Category: Selling

How to choose the best real estate agent to sell your home

Choosing a real estate agent to sell your property can be a difficult decision and one that many people are not used to.  There are so many agents in the business, each well-versed in presenting the benefits of their services – how do you choose?

To begin with, any agent that you choose to sell your property should be an expert on your local area.  This means that he or she will be attuned to all local trends and market characteristics, and will most probably have a large database of both local residents and outsiders looking to buy in your area that can be marketed to directly. 

When interviewing agents, try to give yourself time with two to three, allowing some scope for choice.  The agents should show enthusiasm about selling your property, and should be able to present you with a clear, step-by-step marketing strategy that shows you exactly how much is allocated to your advertising budget and a justification for why this is needed.  Real estate agents should always be happy to go through any material with you patiently and happily take the time to answer any questions you may have.     

The means and frequency by which an agent will report any progress to you is important and should be discussed during the initial interview.  While phone contact may be the best way for some sellers, agents should have contingencies for when their clients are not readily contactable.  CENTURY 21, for example, has a tool in place called Seller Login, which allows a seller to log on anytime, anywhere and see where the sale of their home is at. 

The negotiation style of your real estate agent is very important to consider and will be on display during your initial interview.  Prospective sellers should pay attention to the way an agent negotiates their commission for selling your home.  Those agents who lower their commission quickly and without much debate should be approached with caution – they may be willing to sacrifice your property’s sale price just as easily. 

When interviewing an agent, they should present you with customer testimonials or references.  These are an important way to ascertain where the agent has sold before and if the client was happy with the service.  Qualities to look for in these testimonials include the agent’s honesty, availability and trustworthiness. 

Finally, I think that first instincts definitely count in the real estate agent selection process.  Whomever you choose, you are going to have to work with them closely, welcome them into your home, and trust them with a highly valued asset.  If you are comfortable with the agent, this could increase your chances of a smooth selling process. 

For more information relating to your area, contact your local CENTURY 21 expert for advice and guidance. 

2 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 28/06/2010 at 9:53 AM | Categories: Selling -

First things first – to buy or to sell?

A question that CENTURY 21 agents are often asked concerns the timing of the moving process – should you buy or sell first? In my experience, there really isn’t one correct way of moving house; buying first works for some people and selling first is the right choice for others.  I thought I’d use this blog to go through some of the benefits and disadvantages of both as I see it.

Selling your home before buying another is often considered a safer way of doing things; once you sell, you know exactly how much money you have available to spend on your new property, and it will be in your bank account ready to go.  In many cases, you’re so wrapped up in preparing your property for sale that there just isn’t enough time to also be house hunting anyway.   

Synchronizing the sale of your own home and the purchase of another can sometimes be tricky.  If you haven’t found a suitable property to purchase by the end of your settlement period, you will be forced to rent until something you like comes onto the market. 

Now renting can be expensive and it only eats into the money that you will use eventually to buy something with.   Rental agreements have to be signed which will lock you into monthly payments, sometimes for an extended period.   We sometimes see people so exhausted by a failed property search, then a rental search followed by a move, that it takes some time before they start the house hunting process again.   

Now with many residential property forecasters predicting further robust growth in home prices this year the idea of buying before selling has some merit to it.  If you can buy at a lower price and then sell when values have increased slightly, you could very well gain financially. While this can happen, always remember that prices and markets fall as well. 

Unless you’re in a position to be able to afford both homes at once, you will likely need to sell the original property in order to fund the new one.  Not surprisingly, this can create a fair bit of stress.  Some people can handle this stress while others may find it extremely unpleasant. 

It has been in the news lately that there is a bit of a shortage of properties in the rental market.  If you are in a position to afford your two properties comfortably, then it may not be a bad time to consider holding on to your original property after you move and renting it out.  There are certain tax implications to consider here, however you may find that this is a suitable solution for your situation. 

Ultimately, common sense is usually a good guide.  If you live in a property that looks like it may be hard to sell, then buying before it has been purchased may perhaps not be the best idea.  Alternatively, if you live in the type of house that is in high demand and you find something that you love before it sells, then buying could be the right option for you. 

In any case, whatever decision you make should be based entirely on your own personal circumstances.  It may help to talk to a real estate agent you trust and get his or her opinion.  


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 22/06/2010 at 12:00 AM | Categories: Selling - Buying -