Selling Your Home

Value of Your Home– There a number of on-line resources available to give you a quick “snapshot” of the value of your home. Check out Zillow.com as a great first resource. It will provide you an “estimate” for your house, recent sales, and all the properties currently for sale in your neighborhood…and all for free. Please keep in mind though that these sites are just “estimates” based on computer formulas capturing local sales data. As we all know, real estate is local. You can probably walk out of your own home right now and go a few houses down and find a recent foreclosure or short sale that would be included in this data or go a few minutes down the street into a totally different neighborhood with smaller and older homes with a totally different feel and demographic. All these things affect the price of your home and this is why you need to get a professional Realtor to do determine the best price range for your house’s unique qualities and realistic comparable sales.

Another option is to have “desk top” appraisal done for a fee by a local appraiser as a stronger benchmark of your home’s value. These are streamlined appraisals by licensed appraisers but will not substitute for a lender’s loan approval requirement of a formal written appraisal. Again, there is a fee, but it can give you a higher comfort level as to whether it is a good time to refinance or sell. Of course, having a reputable Realtor and lender to assist is always the best route. With over 100 years of combined experience on our team we know and have worked with the best Realtors and lenders in the industry. Please contact us for a list of our top referrals and recommendations.

What to look for in a Qualified Listing Agent/Realtor– Too many are quick to discount the value of what a qualified Realtor contributes to a successful real estate sale and closing. For a quick overview of their value-proposition check out our link here to review Orlando Realtor’s Association’s summary of the 200 critical services provided by a Realtor. It is a great review for both prospective buyers and sellers and can realistically establish service expectations, duties and responsibilities.

Here are a few things you should consider when selecting a Realtor to list your home…

  • Make sure they understand your motivation for wanting to sell and your timelines, urgency, concerns, experiences and needs. Your motivation and situation will drive timing, pricing, required steps, financing, etc.
  • Review the basis for their recommendations for the pricing of your home. Realize there is no “one” price for the sale of your home. Have the Realtor explain the dangers of overpricing your home and ask for a range. Realize too your prospective buyers will have the same market data to establish the basis for their offers! And finally…there is a direct relationship between price and time … in the end you determine when you want to be paid for the sale of your home!
  • The agent should be clear on how they plan to market your home and your responsibilities. Realize the Internet has changed how Buyers locate prospective properties. Older and more common methods of marketing your home may not get the exposure or price you are hoping for.
  • You want an agent that is honest with you and educates you as to the current market conditions and how that affects price, available buyers, financing options for buyers, etc. Successful Listing Agents will make a quick assessment of you too and whether you are realistic in your pricing and will assist throughout the process.
  • Communication is critical. Be clear on who, what, when and how communications will be handled and assign clear responsibilities and timeframes.
  • There is no shortage of Realtor measuring sticks. Inquire about such things as their List –to-Sales Ratios, Days-on-Market, Agent-to-Agent referral network and buyer connections and call their references. Success always leaves clues!
  • Ultimately you are looking for a knowledgeable real estate consultant that has strong communication skills and who will be an aggressive advocate on your behalf!

Seller’s Pick the Title Company –  BE CAREFUL NOT ALL REALTOR RECOMMENDATIONS ARE CREATED EQUAL!

Sellers engage Realtors to market and sell their homes because that is their licensed area of expertise and they are really good at it! The industry’s dirty little secret though is that a few Realtors and their Brokers have ownership interests in affiliated title companies where they earn additional income and revenues from both the buyer and seller by steering them to their title company. While legal if implemented property, many in the industry see this as a clear conflict-of-interest. In fact, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has more than a dozen active enforcement actions under RESPA and has fined numerous real estate, lender and title companies for improper affiliated consumer practices.

The seller in Florida generally has the say as to the title company they want to represent their interests and the proper safe guarding of their funds. Raise this question before signing the Listing Agreement and Sales Contract and ask specifically for Real Estate Closing Solutions to handle your title and closing work. We are an independent company with no competing Realtor, lender or builder Marketing Service Agreements (MSA’s) or affiliated ownership. You hire your Realtor to sell your home, hire us to safe guard your funds and insure your transaction is handled properly by licensed and experienced title and closing professionals.