Selling your home can be an emotionally taxing and stressful process. A good real estate agent can remove much of the burden from your shoulders, but many home sellers don’t understand what their real estate agent should be doing on their behalf. It’s important for Florida home sellers, especially Broward County residents, to know what their real estate agent should be doing for them in order to ensure that they hire a top notch agent to market and sell their homes. If you are selling your home, here are eight things that your real estate agent should be doing for you:
1. Establish a Listing Price
Pricing a home correctly is one of the most important things a real estate agent can do for a home seller. A good agent will understand the details that affect home prices. For example, homes located in Plantation, Davie, and Sunrise, Florida may have very different values even though the cities are similarly sized. An unethical real estate agent might agree to list the home at an inflated price to please the homeowner and get the listing. Conversely, an ethical and competent real estate agent will inform the home seller about what the home is actually worth and price the home accordingly. If you want to work with a real estate agent who will price your home accurately, find an agent who has knowledge of the pricing in your local market.
A good real estate agent will invest a lot of time into marketing your home because the competition is stiff. South Florida real estate is extremely competitive. A good agent will tell you what you need to do in order to get your home looking its best. This could include anything from landscaping your yard to organizing the contents of your garage. Given that today’s real estate market is driven by the internet, a real estate will ensure that your home is photographed properly, usually by hiring a professional photographer. If for example, your home is located in Davie, Florida, the photographer should take pictures that highlight Davie’s sunny climate. A real estate agent should feature your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), his/her own website, and on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc... A top notch agent will create enticing videos and brochures and have a broad understanding of how to market you home through social media.
3. Vet Potential Buyers
Real estate agents need to confirm that potential buyers are pre-approved for mortgages. If a potential buyer expresses interest in buying a home but is only pre-qualified for a mortgage instead of being pre-approved, that person may not be able to purchase the home. Being pre-approved for a mortgage indicates that a lending institution has verified the potential buyer’s income and employment. It also indicates that his/her credit report has been reviewed. None of these factors is considered during the pre-qualification process. Cash is still king so having a cash buyer may give you the opportunity to close the deal quicker.
Surveys have shown that the top complaint from home sellers with regards to their real estate agent is that the agent failed to communicate with them during the home selling process. Even if there is little or no activity happening with regards to the sale of your home, a good real estate agent should be regularly checking in with you. If you meet with a few real estate agents prior to listing your home with one of them, take note of how quickly they respond to your voicemails and emails. Avoid agents who do not reply in a timely manner.
You are paying a real estate agent to negotiate on your behalf. Top agents will fight to obtain the very best terms of sales for their clients. If you sense that your agent is desperate to make a sale, you should stop working with that agent immediately. Yes, you want an agent who is aggressive and motivated to sell your home, but you don’t want an agent who will do anything to make a sale. A good agent will always do what’s best for the client, which may differ from what’s best for his/her personal situation. You also want an agent that has experience with negotiation and business transaction. They will have a better understanding of the process and get you the best price for your home.
6. Attend Home Inspections
Nearly all home purchase offers are contingent on the home inspection. For example, if a buyer offers to purchase your home in Plantation, Florida for $250,000 that price will be contingent on a home inspection. If the home inspection uncovers problems with your home, the buyer has the right to lower the offer price accordingly. Three parties should attend the home inspection: The buyer, the seller’s agent, and the buyer’s agent. The seller’s agent needs to attend the inspection so that s/he can hear everything straight from the inspector’s mouth. The seller’s agent also needs to attend the inspection so that s/he can protect his client from unreasonable requests that the buyer may wish to make.
7. Attend Home Appraisals
A home appraiser is typically an independent 3rd party whose services are contracted by a lending institution. A home appraiser’s job is to confirm that the property is worth at least the amount of the mortgage that will be issued by the lending institution. This protects the lending institution in case the buyer defaults on a mortgage. A home seller’s real estate agent should attend the appraisal to answer any questions that the appraiser may have. If the real estate agent is not available to answer questions, the appraiser will err on the side of caution and may appraise the property at too low a price, which will affect the buyer’s ability to secure a mortgage. This will delay or even kill the sale.
8. Prepare for and Attend Closings
Prior to closing, there will often be a many little details that need to be completed. You need to work with a real estate agent who will take care of these things for you, especially if you have already vacated the home and moved out of Broward County or out of Florida altogether.
If you’re thinking about selling your home, talk to a qualified real estate agents and ask them if they will be able to perform all eight of the tasks listed above.