So you’ve decided to sell your home. Wow! You’ve just taken an idea and turned it into action. Your first step is to start researching which agent to hire for the job. But why hire an agent? I could save money on listing fees if I did it myself, right?
Selling it Yourself – Wrong! Most sellers do not know comparable sale values and how they are valued from one house to the next. Sometimes concessions are provided to a buyer or seller and the public is not privy to that information, which can skew values. They may not understand the current real estate market. And they aren’t prepared for the onslaught of information and processes that begin when the home is under contract.
Seeking to find the agent for the job can seem like a daunting process. But it doesn’t have to be that way. First, contact at least two or three agents. This can include asking a friend for their recommendation. If they had a good recommendation, ask the friend why the agent did a good job. Create a list of questions that are important to you. These might include:
How long have they been in the business?
How many homes have they listed and sold last year?
Look for the word “REALTOR” on their business card or credentials. If that word is listed, then you know the agent has to follow the National Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics prescribes that agents should be held accountable, be your fiduciary, be honest, trustworthy, and keep your information confidential. The Code of Ethics is part of required education that every agent is required to learn, along with a total of 24 credit hours every 2 years.
The REALTOR should help you to get the home ready to sell with practical advice. Advice can include moving furniture, storing knick knacks, removing family photos, and storing valuables.
When it’s time to list the home for sale, disclose every detail to your agent. In Arizona, a seller is required to disclose all of the changes, additions, repairs and alterations made to homes. So be prepared to complete forms to this effect.
Likewise, it’s always best to disclose upgrades made to the home as there may be extra value earned for these upgrades. Be prepared to create such a list, along with the dollars spent so that I can work with an appraiser to gain more value for your home. Remember, an appraiser cannot see into the walls of your home to know or understand what you’ve added and how much value, if any, to give. Seeking out appraisers who are knowledgeable (knowing where to find them) on this important topic is of critical concern. If an agent doesn’t explain this process to you, hire a different agent!