A friend in the business.
Deciding to sell your home can be one of the most exciting and emotionally stressful times in your life. On the one hand, there’s the highs associated with selling; upsizing, downsizing and the excitement of a new life in a new home. On the other hand, there’s the lows; leaving behind all those memories of family and friends, not to mention preparing your property to go to market.
Once you have come to the realisation that you want or need to sell, you have made the first important decision. The next important decision to make is who you will select to help sell the property for you. Someone you trust who will advise you on the best way to market your property and will ultimately negotiate the best price for you.
Choosing the right agent can be tricky as most agents will tell you that they are all about customer service, that they are working for you to get the top dollar. Personally, I wouldn’t want to risk losing tens of thousands of dollars by choosing the cheapest agent, one who is prepared to drop their fees and commission to get your listing. If they are doing this to get your business, chances are they’ll be advocating reducing your price to get a quick sale.
Imagine then having a friend in the business, someone who can guide you through the minefield that is the property selling process. My objective is to be that friend, to bring my collective years of experience to bear to ensure that the sale of your property is as stress-free as possible and that you receive the optimum return on your property investment.
So, where do you start when it comes time to sell your home?
While selecting your agent is fundamentally the most important first step, it might sound a little corny, but liking and trusting your agent as you would a friend is important if you are to work together as a team to get the best result. You and your agent will need to be on the same page, to discuss your reasons for selling and agree your expectations. Start by asking your agent for references. Invariably, past clients will be the best advocates and you may even elect to talk to one or two of them. Click here to view my testimonials.
While the agent is invariably knowledgeable when it comes to local market values, it doesn’t hurt to do a little research of your own. The Internet is a great place to start. Think about how you can research the market for yourself by reviewing recent sale prices for similar properties to yours in your area, calculate the value of your home in terms of similar properties and then consider the selling strategies that you might like to discuss with your agent, including agreeing a realistic and achievable selling price.
What they ask for isn’t necessarily what they get
In the business, this is referred to as the ‘List to Sell’ ratio. Simply, it is a comparison between the listed/asking price of the property and the price that it ultimately sells for, calculated as a percentage out of 100. In selecting your agent, you would be looking for a record of sales as close to 100% as possible through that agent. Again, the Internet is the best place to do your research.
Putting your home on the market
You’ve done your homework and you have a good idea of what you believe your home is worth. Input from your agent at this stage is important. Your agent should provide you with an appraisal of your home’s current market value. This should be based on comparable sales in the area. These sales should not look historically back any further than 12 months as the market is dynamic and constantly changing. On occasions, your property may be difficult to compare with other properties in the area, so similarities may be drawn to help establish its value.
Next, discuss the marketing strategy with your agent. What is their plan to promote your property and to get potential buyers interested enough to make an honest offer? And importantly, agree all costs associated with the marketing of your property, up-front.
While commission is of course a fundamental consideration in your assessment and ultimate selection of an agent, it should not be your only consideration. Agreeing a commission rate is important, but so too is the confidence you must have in the agent to sell your property for the best possible price and in a timely manner.
The number of properties an agent has listed in their shop windows is not always the best way to gauge either their sales success or their commitment to working closely with you throughout the selling process. Quite often agents with large property portfolios struggle to provide the quality and frequency of service you demand.
For you, a successful sale and the optimum price for your property is your number one priority. So too it must be for your agent, for they are working for you. Imagine engaging an agent based on your personal impression to sell your home. Then someone else manages your ‘open homes’ and inspections, then yet another person provides you with feedback. I have had sellers tell me that they engaged an agent and never saw or spoke personally to that person during the entire selling campaign.
Selling with an agent, or going it alone?
With the introduction of myriad of do-it-yourself online websites to sell your home, a lot more people are considering this as an option. A number of these companies charge their fees up-front, with no guarantee of a sale. So you need to decide if it is worth your time and the potential financial risk to go it alone or put your home in the hands of a property professional.
At Joanne Reilly Property, I have a simple philosophy: “To be your friend in the business.”