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Five Truths for Selling

4 May 2005
By Jonathan Herbert

“Agent” does not equal “Realtor”

Many people do not realize that “real estate agent” and “Realtor” are not one in the same. Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors, a non-profit trade organization that ensures educational and professional standards. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) provides stringent requirements that members adhere to including: a strict code of ethics, and ongoing education. NAR members are monitored by local boards that ensure best business practices are followed and are available to address complaints and issues from the general public. Because of strict standards and local oversight a Realtor will provide a higher level of service and integrity in the home selling process.

Listings alone do not sell houses

There are no guarantees when you list your property. Placing a yard sign in front of your home will not bring droves of qualified buyers. When selling a property it must be properly marketed. “Proper marketing” involves getting your listing in front of the right people using the right methods. A Realtor who markets effectively will greatly increase the visibility of your home and increase the chance of selling it for the listing price – or more. Ask your Realtor what they do to advertise their listings and who is their target audience.

You don’t have to be present for the open house – you probably shouldn’t be

You will have a better chance of your house being viewed in its best image if your Realtor is presenting your home. Most buyers prefer to speak with a Realtor and feel a professional will present an unbiased image. Your Realtor has much more experience selling homes than you do – they receive a commission for a reason.

There are many Realtors – Choose wisely

When choosing a real estate agent it is critical that you list with someone who is competent and professional who will sell your house with your best interest in mind. Realtors adhere to the same standards, but their methods vary dramatically. Experienced agents are most likely to help you get the best value from selling your home. They also recognize the group of potential buyers that your home will be of most interest to and are able to market directly to them. Don’t go with someone you know just because it’s convenient. Choose the agent who will represent you the best.

Like any first impression, a potential buyer’s first look at your house will leave a lasting mark. Many homes are sold before a buyer even enters the house. So, take a quick walk around your home. What does it look like from the street? Little improvements can result in big rewards. Pick up that garden hose and rake out the mulch. Pull a few weeds and make sure your lawn is trimmed. Ask your Realtor what you should do. Even invite a friend over and have them walk around your home with a critical eye. If you do, remember to take them out for dinner when your property sells for more than expected.

Here are a few tips to make your home presentable:

1) Sweep the walk and drive

2) Pick up (tools, toys, tree branches)

3) Trim the shrubbery

4) Touch up or paint if needed

6) Make sure all the pluming fixtures are working

7) Mow the lawn and plant flowers

8) Mop and clean your kitchen and bath

9) Quick once-over with the vacuum; carpets should be clean

10) Make the beds and put away all dirty laundry

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