Last time, in part one of our two part series: The Active Client: How to Work Effectively with your Buyer’s Agent, we discussed some important considerations for Buyers working with an Agent. Many of those considerations are also applicable in the context of Selling a home; however, there are some strategies that are unique to selling a home. As we’ve discussed previously in our article: Ten Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Home, every Seller should use an Agent to sell their home. The knowledgeable Seller will know that there are approaches to the client-Agent relationship that will help to sell your home quickly, for top dollar.
Pick the Right Agent: Alright, we admit that this is not technically a strategy to work with an Agent, but it makes the rest of the strategies much more effective. First, it’s important to find an Agent that is experienced and professional. Research your prospective Agent’s resume. Review their current listings. Are you impressed with the way that your Agent presents him/herself and his/her listings? Second, meet the Agent in person. Make sure that your personalities will work well together. Third, don’t rely solely on the price an Agent suggests as the basis for selecting that Agent. Suppose you discuss the listing with three potential agents. Two agents suggest a price of $400,000. The third suggests $500,000. It’s incredibly tempting to agree to list with the Agent that gives you the highest price. Take a moment to consider the possibility that the Agent may have given you an inflated price to secure your business with the knowledge that the price will inevitably be reduced to a realistic point. On the flip side, be cautious of a low target price as the Agent may be intentionally or unintentionally trying to make his/her sale easier, to your detriment. Finally, ask how they intend to market the property and how many other listings they currently have. If your Agent has twenty other listings, it’s unlikely (s)he will give yours as much attention as an Agent with fewer. Further, if your Agent’s strategy is to list it on MLS and do nothing else—you may want to consider an Agent that will more actively market your property.
No Secrets: It’s time to take the skeletons out of the closet (figuratively, of course—we hope). If you’re a seller, provide complete information about your home so that it can be presented fairly to potential Buyers. Honesty with Buyers often reassures them that you aren’t trying to take advantage of their relative lack of information about the property. More often than not, the major fault will be found during the home inspection, usually resulting in a request for a concession. If your Agent knows about the problem (s)he can preempt and present the issue in the most positive light and take the “sting out” while making the Buyer understand that the issue was factored into the pricing.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Advice: Last week, we discussed that Agents are experts in buying homes. The same is true when it comes to listing and negotiation. In addition to helping Seller’s set realistic pricing, experienced Agents will be able to provide insight into what Buyers prefer and what will help to set a listing apart from the crowd. In a market where inventory is set to increase dramatically, this is an invaluable service. Perhaps (s)he’ll suggest making modest upgrades, staging a room, setting a different price, or putting some of your property into storage. Try not to take advice personally—your agent understands that the goal is to appeal to as many potential Buyers as possible.
Explain why an Offer isn’t Adequate: maybe the closing date is not right for you, maybe the offer price is too low, maybe the offer is contingent on the buyer selling their current residence. Giving feedback to your agent serves two purposes: 1) perhaps there is potential to make a counteroffer or 2) it will help the Agent guide future Buyers toward terms that are more likely to be acceptable to you.
Stay Positive: Your Agent will almost always go the extra mile when they have a personal connection and affinity for a client. Don’t treat your agent like a servant; she/he is a professional. Perhaps it’s the extra phone call to another agent who has a Buyer in your area. Perhaps it’s spending additional time to make sure the house is perfectly prepped before an open house. If your agent likes you, chances are you’ll like your agent too.
Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions. Stiles Law serves all areas of eastern Massachusetts–the North Shore, Boston, and Cape Cod, in addition to the entire South Shore, including: Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Scituate, Norwell, Cohasset, Hull, Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Quincy.
Copyright © 2015 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts. No child labor laws were breached during the creation of this Blog, further Bob Bonkley was compensated for his likenesses and appearances in the same.