The Stages of Selling Your home in Johnson County, Kansas - Step 1 of 11 Steps
STEP 1 - CHOOSING YOUR REALTOR - ALL real estate agents are equal, right? No, no, no.
First, did you know that some REALTORS are real estate agents but not all real estate agents are REALTORS? REALTORS are real estate agents who are members of the National Association of REALTORS. When a real estate agent becomes a REALTOR they are subscribing to the National Association of REALTORS strict Code of Ethics.
Next, some real estate agents are part-time, rookies or general practitioners. They are opportunist who have no specialty.
All real estate agents are the same, right? Well, first, we have already explained that not all real estate agents have subscribed to the NAR code of ethics. Those who have subscribed are REALTORS. Next, all real estate agents, regardless of their specialty, years of experience or knowledge are all PAID the same way, and roughly the same amount. That’s correct, rookies, part-timers and seasoned and professionals are compensated exactly the same. Who would you like representing your needs?
Don’t understand? What if you needed open heart surgery. Would you hire the surgeon who has never performed an open heart surgery or the surgeon who has an impeccable record of 1000 successful open heart surgeries?
Get the idea? You would hire the seasoned specialist, right?
Do you want a seasoned professional REALTOR on your side or the buyer's side?
More than 88.3% of all home buyers start their search on the Internet....Before you decide to work with a Realtor, or decide to “go it alone”....Ask yourself two questions.
1) How can I put my home in front of more potential home buyers and Buyer’s Agents?
2) If I decided to sell myself, What does “For Sale By Owner” say to a home buyer or Buyer’s Agent?
2) If I decided to sell myself, What does “For Sale By Owner” say to a home buyer or Buyer’s Agent?
Access to MLS, MLS updates, competitive information, Realtor Property Resource, and other helpful data is not granted to the non-licensee public for a specific reason. The owner of the listing data is the...SELLER.
The listing Broker doesn’t own the data, they are simply licensed to use it for the specific purpose of selling your home.
The MLS restricts access to prevent the use of the data for any purpose other than the sale of real estate. “FSBO” tells Buyer’s Agents that the Seller is either unable or unwilling to pay a commission. In addition, most Buyer’s Agents will choose the path of least resistance, and choose to show homes that are listed for sale because they are the easiest to show.
A Buyer’s agent can arrange to show 25 homes off of the MLS in 5 minutes; where as, it would take a week to arrange 25 Johnson County FSBO’s to show a buyer. Do you think most Johnson County home buyer's would wait a week to setup showings? Bingo, in these days and times, home buyer's want everything instantaneously and will not wait.
So you decided to use a real estate agent...Now what?
Do you hire a part-time real estate agent or the full-time REALTOR? Remember, we get paid the same. The difference is what you get paid.
What do you mean what I get paid? Aren't you more concerned what you get paid out of the sale, than what anyone else will get paid?
Simply put, would you rather list your home with a real estate agent who will get paid 2% of the sale and you make $10,000 or the Professional REALTOR who gets paid 4% of the sale and you clear $20,000 from the sale?
Of course, you would rather make double, right? Who wouldn’t?
When researching Professional REALTORS, start by getting a referral from a friend, family member or your trusted advisor. Another way to find a REALTOR is to do a Google Search for the area you live in.
Then get prepared to interview a couple of REALTORS. REALTORS have different styles, different marketing strategies, years of experience, and the type of properties they market. Would you hire a commercial real estate agent from Blue Springs to list your home for sale in Olathe? Of course not, right?
I can tell you with certainty that the Real Estate agent you select will have the most impact on whether you enjoy the sales process, or absolutely hate it. We all hold the same license, so how do you tell us apart?
It’s amazing how little thought goes into selecting the individual who will have a tremendous impact on your financial future. When people need a window cleaner, home remodeler, attorney, or or a host of other trades they do their proper research. I suggest that you do your research at the beginning before you list your home for sale. If you do, the entire selling process will most likely be a happy and profitable event.
There are several key traits that successful Realtors share. These traits include the ability to price a home properly, an effective marketing plan, and outstanding communication skills.
Most homeowners think their home is better than the home that just sold down the street. The MOST common mistake in choosing a Realtor is choosing the Realtor who offers the highest listing price. Carefully review the sales data....Price the home to sell from Day #1. If you price your home high, you will probably fall down the same path as the 4000 homeowners who didn't sell in 2013. If you catch on early you will find yourself chasing the market trying to lower the price enough in order to sell eventually. Most likely though lower than if you priced the home correctly in the first place. If you'd price the home correctly from the start, you'll attract the most serious "Top Dollar" buyers and hopefully create a bidding war.
I want to reiterate that many homeowners make their biggest mistake by going with the REALTOR that will list their home at the highest list price. BIG MISTAKE, right? Following this strategy will almost guarantee that you will net less out of your home and I'm sure you don't want that, right?
Because selling real estate is a highly emotional process, there is a segment of the real estate community that will focus on selling to homeowners emotions, rather than delivering the basic information that justifies their advice. Choose your Realtor carefully. It will be the single most important decision you will make in the home-selling process.
Now how do you tell the Dud from the Superstar? Ask them some important questions.
1) Ask how long they have you been selling homes in (City)? Realtor turnover in Johnson County runs 80% per year. Find someone who’s been around for awhile....
2) Ask how many listings they have sold in the past 12 months? The greater the productivity, the more experienced they will have.
3) Ask them what their average list price to sales price ratio is in the past 12 months? The greater the difference between these numbers, the less likelihood the homes are selling quickly. Why price your home too high and try to sell effectively? In addition, wouldn't you rather list with a REALTOR who is honest and upfront with YOU?
4) Ask them for 3 references outside of a friend or family member? If they can’t provided 3 references without thinking about it for a couple days and that are not related to them, then they might not be the right real estate agent for you. The Superstar agents have raving fans.
5) Ask them how they will market YOUR home? Most agents will tell you they place a sign in the yard, input into the MLS, make a few brochures and that is about it. Seriously, is that what you are paying for? I’ve got a plan, my plan is designed to deliver an offer to YOU within 30 days....Why wait it out for “average days in your subdivision”? Call me for details.
6) Ask them if they have a website outside of their broker’s website? A Superstar agent has a plan, a website is a tool in the plan, but not the plan itself. If they have multiple websites and mention “keywords” then they understand how to get your home found by buyers.
7) Ask if they have a blog? A blog is the home for dynamic information regarding the real estate market, it shows that the Realtor understands the local real estate market well enough to educate and keep the public up to date. It is important that the REALTOR you hire understands the economic and housing market and how it will affect the sale of your home. If Sprint shuts down in Kansas City, don't you agree it will affect some neighborhoods more than others? Wouldn't it be nice to be working with an agent who is in the know and not reacting to the news?
8) Ask if they will use social media to market YOUR home? Choose a Realtor that can be easily found on social media and has a large local following. Make sure they have an upbeat current image, informative post and they are positive. You don't want the REALTOR who is always complaining and bad mouthing people right. Maybe if they 300 friends and followers there is a reason why.
9) Ask what other services they will provide to help sell my home? If they mention staging, they are a winner. You will only have one chance to make a first impression...homes that are staged correctly and photograph well, are shown more often, and attract will attract “Top Dollar”.
10) Ask what connections do they have in the community to help me get things done around the home? The best Realtors are the most connected people in the community. They can help you save time and money finding the right people to complete tasks quickly and effectively. Need a plumber, landscaper, painter, HVAC contractor or roofer? Start by asking YOUR REALTOR.
11) Ask if they network? Professional realtors network continually. They will always be looking for the next most popular channel to effectively market your home.
12) Ask what kind of feedback will I get? Do you have to chase the Realtor every week? Is the only news I will receive is good news? Will they contact me with feedback?
When asked, Johnson County Home Sellers will tell you that the best and worst decision they made when selling their home is the real estate agent they chose. Don't make that same choice. Research what your needs and wants are and interview real estate agents that will be able to meet your needs and wants.
The difference from being a happy home seller and an unhappy home seller starts with the real estate agent you choose.
To view all 11 Steps, go to: 11 Step Blueprint to Selling Your Home
About the Author: Chris Dowell is the lead agent of the Dowell Family Team in Johnson County, Kansas. The Dowell Family Team is a leading Keller Williams Realty real estate team in Johnson County. With over 24 years of full-time real estate experience, Chris shares his knowledge with Johnson County home buyers and seller. Chris also serves on several advisory committees. Have a question, feel free to contact Chris by phone or text at (913) 712-9313.