I’m in California, and after lots of prayer and researching I am ready to sell my house and move somewhere more affordable…
I am a total Newbie when it comes to real estate
I need some tips on how to hire a real estate agent, what questions to ask, what apps that can help sell, maybe alternatives like Ideal agent… So many questions! Any information would be helpful.
Where are you thinking of going? Retiring?
You can help yourself by first making the house look great. Visit other homes for sale at open houses if possible to see what your competition looks like.
Fix any broken or odd issues. DECLUTTER. I saw a real estate listing for a house where the agent took photos of the kitchen. Lots of stuff on the counters implies that there is not enough storage in the kitchen.
There is the old trick of having bread baking to create an ambience. Although that may be a bit old school, certainly make sure there are no smells. A clean, warm, inviting house is better.
Look to see what agents have signs in your neighborhood. If you have the same agent, it is easy for them to show the other house and then stop by yours because it is ‘right around the corner’. Yes, the other house is in competition with yours. Even if yours is not what the buyers might be looking for, he/she will probably stop by yours and show it anyway (and drop her card on the table). More traffic means a better chance to sell your house.
Find out how quickly houses in your area are selling and what types. You want to find an agent who is actively working to get your house sold (a hungry agent). You want to ask how they are going to market your house. Just putting it in MLS, any agent cane and probably will do, so that is not necessarily special. What you want is someone who will help yo by perhaps adding your house to an agents caravan (where agents go house to house to become acquainted in them and there for will want to bring buyers by). Will the agent do an open house where they will advertise and then sit there all day(s) to help show it to a lot of people in a short time.
These are just a few ideas to get you started.
I was a RE broker for 12 years, here’s my take on hiring an agent to sell your home.
Experience is important… if a person is serious about being a real estate professional they’ll need at least a couple of years to learn the ropes. Two years at a minimum and maybe 3 or 4 if they are under 30 years of age. Ask them for information regarding sales as the listing agent, in your area. If they average less than 2-3 transactions a month they are probably just an average producer. You want a top producer.
An experienced agent should give you advice like:
- Don’t be present when an agent shows your home, and never carry on an extended conversation with the selling agent or the buyer.
- First impressions are important, freshen up the entrance to your home, outside and inside and make sure the natural social gathering place, usually the kitchen or family or eating area, is as perfect as you can get it, because that is where most go-or-no-go buyer decisions are made.
- Words like “unique” and “one-of-a-kind” in a home description are not good. Words like “spacious, open, and flexible floorplan” are good words. You want your home to be as vanilla as you can get it so that the Buyer can mentally see themselves and their belongings in your home… DECLUTTER so that it looks like a motel room.
I once read prospective buyers will have an instant impression based on curb appeal. Positive or negative and that first impression will be re enforced once inside.
Stand at the curb and study the house and then do what’s needed for curb appeal. That first impression is vital…
That’s good advice. I often told my Sellers to take a walk from where visitors park their cars to your kitchen and make that path and everything you see from it as good-looking and decluttered as possible. Dirty front porches and entryways make a very bad start to a prospective Buyer’s impression of your home.
Before you do that, get offers from investors or Agents that buy homes. Investors will fix the place up the way they want. they may buy almost sight unseen.
i sold 3 houses that way. The first I fixed up… the rest I did nothing. Yes you will get less but compare their offer to the commission you would pay plus fix up costs plus no one walking through the house and closing time at your convenience.
I thought it was a reasonable deal.
We are looking at moving to a Senior facility.
The thought of painting etc etc of years of living here boggles my mind. I am willing to take less for less aggravation.
Unless you need every penny for Retirement, consider the cost of inconvenience.
Not true. That hasn’t been the law for at least 20 years.