When selling your home, you want to make the most money you can. To do
that, you generally have to sell fast. If your home sits on the market for
several months, buyers will wonder what's wrong with it. Furthermore, it may
be easier to sell your home while you're still living in it. Your furnishings
convey a personal warmth that is sorely lacking in bare walls and floors.
The key to selling fast and getting the top dollar is exposure. The more
people who see your home, the sooner you will find a willing buyer. How do you
get the most exposure? If you sell the home yourself, you will get some
exposure by putting up a sign, running several ads, and telling all your
friends. On the other hand, if you work with a REALTOR® you will get instant
and massive exposure to a large number of prospective homebuyers. Here's why.
A REALTOR® generally takes part in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), if
one is available. This service, usually a computerized system operated by the
local Association of REALTORS®, compiles information about listed properties
in the area and distributes it to member companies. As a result, when a
REALTOR® lists your home, REALTORS® from other companies learn about your
home and try to match it with buyers they are working with. The buyers may
include people from out-of-town who are trying to relocate to your area.
A REALTOR® can speed the selling process in other ways:
By specializing in real estate, a REALTOR® knows market values and thus
can help you set a competitive price for your home.
A REALTOR® can free you from the hassles associated with showing your
home and screen out people who are merely curious.
A REALTOR® is objective when negotiating with buyers and experienced in
reading the fine print of contracts.
By staying on top of the mortgage market, a REALTOR® may know how to
wade through financing muddles and clinch a sale.
Selling a home is not something that everyone can do in their off hours.
It's a specialized service best done by a professional.
Choosing a REALTOR®
You want a REALTOR® who you can rely upon. Ask your friends and relatives who
have sold homes recently for recommendations. Or, you can check out our choose-a-REALTOR®
database, and search for REALTORS® using criteria such as years in
business, specialties, company, etc.
Phone the companies and arrange to meet with the recommended REALTOR®. During
the interviews, you may simply exchange information, or the REALTOR® may ask
you for a listing. As you talk, ask about the company's services and the
REALTOR'S® own professional background. Keep in mind that not every real
estate broker is a REALTOR®. The broker that is a REALTOR® has pledged to
uphold a strict Code of Ethics and is a member of the REALTOR® organization
on the local, state and national levels.
Does the company take part in MLS? Does the company offer relocation
services? Does the REALTOR® specialize in residential rather than commercial
real estate? Does the REALTOR® work primarily with buyers or sellers? Is the
REALTOR® familiar with your neighborhood? If so, which homes has the REALTOR®
worked with in the past year or two? How will the REALTOR® market your home?
After you have interviewed several REALTORS®, think about which one you feel
most comfortable with. The REALTOR® should know the local market and be
enthusiastic about selling your home. You want someone you can talk to and who
will listen to you, especially if you don't like the way things progress.