When I started out in Dubuque as a real estate agent, I did so to not only make a living, but to help you realize the benefits of homeownership. Seller representation is a serious obligation. Whether you’re selling your first or fifth home, it is a big investment and as such I always take it seriously.
I WILL BE YOUR ADVOCATE
I have an obligation to you. My job is to do everything I can to smooth the process of buying or selling your home. As your advocate, I will do all I can to help you get the most money for your home in the least amount of time with the fewest headaches along the way.
Selling your home involves more than putting a sign in your yard and posting online. You deserve better than that. If you are looking to sell your home, it’s critical that you choose a good agent. Much has been written about this process, but in my experience, it boils down to this – you need to know what your agent should do for you.
PRICE YOUR HOME CORRECTLY
Pricing your home properly is the most important thing I do as a Realtor. If I am to earn your business I will price your home using my training, experience and understanding of the real estate market in Dubuque and comparable sales. I have never told a seller what they want to hear to get a listing.
Pricing any home to high can cause major issues in the sale. The thing many sellers fail to realize is that pricing a home higher than it should be priced does not increase the probability it will sell for more. It is the exact opposite. Buyers may avoid it, and if they do so long enough, the property will develop a bad reputation forcing you to drop your price to be competitive. Unfortunately, by that point, the bad rep will have stuck and buyers will be likely to low-ball you after a period of time. You may end up selling for less than what you could have if it had been priced right from the start.
Don’t get caught up in the price per square foot method as accurate way of pricing a property. The only way this indicator is useful is if all the homes in your area are identical. That hardly ever happens. Price per square foot can be helpful in learning about the general value of real estate I the area, but it is a poor indicator of your home’s actual value.
MARKET YOUR HOME AS IS IT WAS MY OWN
Marketing is one area where the best Real Estate agents shine. The best agents take great pictures. The photography of your home is absolutely one of essential elements to sell your home. I can tell you first hand how upset I get when I see some of the photos some agents post online.
The internet is where most home buyers first see your home. If your home’s pictures are lousy, you will lose out on a significant amount of traffic.
As your agent I am will get the word out using all available marketing channels, not just the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). My personal website draws traffic and showcases all of my properties and all other properties in the Dubuque Real Estate Market. I also make use of social media like Facebook, Google+, and other platforms, to spread the word.
Sellers deserve to know what is going on with the sale of their home. It is my practice to over communicate. I always provide feedback from showings and about anything else concerning your listing.
In my experience as customer service professional primary complaint from clients is a lack of proper communication. I always will return your calls or emails promptly. In my mind, all phone calls or emails should be returned within an hour unless I am with another client. There is no excuse for poor communication. Staying in touch is something you have a right to expect from me.
MAKE SURE POTENTIAL BUYERS ARE QUALIFIED
Anybody can say they are interested in buying a house. Not everyone can get pre-approval for a home loan, though. As your listing agent I recommend that buyers are pre-approved – not just pre-qualified. There is a big difference between mortgage pre-qualification and pre-approval.
Mortgage pre-qualification is a determination about whether the prospective buyer will most likely qualify for a loan within the lender’s current programs and standards. It is also a decision about the possible amount of the loan for which the prospective applicant will qualify.
Mortgage pre-approval is a much more formal process. With pre-approval, the buyer will have completed an application with the lender, supplied them with income data, your W2’s, bank statements, etc. The bank has gathered information about your employment and will also run your credit report; the lender will have run the application through an automated underwriting process
NEGOTIATE THE BEST POSSIBLE TERMS
The best agents will go out of their way to fight hard for the best terms and conditions for their clients. This, after all, is what we are paid to do. A great Real Estate agent will never think about their pocket book but what makes the most sense for their client. This is one of the reasons why you should never choose and an agent that “needs” to make a sale. When you hire an agent who’s not worried about when their next sale comes along, you will get much better advice.
As your Real Estate agent, I advocate for my clients and always work on your behalf for the best possible terms. Everything in Real Estate is negotiable, and when warranted, I don’t hesitate to counteroffer with a price that is more favorable to my client.
When a buyer, or seller wants adjustments to contingency dates or closing times, I understand the real value of each element to the customer and will do everything possible to get the terms possible.
ATTEND THE HOME INSPECTION
One of the questions I get from homeowners after accepting an offer on their home is who will be at the home inspection. If you have not sold a home in a while it is certainly a legitimate question to ask. The answer however, is not clear cut and dry. I try to attend every home inspection whether I am representing the buyer or the seller.
Why do I do this for my clients? The answer is pretty simple – it’s my job! The home inspection is one of the most important hurdles to clear in a real estate transaction. I think all real estate agents should attend home inspections! It help us keep track of everything that is said and keep things in perspective should the buyer ask for concessions based on the inspection. Some requests may be reasonabl, others may not. When working as the selling agent I see everything in person and that helps me protect my sellers from unreasonable requests.
Here is a perfect example: A home inspector says during the inspection that the roof has 3 to 5 years left before it needs to be replaced. The translation after a home inspection from the buyer to the seller is that a new roof is needed immediately. Sometimes what the home inspector says and what is written in his report are two different things.
When I am there as your listing agent, I can see and hear firsthand exactly what the issues are. Some buyers will exaggerate everything in the hopes of getting a closing cost concession, or force the seller to make repairs. Home inspections often become the second place of negotiations.
Don’t be misled by the real estate agent who tells you that they shouldn’t go because “it creates too much liability.” That is complete nonsense! The only thing that creates liability at a home inspection is what I say and do as your agent, Selling homes is not a spectator sport.
ATTEND THE HOME APPRAISAL
I always do everything I can to attend the home appraisal. This helps me answer the questions the appraiser has and make sure they understand the facts about your home. Appraisers may need feedback from someone who knows the house to do their job. I am there to help clarify any confusion. In many instances, as your Realtor I may be the best qualified to answer the appraiser’s questions.
For example, the appraiser could be looking for all of the recent updates that have been made in the home. Major updates will certainly influence the value of your home.
FINALIZE LOOSE ENDS FOR CLOSING
Selling a house involves a lot of work. There are so many little details that must be managed. As the closing draws near, I work with my clients to take care of all those pesky loose ends.
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