out specifics from them what they are going to do to get your home sold at the highest price and in the shortest period of time. They will have considerable expense to list your home if they are giving you top service. Things like signs, photos, ads, etc all cost money to THEM. 

* Experience counts, but should NOT be the deciding factor. I constantly run into people who contact a brokerage firm asking for their "top" agent. This in MANY cases is NOT the best person to use. If your using the "top" agent, think of how many other clients they currently have. How much time are they going to realistically spend on your property? Interview any potential agent, ask what their work load is currently, and how much time they have to devote to marketing your home. Beware of Part timers. I once ran into an agent who did real estate part time, I had a client who wanted to see a house they had listed, it required me to contact the agent, and the agent could not be reached because he was working two other jobs and was only home from Midnight to 6 AM!  Truthfully I would rather hand my home over to a brand new, eager, hungry motivated rookie who was doing the job full time and was going to go above and beyond to get my house marketed and sold!

Some things the agent should be doing for you:

* Give you STRONG helpful hints about staging your home, doing home improvements, landscaping etc to make your home look it's absolute best.

* I personally believe STRONGLY in professional photography whether I am listing a home for 2 million or 200 thousand. I know many agents disagree, but I have worked for some of the best and most prestigious firms in the industry and trust me GOOD pictures get showings.  Professional photography is expensive and is paid for by the agent, again, that should figure in their commission percentage.

* Your prospective agent will give you a song and dance about how your  home will be seen all over, not only the MLS. but national websites like Zillow, Trulia,, etc.  This will happen regardless of your agent unless you specifically ASK that it not be available to those websites.

* Your agent should present you with comps of other homes like yours that have sold and the time and amount they sold for. They should be comfortable discussing things that make your home worth more and perhaps what might make your home worth less. These discussions are often painful for the home owner, but a real professional is going to give you the facts. You are always free to list your home for whatever you want, but a good agent who is looking to spend their money on marketing your home will walk away when a homeowners expectation of price is too great. Beware of agents who give you a high price for your property just to get the listing.  A price that is higher than like properties will result in fewer showings, longer sale time, and perhaps no sale at all.

TIPS for Assisting in the sale of your home:

1. Listen to your agent.  Work to make your home as saleable as possible. If the agent suggests something that just isn't affordable to you, be honest with them. See if something else can be done.

2. Showings sell homes. The more available you make your home for showings, the more likely it will sell. In the end it is a numbers game. I have had potential clients who only wanted showings on the weekends during certain hours. People will not wait, many times, to see your home. Their are too many other properties available for them to look at.

3. As uncomfortable as this can be, live like the President of the United States is coming to visit.  Nothing turns people off  when viewing a home more than clutter, dirty dishes in the sink, landscaping that is not taken care of, etc.

4. BE AVAILABLE TO YOUR AGENT! When your agent gets a written offer he is obligated to present that to you as soon as possible.  Buyers are nervous nellies.  I advise all my clients to respond in hours ( no more than 24) not days. While your considering the offer, that buyers agent is still potentially showing them more properties.  Don't rush, but don't drag your feet  either. On the other hand, depending on your market, your agent may know of other offers that are coming in. The best advice is to listen to your agent, follow their advice on timing.

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Deirdre Lucey-Humphries

Deirdre is a Broker and co-owner, with her husband Steve, of EXIT Realty Champions in Davenport - the closest office to Disney World Orlando! With 12 years of experience over a broad range of real est....

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