Your home – an object you are emotionally tied to. Maybe you raised your kids in this home, perhaps it was your very first and only home. Or, it’s an investment property that is a critical part of your financial planning and linked to your retirement income. Either way you look at it, there’s a lot of emotion and money tied up in your house. There are two options to sell your home. You can sell it, or you can enlist the professional help of a licensed and skilled Real Estate agent to wholly represent you through every step of selling your home.
Before I got into real estate, I bought and leased my own apartment in New York City. It was an arduous task just renting it. Buying it took me close to 7 weeks and countless hours on the phone with mortgage lenders, lawyers, and the seller. All the while I was working full time. When it was done, I was emotionally spent and physically exhausted. I’ll never do that again. When it came time to sell the apartment, I picked up the phone and called a real estate agent who had sold a lot of apartments in our building. I didn’t care about how many apartments she had sold. I liked her personality, wit and relaxed, professional demeanor. I asked her to list my apartment and get it sold. The entire transaction was pleasant, professional and went smoothly. It was definitely worth 6% of the value of my apartment. I still talk to her on occasion. When I buy a place in New York again someday, I’m certain I will give my agent in NY a call.
Imagine what a perfect real estate transaction of selling your home would look like. No matter how complicated, imagine how smoothly it could all go. As your selling agent, it would be my goal to understand and do my best to carry out that vision.
Coming up with a price to sell your home is just the beginning. What you need and what your want are two distinct possibilities. A well priced home gets much interest and usually sells much faster than a home that is unrealistically priced. Properties that are overpriced in a buyer’s market, such as now, will usually require price reductions and significantly more time on the market than a well priced home.
In addition to extensive marketing that a seller’s agent should always be doing, your home will have a compulsory legal set of disclosure papers. These disclosures tell buyers the truth about your property, your relationship to your selling agent, and almost any natural or man-made hazard you can imagine that may be associated with you property. It’s a pile of paper about the same thickness as Bill Clinton’s really LONG autobiography. It has to be meticulously filled out and presented to buyers. Often times, it has to be explained line by line to a prospective buyer that doesn’t know what or where your easement is, or why you should clean up the loose wood cellulose lying around the perimeter of your house. Is your home in a flood zone? Earthquake zone? And why do I need to tell a buyer about all this anyway? This is the process of completing and exchanging the property disclosures. Seller’s agents inspect their client’s properties and assist the seller in truthfully disclosing all material facts about the property.
Finally, an agent representing the seller should be a strong and skilled negotiator. The negotiating process is team work. I and my sellers are a team. We make choices together and of course the final say always goes to my client, no matter the outcome. I’d rather do exactly what my client tells me regardless of the outcome of the sale of the home.
My philosophy on relationships with clients is simple. How would I want to be treated? How hard would I like someone to work for me? How thoughtful and conscientious would I like my agent to be? I go that extra mile, take more time, listen more and talk less. The Golden Rule.