The web has reinvented the way we do plenty of things, especially when it comes to basic tasks like banking, shopping and even interacting with each other. And as it turns out, the same thing goes for buying and selling a home.
In 2012 alone, about 80% of people looking to buy a brand new house or sell their current one used the internet for researching. Between looking for real estate agents and simply scouting out locations where they might be looking to buy (or to move to), web users have a plethora of options right at their fingertips when it comes to dealing with the housing market.
But it seems that the majority of articles tend to focus exclusively on buying or locating the nearest real estate home listings for your area. That’s why we’ve put together this list of four things to keep in mind when you’re looking to sell, starting with:
1. Search thoroughly for the right kinds of real estate agents.
In the past, you were limited to the names you saw in the newspaper and the photos you saw on for-sale signs scattered throughout the town. Now you have the entire internet in front of you to look for discount brokers and real estate agents. The National Association of Realtors is a good place to start, but don’t forget to email friends and family members to ask who they’ve worked with in the past, too. A recommendation can go a long way.
2. Research a handful before you make a final decision.
So you’ve narrowed your search down to a list of five final candidates. Now all that’s left to do is to do a bit of background research into their professional careers. Find the licensing boards of your state to read what’s required of any real estate agents, then make sure your five potentials are all covered in those areas. Pay special attention to what types of home sales they’ve handled in the past to make sure they’re well experienced to handle yours.
3. Correspond via email before you actually meet in person.
Though phone calls might be more immediate, an email will allow you to accurately gauge the agent’s workload before you end up scheduling an appointment to meet in person. A bogged-down agent will likely forget your message, but an agent that’s serious about your business will make you a priority. Before you can actually put your house on the real estate home listings, you’ll want to lock down an agent you feel good about. With that in mind…
4. Don’t think you can do it better yourself.
Many of sellers make the mistake of considering the hiring of an agent — even a discount real estate agent — an unnecessary expense. But statistically, homes listed as for sale by owner tend to stay on the market an average of 19 more days than those sold with the help of a professional agent. Plus, agent-assisted homes tend to sell for more money, in some cases up to 19% more than those offered as for sale by owner. In other words, it can actually pay to hire a pro to handle the real estate home listings for you.