"...you need to be aware of agents who set the list price on homes at unrealistically high levels simply to get listings..."
While many agents may promise to sell your home for the money you want, the reality of the real estate market today is that this simply doesn't always happen. The fact of the matter is, the majority of homes sell for a price which falls short of what sellers may have been lead to believe.
There are two factors at play here. On the one hand, you need to be beware of agents who set the list price on homes at unrealistically high levels simply to get listings. This is really unfair because it can set homeowners up for disappointment and failure.
On the other hand, you have homes that are priced correctly, but are marketed ineffectively. Without a proper marketing program in place to ensure a home is exposed to the highest number of qualified buyers, many home sellers feel forced to accept a lower offer.
There's nothing worse to a home seller than to have their home sit unsold for many months because of improper pricing and/or marketing techniques. Needless to say, either of these situations is highly frustrating to any home seller. But more than that, it can be financially crushing if you're counting on the full proceeds of the sale of your home to fulfill some other obligation.
To prevent this scenario when selling your home here are some points to consider before choosing the agent you want to represent you.
A good agent knows the market and has information on past sales, current listings, a marketing plan, and will provide their background and references. Evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of their experience and qualifications.
Are they pricing your home correctly?
Home prices are determined by the marketplace not by your emotional attachment or by what you feel your home is worth. You should work closely with an agent who will suggest establishing a realistic price for your home. They will help you to objectively compare the price, features and condition of all similar homes in both your neighborhood and other similar ones which have sold in recent months. It is also important to be familiar with the terms of each potential sale. Terms are often as important as price in today's market.
Do they set themselves apart from the others by offering innovative marketing plans to sell your home fast and for top dollar?
Will they set up an aggressive marketing program to ensure your home is exposed to hundreds of qualified buyers? How much money does this agent spend in advertising the homes s/he lists versus other agents. In what media do they advertise, (newspaper, magazine, TV. etc.) Do they use a 24 hour hotline, "For Sale" signs, lock boxes, a Tour of Homes program, and Talking House signs and transmitters? What does this agent know about the effectiveness of one medium over the other?
Are they accountable to you?
In other words when they promise to sell your home for the price you mutually agree upon, do they offer you a guarantee (in writing) that you will get this amount of money for your home?
A new and innovative program that some agents offer actually guarantees, in writing, that you will receive 100% of the mutually agreed upon price for your home before you list.
When you list your home with an agent offering the 100% of Asking Price Guarantee program here's what happens:
This agent will review the 100% of Asking Price Guarantee program with you and explain the details.
They will then ensure that an aggressive marketing program is put in place to ensure your home is exposed to hundreds of qualified buyers.
They will also review what is required on your part to have your home in "showcase" condition in order to maximize the showing of your home to prospective buyers.
No empty promises. These agents put their money where their mouths are, they are accountable to you. The guarantee is in writing. If your home sale does not net the price that was promised, these agents will pay you the difference out of their own pockets.
This is to certify that, upon the successful sale of your property (your address here) by (name of agent) during the contract period specified below, if this property is not sold for a minimum price of (your agreed upon price here), (agent's name) will reduce his/her commission to make up the difference between a lower sale price and the price noted above up to a maximum of the agent's portion of the commission due to (agent's name) as a result of this sale subject to the terms conditions laid out in the agreement.
Such an agreement could also include the following conditions:
seller agrees to list property for (X) days with (agent's name)
the listed price is set within 2% of a mutually agreed market value price determined on the basis of market conditions and comparable homes
the property is made available for showings during reasonable hours and maintained in "showcase" condition during these times
the seller allows (agent's name) to execute a full, approved marketing strategy
a successful sale of the stated property must occur before expiration of the listing agreement
The seller understands that this is not a representation to purchase the above said property
At the bottom of the certificate there should be a place for you and your agent to date and sign the agreement.