Someone asked us the other day, what would you look for in a Realtor? It got us thinking, so we wrote a few things down that might educate people on what really is important when selling or buying a home.
When selling your home there are two bottom lines. First, you want every last penny the market allows you to get for your home when sold. Second, because we live in California you want to be protected. As you know there many people in California that are sue happy and are more than willing to do so at the drop of a dime.
How do you get every dime from the sale of your property? There are a few simple, but very important steps that should be taken when selling your home. First and probably foremost would be pricing. We suggest that you have an appraisal done even before you decide to put your house on the market. This is a FREE service we provide to every seller. How does this help, you may ask? Well the first thing is you will have a professional opinion on what price to list your home. Second, there is less chance of your home sitting on the market for months, which can be very detrimental for a home seller. The longer your home is on the market, the more buyers are going to take advantage of the situation. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, if you have two identical homes and one has been on the market for 5 days the other for 90 days. Which homeowner will you try and bargain with? Which home will you more likely put a low ball offer in? Once you’re in an escrow, which home will you nitpick and try and get every last item in the home fixed or perfect to your liking? A smart buyer’s agent will use this to his client’s advantage by squeezing every last dime out of the seller, knowing they do not have any other offers.
Another reason to have an appraisal prior to listing your home is to have an idea if an agent is trying to “buy” your listing. If your appraisal comes in at $400k and an agent says he can sell it for $500k, run as fast as you can the other way. The agent is just trying to get you under contract and beat you down on the price after 30 days of not selling. We personally lose listings a few times a year because we refuse to buy someone’s listing; it is a time waster for everyone involved.
In regards to your safety from liability as the seller, you want to make sure that all disclosures are signed properly and contingencies are removed in a timely manner. You as the seller are paying your agent for their time and expertise. They really should spend as much time as needed going over every document with you, whether that takes 25 minutes or 4 hours that is something you are entitled to. An agent that spends time with you when signing documents is someone that is truly looking out for your best interests.
One of the most common complaints we hear from buyers and sellers is their agent does not answer their phone. We know this to be true and how frustrating it can be. We personally call agents that never answer or have a full voice mailbox for weeks. We suggest that before you decide on an agent call them for a few days. If they don’t answer they should call you back within 45 minutes to an hour or give a reason on their voicemail as to why they are unable to respond in a timely manner. A realtor that answers his/her phone gives peace of mind to the client. An escrow can be stressful at times; the last thing you want is an agent who is not on top of all aspects of the process.
These are just a couple things to look out for when selling. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to call Joel and Christie, Rise Realty INC, “The Daniel Team,” Riverside and surrounding area home specialists. We are licensed in both Real Estate Appraising and Home Sales with over 15 years’ experience.