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Deciding to Sell Your Home - which real estate agent or REALTOR do you choose?

So you've decided to sell your home and have a fairly good idea of what you think it's probably worth. As an intelligent and sensible home seller, you will schedule appointments with at least two local real estate agents or REALTORS® who've been sending you their marketing materials for years.  Each agent comes prepared with a Comparative Home Market Analysis (CMA) and each recommends a specific sales price.

Much to your surprise (and disappointment), one of the agents has come up with a sales price that is much lower than you expected. Although they can back up their recommendation with recent sales data of similar homes in your neighborhood, you remain convinced your house is worth more.

When you interview the next agent's figures, they are much more in line with your own anticipated value, or maybe even higher. Suddenly, you are a happy and excited home seller, already counting the money.

Which agent do you choose?
If you're like most people, you pick the one who gave you the higher sales figures. You are now convinced this is an agent who seems willing to listen to your input and work with you. This is an agent that cares about putting the most money in your pocket. This is an agent that is willing to start out at your price and if you need to drop the price later, you can do that easily, right? After all, everyone else does it!

The truth is that you may have just met an agent engaging in an unethical or questionable sales practice called "buying a listing." The agent "bought the listing" by suggesting you might be able to get a higher sales price than the other agent recommended. Most likely, they are quite doubtful that your home will actually sell at that price. However, the intention from the beginning was to eventually talk you into lowering the price.

Why do agents "buy" listings?
There are basically two reasons. A well-meaning and hard working agent can feel pressure from a homeowner who has an inflated perception of his home's value. On the other hand, there are some agents who engage in this sales practice routinely.

Whichever the case, if you start out with too high a price on your home, you may have just added to your stress level, and selling a home is stressful enough. There will be a lot of "behind the scenes" action taking place that you don't know about.

Contrary to popular opinion, the listing agent does not usually attempt to sell your home to a homebuyer - because that isn't very efficient. Listing agents market and promote your home to the hordes of other local agents who do work with homebuyers as well as exploiting the Internet to dramatically increase your personal sales force. During the first couple of weeks your home should be a flurry of activity with buyer's agents coming to preview your home so they can sell it to their clients.

If the price is right.
If we do not price your home right, very few agents will be interested in previewing your home - much less bringing their buyers to see it. After all, Realtors know the local market conditions and home values, so if your house is dramatically above market, why waste their time? Their time is better spent previewing homes that are priced realistically for the buyers they represent.

Eventually, when you drop your price, your house is "old news" and you've lost that special moment in time because you will never be able to recapture that flurry of initial activity you would have had with a realistic price. Consequently, your home could take longer to sell.

Even if you're fortunate enough to sell above market price, your buyer will need to secure a mortgage and his mortgage lender will require an appraisal. If comparable sales for the last six months and current market conditions in your neighborhood do not support your sales price, the house won't appraise and your deal falls apart (unless the buyer can come up with the extra cash). Of course, you can always attempt to renegotiate the price, but only if the buyer is willing to listen or your home will have to go back on the market.

Once your home sits on the market awhile, it is harder to get a good offer. Potential buyers will think you might be getting desperate, so they will make lower offers. By overpricing your home in the beginning, you could actually end up settling for a lower price than you would have normally received.

Why not "shoot for the stars"?
Nobody wants to leave money on the table, but given the current market conditions, it's not a good idea to be on the high-end of the real estate market - unless your property is in exceptional condition.  Pricing your home should NEVER be based on an emotional decision or what a seller "hopes" to make on the sale of their home.  The days of thinking "we'll start $10-20k high because we need wiggle room when the buyers negotiate us down" are gone.  The most recent nationwide correction in home property values and buyer awareness in the overall real estate market simply does not allow for these games to be played.  Overpricing today will most likely hurt your chance of selling quickly tomorrow.  When selling a home, it doesn't matter where you start (list price), it only matters where you finish (closing) - and you must never forget that YOU are in control of the final sales price.  If it's not what you can live with - you don't have to accept it.

So, how is the listing price determined?
Sellers (although they may not realize it) are in total control of setting the listing price. As your Realtor, it is my responsibility to survey the "comps", evaluate the current local real estate market to determine and suggest a fair asking price based on current MLS data. If the seller doesn't agree, then we'll usually map out a multi-phased price reduction timeline that will eventually sell the home. It's important to note that Real Estate Agents & Realtors do not determine the price - buyers do.

At the end of day, if we agree to stay focused on the main objective - which is to get your home sold at fair market value within a specific timeframe, then we're on the right track to a successful real estate transaction.

As a seller, you deserve more than just a sign in the front yard. Let's discuss a personalized and aggressive marketing plan that will fetch top-dollar on the sale of your home as well as how you can save thousands of dollars on the sale and purchase of your next home.

Use my Sellers Toolbox to learn about things you should consider before listing your homes for sale or to request a FREE comparative market analysis to determine how much your home is worth in the Denver metro area including Arvada, Brighton, Broomfield, Denver, Golden, Highland/Sloan's Lake, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Louisville, Longmont, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat RidgeAdams County, Denver County & Jefferson County. More importantly, what factors will influence the asking price of your home. You will also find tips on preparing and staging your home for sale as well as the various marketing services I provide.

If you would like to sit down for coffee and discuss the Denver Real Estate market, just call me anytime at 303-520-3179.  Anthony Rael, REMAX Alliance offers professional & trustworthy real estate services to buyers & sellers throughout the Denver metro area including Arvada, Brighton, Broomfield, Denver, Golden, Highland/Sloan's Lake, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Louisville, Longmont, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat RidgeAdams County, Denver County & Jefferson County.

Leverage my life-long knowledge of the Denver Metro area - from homes, condos, lofts or investment properties, new homes builders, schools & local amenities to reliable & trustworthy business partners like mortgage brokers & home contractors to maximize your investment, secure your future and realize the home of your dreams.

I look forward to working with you soon.

Professional & Trustworthy Real Estate Advice in the Denver Metro Area - Anthony Rael, Denver REALTOR - REMAX Alliance - www.anthonyrael.com

 

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Anthony "Mike" Rael  |  REMAX Alliance - Arvada  |  5440 Ward Rd., #110  |  Arvada, Colorado 80002  |  303.520.3179
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