While high real estate prices and the current shortage of homes for sale can create the impression that Denver homes pretty much sell themselves, it is important to note that having a knowledgeable real estate agent representing you is at the heart of a successful sale. And at the core of the sale, is understanding the responsibilities of your real estate agent. From the moment you make the decision to sell your home, it’s advisable to bring in an agent to formulate a plan to assure the selling process is seamless and you get top dollar for your property.
According to the 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers by the National Association of Realtors, 89 percent of sellers and buyers choose to work with a real estate agent to facilitate the sale of their property and find a home.
Since real estate agents work on a commission, it’s imperative to be clear on what the agent will be doing to market your home that will justify their involvement and ultimately getting paid. The seller should first and foremost feel comfortable with the percentage that the realtor will receive from the sale of the home and what steps the agent will take to market, show and sell the home.
"89 percent of sellers and buyers choose to work with a real estate agent to facilitate the sale of their property."
A clear plan should be in place so the homeowner knows exactly what actions their real estate agent will be taking that will, hopefully, result in a quick offer and closing. No one wants a house to languish on the market, forcing price drops, unnecessary improvements and worst of all, having to remove the listing entirely.
Each agent operates a bit differently so sitting down and setting clear expectations on what services they provide is crucial to the successful flow of the process. Listed below are some home seller tips and an outline of the key responsibilities of real estate brokers that have been found to be tried and true by Usaj Realty:
Evaluation of the Property
Assuming you have already interviewed several agents and have decided upon one whom you believe will best represent your interests, the agent should know your neighborhood. This is important for many reasons. It goes beyond just the property valuation and comparable sales within the last three to six months. The agent should know what features area homes have that potential buyers are seeking. Is a master suite important? How about hardwood floors? Neighborhoods can have unique qualities and often the homes reflect those characteristics. A seasoned real estate agent will be able to quickly identify key selling points of your home and whether there are items you should consider adding before listing. As the very least, the homeowner should know new paint and decluttering are “musts” in preparing your home for listing.
Bottom line is that the review of your property will ultimately determine the pricing. This is the step that causes the most anxiety. Is it too much? Is it too low? What is reasonable? The agent has many resources to help determine a price but don’t be afraid to question and ask for justification of the price. Ultimately, the homeowner must sign off on the asking price so make sure you understand all the variables.
Prior to any marketing publications, your Usaj broker will ask you what you love about your home and what drew you to it initially in hopes of pointing out these great features to a the next future owner. At Usaj we implement virtual tours, yard signs, virtual open houses, professionally printed materials, professional videography and photography for all of our clients as well!
Gone are the days of solely hoping someone will see the yard sign, the listing in a newspaper or a flyer in a storefront window, or hoping the buyer’s agent will find your home on the MLS (national database of homes for sale). Serious buyers are online, looking at Zillow and other real estate sites, perusing social media and other house hunting apps. Your agent should have a multi-level plan to market your property which may incorporate conventional avenues like direct mailings, yard signs, featuring the listing on the real estate company’s website, posts on social media channels, blogs and email campaigns. Consider the audience you are trying to reach and ask questions of your agent as to whether the marketing is going to reach the type of buyer you think would be interested in your home.
Once the marketing plan is in place, the agent should be prepared to provide updates on how the efforts are going. How many visits have there been to the website listing? How big is the audience for the Facebook ad? How many leads did the email produce? How much money has been spent on advertising and marketing? How many showings have been scheduled? Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions and even suggest some efforts that might accelerate the sale.
Prepare the house for showings
Be ready to put some money into your home before listing. As mentioned before, a fresh coat of paint and decluttering goes a long ways in giving your home a “new” feel. Eliminating excess furniture, and ridding shelves and walls of personal items is a good rule of thumb. Many real estate agents suggest bringing in a home stager to help present the home in the best possible light. This can be money well spent, especially if it results in a quick sale. A tidy home shows better and makes working with your agent much easier. Your agent should be able to recommend reputable home stagers for you to hire, and will give you tips for keeping your home in “showtime” mode to assure potential buyers leave with a good impression of your house.
As a seller, being prepared and flexible to leave the premises at various times during the week for showings will also help the home sell more quickly. Your agent will walk you through what to expect. Your Usaj Realy agent will also place a lockbox at the home so that buyers' agents can easily gain access to the home.
Once you get an offer on your home, an experienced agent will be worth his or her weight in gold at the negotiating table. This skill can save you time and money, and hopefully provide you with top dollar for your home. Before you select an agent, you may want to get a feel for their ability to haggle, their knowledge of inclusions/exclusions, and how effective they are in closing a deal. Bottom line, your agent should be working for you and not the other way around.
In closing, be prepared to sign many forms. The Colorado Division of Real Estate website has a list of the common forms that are required in any real estate transaction. Before you consider selling your home, you might want to get on the site so you know what to expect. Your real estate agent should be familiar with these documents, as well as forms that may be specific to your community or neighborhood.
(Editor's Note: This blog has been republished from July 2019. It has been updated to include new information).
Posted by Pat O'Connor
Pat O’Connor has dual citizenship in both Wisconsin and Colorado, having been born and raised in Wisconsin Dells, but later adopted by the Centennial State. A graduate of the University of Colorado (B.S. Journalism, 1980), O’Connor began her career as a sportswriter at the Boulder Daily Camera under the tutelage of the venerable Dan Creedon. Her experience also includes stints in public relations at Aspen Highlands Ski Area, the Colorado Trial Lawyers and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. When she isn’t piecing together sentences, the self-proclaimed “Cheesehead” enjoys hanging out with her three kids and assortment of family pets, running, playing golf, hiking 14ers, horseback riding and skiing. As a mother to two (at one time three) competitive swimmers, her favorite fragrance is eau de chlorine. During football season, she can be found cheering for the Buffs on Saturdays and screaming when the Packers score on Sundays. She loves talking sports and giving recommendations on cheese curds.Facebook LinkedIn Twitter