Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a realtor.
The selling process begins by determining of a reasonable asking price. Your realtor can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
The next step is a marketing plan. Often, your agent can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of the property. Marketing includes the exposure of your property to other real estate agents and the public. Your agent disburses information about your property to other real estate agents through a multiple listing service or other cooperative marketing networks, like open houses for agents.
Advertising is part of marketing. The choice of media and frequency of advertising depends a lot on the property and specific market. The National Association of Realtors studies show that 82 percent of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. As the owner you are only advertising one home, your own, while the realtor is advertising many. Frequently, a prospect will call a real estate company on one ad but end up buying another home. Thus, through advertising multiple properties, realtors are provided with more opportunities for qualified prospects.
The negotiation process deals with much the same issues for both buyers and sellers. Your agent can help you objectively evaluate every buyers proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing -- a lot of possible pitfalls. Your agent can help you write a legally binding agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
Getting to the Closing
Between the initial sales agreement and closing, questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your agent is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).
Why use a realtor?
All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the National Association of Realtors are properly called realtors. They proudly display the REALTOR logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. Realtors are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. Realtors subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that almost 85 percent of home buyers would use the same realtor again.
Carrie Colby is a Realtor the Broker/Owner of Premier Properties in Raymond.