Should the Realtor we hire to sell our home be from a big national company?

Although there may be advantages if a Realtor works for a big national company, the most important factor is that the Realtor is ethical, has a track record of success and genuinely has the skills, tools and expertise to sell your home.

Working for a big national company used to help with national or international exposure, but because of the multiple listing service and seamless web access, all Realtors have the same information when it comes to assisting you in selling your home. The multiple listing service (MLS) offers all Realtors computer access to listings, as long as the Realtor subscribes to this service. Because of this, it does not matter if the Realtor works for a big national company or not.

The Realtor you choose to help sell your home should be knowledgeable in all areas of real estate, including the contract, being a good communicator and excellent negotiator.

The Realtor should also have a pulse on the neighborhood in which you live and should be able to give you a list of comparable listed properties (your competition) and sales so that you know where to price your home. The price you choose should be based on your specific area or neighborhood and will help determine how quickly you will sell your home.

Are there similar homes to yours for sale, or is your home unique? Your Realtor can assist in determining the exact value your property, if you have doubts get a second or third opinion but never go with the “highest estimate”, it’s often a ploy to just get the listing ~ the numbers are clear and you’ll easily be able to determine the value… in this market, nothing is more critical than the price!

The Realtor you choose to help sell your home should also be able to give you tips on what will help make your home more attractive to buyers, thus placing your home in a bracket that is more likely to sell. Does your home need painting? Does the landscaping need work? Do any of your rooms need updating? Do any of your appliances need replacing?

Your home will more than likely have to pass an inspection, so it is in your best behalf to have a home that will not raise red flags. If anything such as a roof, plumbing or electrical work may not pass an inspection, it would be best to have those repaired or replaced before placing your home on the market.

The Realtor you choose to sell your home should be someone you feel comfortable with, someone you trust and someone whose track record you can verify. The Realtor should have a detailed marketing plan in writing, and show a willingness to do whatever it takes to sell your home. To sell your home, it needs exposure. How does the Realtor plan to get the real estate community to participate in showing your home to other buyers?

A big national company cannot guarantee your home will sell ~ follow your instincts.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of offering Free Instant Access to Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast ~ has independent agents and real estate agents from the nation’s largest companies, visit the site today to choose your perfect agent.

How Long Will It Take to Sell My Home?

You’re probably looking to accomplish two main things with the sale of your home:

  1. Get the most amount of money
  2. Complete the process in the least amount of time

In our experience, achieving both is a careful balancing act.  You can sell your home in a heartbeat with a price low enough and, contrary to this, it will last an eternity on the market if it’s overpriced.

You can estimate how long your home will be on the market by taking into consideration your needs and evaluating how other homes in your area are performing.

Baseline Days on Market

We’ll begin by determining the average amount of time it takes for a home with similar features and amenities to sell in your neighborhood.  This will establish a baseline that we can use to gauge how both under and overpricing your home affects it’s days-on-market.

Once we’ve established a baseline, we can then consider your timing and financial needs in regards to pricing.  We’ll refer to this statistic as “baseline” later in this article.


You have three choices when it comes to pricing your home: below, at, and above market.  Each comes with its pros and cons, and choosing one will be based on your financial needs and time frame.

Below Market

When you are below market price, you can expect your home to sell faster than your baseline.  The reasons are fairly obvious– you’ve intentionally listed your home at a below-market price with the intention of attracting the most number of buyers in the least amount of time.  Buyers will include both those who plan to live in the home themselves and investors.

The hidden gem with this pricing method is that you can proactively solicit multiple offers and possibly drive up the price of your home.  This simply cannot be done if you are not attracting multiple buyers, and this pricing method almost ensures this to happen.

The biggest concern with pricing under market is that you’re leaving money on the table.  While this is also our concern, we’ll coach you on how much under market you should price to ensure you’re getting more offers, while minimizing the risk of losing money.

At Market

Pricing your home at it’s market price, or the price we determine your home is actually worth based on it’s features, amenities, and condition, ensures that it will be sold in your baseline timeframe.  A seller who isn’t in a desperate need to sell quickly could consider this option.  While you may not get as many buyers as the under-priced method, you will still receive the average amount of interest as other homes for sale in your market.

Buyers with this pricing method will usually include those who plan to live in the home themselves.


Each pricing method has it’s benefits, and the overpriced method is reserved for those homes that could be considered “benchmark” or in a better condition with more features than other homes in their market. 

Overpriced homes should expect to stay on the market the longest, as they’re targeting a very specific niche buyer who values the reasons justifying the increase in list price.


As you can see, the amount of time your home spends on the market is in direct relation to how it’s priced in relation to the baseline. 

Contact one of the professionals today to discuss your needs and the real estate market to determine which pricing method is best for you.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of offering Free Instant Access to Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast.

Spring buying boosts home prices in US cities

Spring buying pushed home prices up for a third straight month in most major U.S. cities in June. But the housing market remains shaky, and further price declines are expected this year.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index showed Tuesday that prices increased in June from May in 19 of the 20 cities tracked. Prices rose 3.6 percent in the April-June quarter from the previous quarter. Neither of those numbers is adjusted for seasonal factors.

Over the past 12 months, home prices have declined in all 20 cities.

Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington and Boston posted the biggest monthly increases. Metro areas hit hardest by the housing crisis, including Las Vegas and Phoenix, reported small seasonal increases.

Housing has been a drag on the economy and is a key reason it has struggled to recover two years after the recession officially ended. Home sales are on pace this year to be the worst in 14 years.

High unemployment, larger down payment requirements and tighter credit are preventing many buyers from entering the market. Many who can afford to buy are waiting because they are worried prices have yet to hit bottom.

And growing fears that the U.S. economy is close to another recession “are likely to leave a mark” on both home prices and sales over the next few months, said Stan Humphries, chief economist at the real estate website

“Monthly home value appreciation in June may mark the last hurrah before beginning to weaken in the back half of this year,” Humphries said.

Analysts say home prices have stabilized in coastal cities over the past six months. Seasonally adjusted prices have fallen a modest 1 percent over the past six months, according to the index. That’s less than a third of the decline from the previous six months.

But this year, home prices in many cities have reached their lowest points since the housing market went bust more than four years ago. Prices in Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tampa are at 2000 levels.

“These shifts suggest that we are back to regional housing markets, rather than a national housing market where everything rose and fell together,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the S&P’s index committee.

The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The June data is the latest available.

Home prices are certain to fall further once banks resume millions of foreclosures, which have been delayed because of a government investigation into mortgage lending practices. If the U.S. economy slips back into another recession, prices could drop even further.

“There’s no theoretical floor for prices. If the economy worsens, housing will get into a vicious cycle of falling prices and foreclosures,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “When prices fall, confidence wanes.”

Last year, a homebuyer tax credit helped boost prices temporarily. But prices began to fall shortly after the tax credit expired. They tumbled in big metro areas in March to their lowest level since 2002.

As prices have declined, so too have sales.

The pace of sales for previously occupied homes is trailing last year’s 4.91 million sold, the fewest since 1997. In a healthy economy, people buy roughly 6 million homes each year.

Sales of new homes dropped in July for third straight month. This year is shaping up to be the worst for sales of new homes on records dating back to 1963.

Foreclosures and short sales — when a lender agrees to sell for less than what is owed on a mortgage — made up about 30 percent of all home sales last month, up from about 10 percent in past years. About 1.7 million potential foreclosures are being held up, according to real estate firm CoreLogic, either by backlogged courts or lenders awaiting state and federal probes into troubled foreclosure practices.

The aurthor of this article is Derek Kravitz, AP Real Estate Writer

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