The sale of a home is a complex transaction. It has been likened to flying an airplane. To do it properly, you need plenty of training and consistent practice. With such an important asset at risk, careful attention must be paid to several important issues.
1. Pricing is critical. No amount of advertising or promotion will overcome improper pricing. Overpriced listings are quickly written off by comparison shopping buyers and agents alike. Your agent should use company and MLS sales data to do a thorough market analysis. This information will show the range of prices similar homes have sold for and guide you and your agent to the proper listing price. If current, relevant, comparable sales data is not available, the assistance of an appraiser may be required.
2. Market exposure. In order to achieve the most beneficial sale, a home must have full market exposure. Without a doubt, the best way to accomplish this is through the Multiple Listing Service. This system puts information about your property at the fingertips of all area Real Estate Agents and their buyers. This is particularly important in reaching out-of-town buyers. These buyers are often corporate transferees who must shop quickly and efficiently. They normally have the assistance of their company and are considered the best buying prospects.
3. Representation during negotiations. The pressure of contract negotiations can be intense. At this time, knowledge of the contract and the negotiating process is vital. If your home is listed with a Real Estate Agent, he or she (and the company) is pledged to protect your interests. If your home is not listed, you will not have the benefit of professional representation and advice at this critical stage. Occasionally an agent working with a buyer will approach a FSBO (For Sale by Owner). In this case, the agent has no obligation to look out for the seller's interests. That agent may even be contractually obligated to work for the buyer's interest. The seller is expected to pay the commission without the benefit of representation by the agent.