“What do I do first?”
This is a common question among many others. What I like to suggest to buyers is for us to visit on the phone or set up a time to meet to discuss what the process actually is. This way I get to meet with you, get to know a little bit about you and what your needs in a home are. We will go over the process of buying a home, what buyer representation is, where to go for financing, etc. At this meeting I can give you a list of homes currently on the market along with setting you up on my automatic email notification system where new listings are emailed to you as soon as they hit the market.
“Ok, I am ready to look, now what?”
After we meet and you have given me your dream home wish list I will begin my search. I will search the entire Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to find a home that meets your criteria. I have information and access to all homes listed with a Realtor. If you see a For Sale by Owner that you are interested in, just get the address and phone number for me and I will attempt to call them also.
“Who does the Broker/Realtor represent- me or the seller?”
In the past, most real estate agents worked for the seller. Today, there is a wider variety of brokerage relationships. I offer the following forms of agency:
- Owner Representative: When I become the owner's agent this is by entering into an agreement with the owner, usually through a listing agreement, or by agreeing to act as a subagent of the listing agent. I can assist you, the buyer, but do not represent you and must place the interests of the owner first. I cannot disclose to you anything the owner does not want you to know that might impact his ability to get top dollar for his property. (This does not apply to latent defects or items in need of repair, which must be disclosed by the owner.) Almost all of our listing agreements have an intermediary relationship agreement that allows agents to show "in-house" listings.
- Buyer Representative: When I become a buyer's agent this is by entering into an agreement to represent you, usually through a written buyer representation agreement. A buyer's agent can assist the owner, but must place the interests of the buyer first. The buyer’s agent will direct you to the source of information you require to make informed decisions during the buying process. The buyer agency agreement has an expiration date for our relationship and obligates you to work with your chosen agent exclusively until the agreement expires. Although commission is negotiable, most of the time it is paid by the seller.
- Intermediary: The company I work for can act as an intermediary, or transaction broker, without being an advocate for you or the seller. A written contract with you is not required, and we will not disclose to the seller that you will pay a price higher than your original offer. In addition, we cannot disclose to you that the seller will accept less than he is asking. We are required to treat each party to the transaction fairly and comply with the Texas Real Estate License Act.
- Additional Information about Brokerage Services will be presented to you at our first face to face meeting or you can click on the link below to view.
"Okay, I have found a property I love, now what?”
Once we have found the home you are ready to make an offer on I will prepare an offer for you. I use the standard promulgated forms provided by the Texas Real Estate Commission along with the appropriate specific addendums that might apply. We will discuss the forms and the content you wish to include in your offer. Once our offer is made, I will assist you in negotiating the offer, help you obtain the financing that fits you best and walk you through to closing.
"How will you help me during the closing process?"
Most closings can take place within 4 to 6 weeks, depending on financing. I will handle a lot of "behind the scenes" details, like scheduling the home and pest inspections, ordering the survey, negotiating any needed repairs, and keeping you and the seller informed of the progress. I will coordinate a closing time and date with you and the seller, provide you with local utility information, help you with homeowner's insurance, and be at the closing to make sure there are no last-minute details left unattended. My goal is to provide service that will move you!
Why You Need a Realtor when selling your home...
First, I will help you establish a fair asking price for your home. This is done by completing a comparative market analysis using current market data only available to members of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS.) Many home sellers under price their homes and that commission you are trying to avoid could actually be recovered plus more by pricing the house right!
I will promote your home to other agents in my office and other offices. I will enter your homes information in the MLS database. All realtor members can access the information, and one of them may have the perfect buyer.
I will create, pay for, and place advertising for your home in print marketing and internet marketing on this sight and many other websites.
I will place interior and exterior photographs of your home on this website which is linked to all of the major internet search engines. Your home will be listed on Realtor.com, a website owned by the National Association of Realtors. Most of the time I will create a visual tour of your home, letting a buyer do a virtual “walk thru” of your home. They may like what they see, and add it to the list of properties they want to view, or decide it does not meet their needs, relieving you of the hassle of preparing it to show to a buyer who “walks in and walks out.”
We will schedule appointments to show your home to prospective buyers, even when you are not there. Your home is for sale, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, while you attend to other responsibilities!
I will “weed out” buyers who may not qualify for a mortgage.
I will help you negotiate the sales price and other conditions of a contract with the buyer’s agent.
Staging your home:
Most buyers make the decision about a house purchase within the first few minutes of seeing the property. It is important that the lighting be right, the scenery perfect. The stage is then set for buyers to see your home to its best advantage. Some other suggestions, with little or no cost involved, are:
- Eliminate clutter. Closets look twice as big if they are half full. Get rid of or store things you are not using. Removing excess furniture will visually expand the room.
- Clean up. Probably the most important point, it’s a proven fact that a clean house will sell for more money than a dirty one!
- Fix up. The house should be in excellent working order. Special attention should be paid to the kitchen and its appliances. This room is almost always at the top of a buyers list.
- Make repairs. In the long run, you will pay for deferred maintenance. In most sales, a buyer will have a professional home inspector examine your house. If many items are found in need of repair, the buyer loses confidence in his choice and may withdraw from the sales agreement.
- Use light. Wash your windows and let in as much natural light as possible. Indirect lighting, like lamplight, is more appealing in the bedrooms, while brighter lights in the kitchen show off the workspace. Dining room chandeliers show off to their best advantage when they are turned on!
- Eliminate strong personal statements. A buyer needs to feel like your house can become his home. Put away personal collections and all but a few family photos. The kitchen should look like a model home.
- Establish a focal point. Try to give the buyer something to remember! A charming area rug, flowers on the table, or a fire in the fireplace on a chilly morning will all add to the buyer’s impression of your home.
- Consider music. Sometimes the quiet of a home is enough, but you can add to the sensory experience by having soft, relaxing music in the background.
- Eliminate odors. Offensive odors from pets, smoking or cooking can be disastrous. You can create the “new house smell” by having carpets cleaned and opening windows to let in fresh air and sunlight. A simmering cinnamon potpourri is pleasant, but avoid candles with too sweet or too strong an aroma.
- Choose the right real estate agent!
Home sales in our area have been excellent for the past several years! I will work hard to get results for you quickly, but there are three factors that I cannot control:
- Location: The single factor with the greatest effect on value is location. The desirability of being located within a given neighborhood is basic to a property’s fair market value. Locations without heavy traffic, road noise, or other negative factors are preferred.
- Competition: Every buyer makes a decision about which home to buy and how much its worth based on choices available at the time. The inventory of homes a buyer will compare to yours is constantly changing. I will provide you with continuing information of changes that may affect the sale of your home.
- Timing: This is the condition of the real estate market at the time of the sale. It maybe a seller’s market or a buyer’s market. I will develop and implement a marketing strategy to fit the conditions existing at the time your property is for sale.
After you decide on acceptable terms for the sale of your home, sit back and be patient! While the buyer is arranging financing, I will be working with the title company to accumulate all the data needed for them to prepare documents. I will keep you informed on the progress of the sale at all times. You can concentrate on the more important matter of packing and moving to your new home.