Buying a house can be challenging, but selling one can have its own unique hurdles and headaches. You have to research and price your house, accommodate potential home buyers and open-houses, negotiate and make decisions on offers, and navigate home inspections. Buyers generally have many options when making their decision, so what can you do to make your house stand out and attract potential buyers?
For one, you can hire a real estate agent to do the heavy lifting. An agent who assists a house seller is also known as a listing agent, and they can be priceless to home sellers. If you’re not sure about what a listing agent does in the process or you think you may be able to do the job on your own and save some money, here are some of the things they do and why they can prove invaluable.
Analyze and Price a House
Among the primary, real estate agent responsibilities are analyzing and pricing a house to list for sale. Your real estate agent should have a lot of market knowledge and is aware of what aspects to focus on to set a good and reasonable price for your house. They will inspect the house and assess the strengths and weaknesses, such as location, age, and condition. Then the agent will help you set a price that you are comfortable with and one they think buyers will be willing to pay.
Preparing and Renovating the House
In the case that your home is in need of improvements, your real estate agent will likely advise you to address some home renovations before you put up your house for sale in order to get the best price. Any changes to the house are always up to the homeowner but often there are times when putting in a small investment, like repainting walls, will end up raising the value of the house much higher than that investment. You’ll also want to fix things that are broken or in disrepair. You have the option to sell the house “as is” but, again, a small investment in improvement generally will be more than paid back at the final price.
Things like leaking pipes, peeling paint, and damage to countertops and flooring will most likely be brought up in a home inspection. At that point, you’ll have to work with the buyer on who will fix or pay for those fixes. If you decide to repair these issues before listing, you can build that cost into the listing price and avoid the back and forth.
Staging the House
Walking into an empty house can be intimidating. A buyer has to use their imagination to see the house as a home and figure out where things should go and if it can be functional and attractive for the life they are hoping to live there. On the flip side, buyers can have a hard time looking past a mess of clutter and poor decorations to see a house’s potential. Your best bet is having your house staged.
Staging can mean removing clutter and using the owner’s items to set up space in an inviting way for people walking through, or it can mean bringing in a staging company to fill a space and show a buyer how a home can look with the right décor. First impressions are everything, and your agent will do everything to make these first impressions as impactful as possible.
Real estate agents list staging as a big reason for a house not selling quickly so making it a priority can be a winning move.
Marketing Your House
One of the most important duties for a selling agent is marketing your house to all the potential buyers out there. A good real estate agent will take high-quality pictures of your properly staged house and make sure they are listed along with a description that highlights the main selling points.
Marketing can also include listing the house on selling websites, advertising it on social media, doing a virtual walk-through, putting up a ‘for sale’ sign in the front yard, contacting other agents that may have interested buyers, and arranging showings.
Your real estate agent should do all they can to get the word out and attract buyers
Keep the Sellers in the Loop
There are many moving parts when it comes to selling a house. After all of the preparation is done and the listing is live there is a lot that can happen. An agent should keep you updated on requests for showings, recommend and set up open houses as well as let you know if there is any helpful feedback.
Buyers that come through the house can have some of the best feedback for improving your chances to sell, and a good agent will make sure they solicit that information and let you know what they did or didn’t like about your house.
An agent should also be available to answer questions, address your concerns, and listen to opinions when it comes to every big or small decision about your house. Your real estate agent will keep you up to date on market trends, advise you on what offers are fair, and guide you through the legalities of selling your house.
A house for sale will attract visitors of all kinds and not all of them will be genuinely interested in buying your house. You don’t want to waste your time preparing and showing your house to everyone who shows interest if there is no possibility of moving forward. In order to prevent this, an agent should be making sure buyers are pre-approved.
This means that all of the needed line items are check and, as long as nothing changes with their finances, they should be all clear to move forward with purchasing a home. Pre-approval also shows that they are seriously looking and not just browsing the market for fun.
Negotiate with All Parties
When selling a house, there is a lot of negotiating involved. Of course, there is negotiating with the potential buyer on price, who will cover what and when the closing date should be, but there can also be negotiating with cleaning and staging companies, lawyers, house inspectors, and a multitude of other people.
A big part of a real estate agent’s duty to the seller includes negotiating with all parties involved on their behalf and sorting things out in a way that is in their best interest.
An agent’s superior knowledge of the market and houses in that area will enable them to be a better representative for home sellers than they might be for themselves.
Closing the Deal
Once the house has been prepared for selling, buyers have been found, the price has been agreed to, and the house has been inspected, it’s time to close the deal. The real estate agent will be there with you throughout to assist you over any bumps that might arise. They can answer questions, help you with paperwork and make sure you have the right documents.
This is something that is done at the end of every deal and something that all agents do often so their knowledge can be very valuable to someone who maybe has never done it before. Find an agent you trust and can work with, you’ll be glad you did.
If you are a home seller, who is struggling to sell their house, let us help you enlist the help of an experienced real estate agent in your area.