Choosing the Right Gay Realtor to Sell Your Home

The chances of selling your home are only as good as your listing agent. This can be a tricky business because sometimes the agent that you get along with the best or like the best personally is actually not the best person for the job. You only have a short window of opportunity to get your property sold, so do your best to choose someone efficient, experienced, with a track record of successes and who can handle the ups and downs of what can sometimes be quite a rocky business.

Digital Image by Sean Locke Digital Planet Design www.digitalplanetdesign.comSometimes the best agent does not have it all when it comes to personality but this doesn’t matter. You want someone who has marketing and organizational skills, a methodical process starting with a very organized, through listing presentation including a detailed marketing plane with dates and deadlines for specific tasks (place the sign, staging professional walkthrough, professional photographs, brochures, place the property on the mls, etc., etc.). It’s always great to find a listing agent that is hungry, ambitious and that has the most materialistic bent possible.

Check the listing agent’s history of selling. Does she or he have a great track record when it comes to selling properties? Does it take them forever to sell or do they have a reputation for finding buyers quickly? What percentage of their listings sell, and at what percentage of the listing price?

If you are trying to accomplish a short sale then it is a good idea to find an agent experienced in this. Some agents have a line-up and do not get your listing up until it is your turn. A listing agent that specializes in pre-foreclosure or short sales gets that listing up within a day or the same day and keeps in mind that your financial survival is at stake. They do not take your  cry for help lightly. They express a desire to help you avoid foreclosure.

You should also use a listing agent that is honest with you about the market. There are many agents out there that know how to use charm to get your business – they know how to tell you what you want to hear. They price your home too high and it stays on the MLS for weeks, even months. Choose an agent that is not afraid to discuss the worst-case scenario with you. The best agent will also have strategies for dealing with homes that are not get calls. The longer your home is on the market, the less desirable it becomes (market age), so price your home as close to market value as possible, to maximize your net.

When interviewing realtors from GayRealEstateAgents.com, we recommend asking as many questions as possible and also speaking to the agents past clients  do your homework, and you’ll enjoy a real estate transaction to remember.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of GayRealEstate.com. Free Instant Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast. FREE Buyers Representation ~ Free Relocation Kit to any City, USA ~ Free Sellers Market Analysis for home sellers.

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 the 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.

Price

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.

Overpriced

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.

Conclusion

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 gayrealestate.com 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 www.GayRealEstate.com offering Free Instant Access to Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast.

Should we Remodel our Home or Sell “As Is”?

This question is a common headache for many homeowners visiting Gay Real Estate when considering placing their home on the market.  On one hand, a remodel could create a diamond in the rough, and possibly even encourage a faster sale.  On another, selling as-is in a competitive market could save months of listing time if priced right.

 

When You Should Remodel

Analyzing your competition can be a great way to gain insight into what buyers are looking for in your market.  It’s easy to assume a feature or amenity should immediately increase the value of your home.  In some cases it will, but many times a remodel will only bring your home to the market readiness of other similar homes in your neighborhood.

You should consider remodeling a room in your home if any of the following applies:

1) When analyzing sold history and currently active homes on the market, you find that this particular remodel is commonly found.

2) The room is in dire need of attention and a simple clean up won’t suffice to get it market-ready.

3) When analyzing sold history, a predominant higher price is offered for homes with this particular remodel.

You’re likely to never recoup the entire cost of a remodel, but getting your home up to par may be necessary to get your home sold in a reasonable amount of time.

 

When You Should Sell As-Is

If your home can be considered a “benchmark” home, or a home that is already loaded with amenities not commonly found in your market, you should consider selling as-is.  While a pricey remodel will certainly make your home shine during an open house, it usually costs more than it’s worth.  

You should consider selling your home as-is if your home meets any of the following criteria:

1) The average price per square foot in your market is deteriorating (down market).

2) Your home can be considered a “benchmark” home, or a home that has more features and amenities than the competition.

3) Your home is already on par with other active properties in the area.

 

The Rule of Thumb

First, ensure that your home meets the standard set by the competition currently for sale in your market.  If your home is not up to par, you should consider remodeling. 

If your home shares the same features and amenities as its competition, then you should consider selling as-is to avoid leaving any money on the table.  A remodel is always a nice selling feature, but many times it does not make financial sense and is simply a waste of time.

Take the time to get with your real estate agent to analyze your competition, and base your decision on what buyers are demanding in your particular real estate market.

Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of www.GayRealestate.com ~ Instant Free Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast-to-Coast.

How do I hire a real estate agent and how much will it cost me?

The best way to find a real estate agent is through a recommendation from someone that has used the agent previously. On-line services like GayRealEstate.com have previous client feedback and comments and can help you secure an honest realtor.

In the real estate game, so much is about trusted relationships and word of mouth, because buying a home is an investment. You don’t trust just anyone with your car keys or stock portfolio—and this is even more important. 

Interview with an agent and price-point your own home

Once you have finally settled on an agent or two, have a sit down with them. The REALTOR® will educate you on what he or she estimates your house will sell for, how the property will be marketed, and what costs are involved in the sale- including what you can expect to net (the check you will receive) at the closing. The agent will estimate your home’s value by doing a competitive market analysis in your neighborhood.

 For your turn, it is vital that you ask questions regarding his/her experience as a REALTOR®:

 

  • Are you a full-time real estate agent?
  • How many years have you been selling homes?
  • How many homes have you sold in this neighborhood?
  • What is the most important competitive advantage you will bring to the table in selling my home?
  • How long will my home be on the market? (Ask for details. It will be evident if he or she is clueless.)
  • What’s your sales record this year? In the past?
  • How can you or other services make my home more presentable for sale?
  • What will we do if my home doesn’t sell quickly

After you have asked these questions, it is time to pick a REALTOR®. If the price point the agent gave your home is way off, it’s important to have discuss the price and have any other conversations before moving forward. It is crucial that you smooth out all of the wrinkles before signing anything. 

The listing contract

The listing contract is, by far, the most elaborate and important part of hiring an agent. Within the listing contract, you will find obvious things like:

  • The price of your home
  • The length of the listing period
  • The negotiated commission the agent will charge for marketing the property and the percentage commission the agent will receive for the sale of the home 

Many listing contracts are cut-and-dry documents written to be accommodating for both the seller and the agent. However, you need to be specific.If you aren’t specific, you could get stuck with a bum agent who can’t sell a pair of shoes, much less a home! Many contract terms stipulate 90 to 120 days or longer before the seller is free to try a different agent. This is standard.

Paying an Agent

Agents get paid on commission. A typical selling commission is 5%-6% of the selling price of your home, although this is always negotiable! For a $250,000.00 sale at 5%, the agents take $12,500.00. It is commonplace that the buyer and seller’s agents split the commission on a successful sale, so your listing agent will really take about $6,250.00

The pros at www.GayRealEstate.com are some of the best in the business, when it comes time to find a real estate agent. They quite literally have thousands of agents they are happy to recommend.