My Promise to You as a Home Seller:
The most important qualities I can offer as a Real Estate agent are service and knowledge.
- I will be there to explain the selling process from start to finish.
- I will prepare a market analysis, including data on comparable homes recently sold or currently for sale in your area.
- I will help you establish an effective asking price.
- I will prepare a plan to market your home designed to provide exposure that gets results. With the resources of Long & Foster Real Estate behind me, the plan will reach out to buyers both up the street and around the world.
- We place information about your home with the appropriate Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and automatically include it on the Long & Foster Real Estate web site on the internet, making your home available to 50,000,000 potential buyers 24 hours a day, every day until it is sold.
- I will arrange tours of your home with my fellow Long & Foster sales associates, and with sales associates from other area Real Estate companies for maximum exposure of your property to Real Estate professionals who can help find buyers. This is, perhaps, the most effect way to market your home. Amazingly, about 70% of buyers come from agent interaction.
- Your home will be advertised in the appropriate paper(s) in your area. Roughly, 8% of buyers come from classified advertisements.
- I will qualify buyers whenever possible before showing them your home.
- When appropriate, I will hold open houses to increase the visibility of your home to the public -- some 5% of buyers come from open houses.
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What I'll Do to Market Your Home:
Within 24 hours, I will:
- place your home into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Computer System -- this promotes your property to thousands of sales associates in the Tri-State area, and makes information about your property immediately accessible to them.
- prepare a highlight sheet and place it in your home, so that relevant facts will be available to prospective buyers. Also, I will distribute this sheet to other Real Estate firms in the area.
- place a "For Sale" sign on your property to increase awareness of it within your community. Keep in mind that almost 10% of sales result from a buyer seeing a sign on a property.
Within 48 hours, I will:
- schedule a tour of your home for the sales associates in my office, so that they can market your property more effectively.
- arrange and host a Broker's Open House for area Real Estate firms to familiarize them with your property.
- prepare an ad for your property and place it in the classified section of appropriate newspaper(s).
Within seven days, I will:
- canvas your neighborhood and beyond for prospective buyers
Also, I will provide you with bi-weekly updates on showings of your property, including prospective buyer's comments and responses.
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Fair Market Value:
FAIR MARKET VALUE is the price at which a willing seller would sell and a willing buyer would buy, neither being under abnormal pressure.
The best way to ensure the sale of your property is to price it competitively. Buyers purchase homes by comparison, and they will usually make an offer to purchase on a fairly priced property before making a low offer on an overpriced listing.
In fact, you will be doing yourself a huge disservice if you take the approach that it is better to ask high, expecting buyers to bid low.
First, you risk eliminating the right buyers because they'll see a price that's out of their budget and they won't come and look. And, second, the buyers who do come and look won't think that your property is worth the asking price and they will move on.
Ask yourself this question. Would you buy a property that's worth $150,000 for $200,000?
Homes normally sell at market value. The listed price affects the days on the market, not the ultimate sales price. Even pricing your home at 5% over Fair Market Value decreases your chances of selling by 50%.
Here are a few pricing guidelines for arriving at Fair Market Value that you may find useful:
- What you paid for your home doesn't affect its value!
- The amount of cash you need to buy your new home doesn't affect its value!
- What you want for your home doesn't affect its value!
- What I say about your home doesn't affect its value!
- What another Real Estate agent says your home is worth doesn't affect its value!
- What an appraiser says your home is worth doesn't affect its value!
- THE ONLY OPINION THAT MATTERS IS THE BUYER'S . THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME IS DETERMINED BY WHAT A BUYER IS WILLING TO PAY IN TODAY'S MARKET BASED ON COMPARING YOUR HOME TO OTHERS CURRENTLY ON THE MARKET FOR SALE!
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Why Pay a Commission:
Homeowners attempting to sell their home without the assistance of a Real Estate professional generally do so for one and one reason only -- to avoid paying a commission fee.
Is it worth it? Only the homeowner can answer that, but experience has shown that many for-sale-by-owners find that it is not. Before making a costly mistake, consider the benefits -- from A to Z -- you receive from working with a trained Real Estate professional.
- Advertising -- The broker pays all advertising costs.
- Bargain -- Research shows that 77% of sellers felt their commission was "well spent."
- Contract Writing -- An agent can supply standard forms to speed the transaction.
- Details -- An agent frees you from handling the many details of selling a home.
- Experience and Expertise -- in marketing, financing, negotiations and more.
- Financial Know-How -- An agent is aware of the many options for financing the sale.
- Glossary -- A Real Estate professional understands and can explain Real Estate lingo.
- Homework -- An agent will do homework on how to best market your home.
- Information -- If you have a Real Estate question, an agent will know (or can get) the answer.
- Juggle Showings -- An agent will schedule and handle all showings.
- Keeps Your Best Interests in Mind -- It's your agent's job.
- Laws -- A Real Estate professional will be up-to-date on Real Estate laws that affect you.
- Multiple Listing Service (MLS) -- The most effective means of bringing together buyers and sellers.
- Negotiations -- An agent can handle all price and contract negotiations.
- Open Houses -- A popular marketing technique.
- Prospects -- An agent has a network of contacts that can produce potential buyers.
- Qualifies Buyers -- Avoid opening your home to "curiosity seekers."
- Realtor -- An agent who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS and subscribes to a strict code of ethics.
- Suggested Price -- An agent will do a market analysis to establish a fair price range.
- Time -- Selling homes is a professional agent's full-time job. He or she will give you back your most valuable resource.
- Unbiased Opinion -- Most owners are too emotional about their home to be objective.
- VIP -- That's how you'll be treated by your agent.
- Wisdom -- A knowledgeable agent can offer the wisdom that comes with experience.
- "X" Marks the Spot -- An agent is right there with you through the final signing of papers.
- Yard Signs -- An agent provides a professional sign encouraging serious buyers.
- Zero Hour Support -- Selling a home can be an emotional experience. A professional agent will be there for you.
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How to Prepare Your Home for the Market:
It is perfectly natural to be less than objective about the strengths and weaknesses of your home -- for the simple reason that it is your home.
However, if you want your home to make a good first impression, here are a few things that I've learned about the way homebuyers look at properties that will help you show your home at its best:
- People understand that you live in your home, but they won't forgive a "lived-in" look. Remember that they are shopping for their "dream home."
- Most people mentally "move in" with their own furniture and their own possessions. So clear away the clutter to give them the space they need to let their imaginations soar.
- If you don't intend to sell or "convey" a favorite chandelier or other fixture, replace it now. Putting little tags on items or mentioning what doesn't go with the property may start things off on the wrong foot.
- Do a maintenance check. Look out for loose door or cabinet hinges, dripping faucets, etc.
- Think clean and sparkling. But also think safety. Make sure your phone and light cords are out of the traffic patterns and that your small throw rugs aren't banana peels in disguise.
- Turn on your lights and keep them on -- inside and out, day and night.
- If you think you could replace carpeting, wallpaper or paint here and there, you probably should. Some up-front cosmetic surgery is better and easier than negotiating an allowance at settlement.
- Pets and loud noises from TVs and stereos are distractions. Enough said.
- Walk across the street and look back at your home. How will a buyer see it? Is a van or boat or other gear hiding the house? Does the woodpile need cleaning up or moving out? A neatly trimmed lawn, clean driveway and cultivated flowerbeds can make a great first impression.
- Clean off the coffee and end tables in the living room. You cherish your collections and bric-a-brac, but buyers usually won't. Box 'em up! Are there a few scraggly plants that ought to go? Is the fireplace fresh and clean? Remember, less is more.
- What kitchen utensils and counter-top appliances can you live without? Put away all those handy little reminder notes. And, it should go without saying, but won't, that a clean sink is a good sink.
- Company's coming, so put out your best set of matched towels. Scrub the bathroom floor and tiles. Put a shine on everything.
- Unclutter the bedroom and clean out closets. Keep extra clothes in closets and armoire doors closed.
- Store extra dining room chairs and table leaves. Make sure that mantles, breakfronts and serving tables have clean, spare surfaces.
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Ten Things You Must Do:
You may think that your house is perfect just the way it is, but a prospective buyer may not see it that way. To give your home "curb appeal" and make it more attractive to buyers, there are some tasks you should see to before you place a "For Sale" sign on your property.
Many of these suggestions are just good old common sense; others require time and investment. But, you will reap the rewards when a buyer walks into your house and exclaims, "This is the house I've been waiting for!"
- If your home needs painting, this is the time to do it.
- The green shag carpet still gracing your floors should be replaced.
- Make a list of all those little repairs you've let go. Then fix each and every one.
- If your home's appliances -- dishwasher, oven, etc. -- are old and outdated, it could pay to replace them.
- Clear your house of clutter and debris.
- Clean out closets so that they appear more spacious.
- Minimize the amount of personal items and mementos in your home.
- Clean your house top-to-bottom, including walls, floors, furniture and table tops.
- Take a good, hard look at your home from the curb. Does it have "curb appeal?"
- Pay particular attention to your front door. Repaint it if necessary..
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Working With Your Realtor -- It's a Team Effort:
Team effort will make the sale of your home pleasant and more profitable. I offer a few suggestions for you to consider:
- Be cooperative with your Realtor by making your home available for showings by appointment at any reasonable hour.
- A word to the wise! Let the Realtor discuss price, terms, possession and other factors with the buyers.
- Three's a crowd. Avoid having too many people present during showings. Remain in the background, and, if possible, it's best not to be home during showings.
- Pets are an important part of your family, but keep them out of the way during showings. A potential buyer may be afraid of your dog, no matter how loving.
- Silence is golden. Be courteous, but don't force conversations with potential buyers or their agent. Never apologize for the appearance of your home.
- After the agreement is signed, do not remove any attached accessories unless permitted by the Agreement of Sale.
- In preparation for settlement, you should leave your home in "Broom Clean" condition. Remove all trash and discarded items.
- Cooperate with your Realtor by having all the necessary receipts and/or certifications and keys well in advance of final settlement.
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- Narberth Real Estate: the Heart of the Main Line -- New!!
- Why You Should Live on the MAIN LINE -- New!!
- Relocating to the Main Line Suburbs of Philadelphia
- The Lowdown -- Real Estate in Philadelphia Suburbs
- It's the Law -- Real Estate Consumer Rights
- Six Ways to Your First Down Payment
- Glossary of Real Estate Terms
John A. Benigno, ABR
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
124 N. Narberth Avenue
P.O. Box 427
Narberth, PA 19072
Office Phone: 610-664-2500
Licensed in Pennsylvania
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The entire contents of this web site are copyrighted by John A. Benigno, ABR . All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.