1) Not all REALTORS® are created equal.
Here in the Phoenix Metro area, there are nearly 40,000 REALTORS®. That’s a lot! However, we’re not all the same. Some “dabble” in Real Estate, many are part-time with other full-time careers or jobs and most work Real Estate as a job and not a career. We happen to be Career REALTORS® and that means, this is all we do; Fred since 1975 and Justin since 2003. We are 100% dedicated to the Real Estate Industry so always working to improve our business, which will help us better represent clients and ultimately provide a greater level of customer service too.
Some agents will take a couple shitty photos and insert poor remarks into an MLS listing and then wait for the phone to ring. We are quite the opposite; we are actually proactive and have a customized Marketing Plan for each home we sell. Communication will vary among agents, negotiation skills, reputation, accessibility, company affiliation, experience and a whole lot more.
The best advice we always give is that a Seller needs to choose to work with whom they feel most comfortable. Who they believe will represent them best and get the desired results in the end. Client testimonials are a real good way to get a sense of whom you’re about to hire. Sites like Zillow make it impossible for REALTORS® to manipulate the actual review so that’s a good source for review.
2) Plan out your next move.
What we mean here is that you don’t want to end up homeless. If your home sells quickly, you need to be prepared just like a different preparation may be necessary if the sale takes longer or falls apart during escrow. If buying another home after this sale, you need to get Pre-Qualified for Financing before ever putting your home on the market. A search and likely looking at a couple potential homes in person needs to take place. What happens if your home sells and you don’t find the right home right away? It might necessitate a short-term second move. If you do find the right home right away, how can you coordinate the logistics for a simultaneous closing?
With the right REALTOR®, this will all be part of the initial process and discussion. We are big on education and expectations. There will be lots of hypothetical conversations in order to be prepared!
3) Some repairs may be required to sell your home.
Here in Arizona, we use a standardized purchase contract across the board, which is nice. It happened to change 2/1/2017. Before that date, there were a lot more required repairs for a seller, but there still can be today. The different forms of Buyer Financing will all hold different requirements for function and condition. The age of the home can affect whether it needs to be painted or not, certain appliances and mechanical systems need to be in proper working order, etc.
When meeting to evaluate your home for the first time, we always ask questions and give insight into what repairs may be necessary. We also look to see if making some minor improvements can yield a positive return on investment and also make the home much more attractive on the open market. Local market conditions and trends will also impact these decisions.
4) Lose the Emotional attachment.
It can be difficult to sell the home where so many memories have been made… maybe you got married in the backyard, raised children there, cared for loved ones or celebrated many holidays. Those memories will remain after the home is sold, which is great, but they do not impact the value to the next purchaser. As someone in the business day in and day out, I (Justin) still experienced the same feelings when selling my first home a few years ago. I had lived there for 10+ years, started raising our first two children in it, met my wife there and so much more.
When selling real estate, it needs to become a business decision. How much, how soon, how difficult and where do we begin. That may sound harsh, but it will help you receive the best possible outcome.
5) There are Selling Costs.
Every state will vary and each home will have its own set of individual costs to sell. During our first evaluation meeting, we discuss these so you know what to expect. When you bought the home, chances are you didn’t have to pay real estate commissions for your own representation. This is because the Seller pays for both sides here in Arizona. Now when you go to sell, you will be doing that same thing. On top of commissions, there is a title policy for you to provide, half of an escrow fee, recording fees, can be HOA fees, tax prorations, home warranty, buyer concessions and who knows what else. Fortunately, outside of required repairs, your costs to sell are paid out at closing and deducted from your proceeds so not really out of pocket, nor up front.
Become educated… get the right information so you can make the right decisions!