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Selling Your Home.

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Are you selling your home by yourself, or do you have a professional Realtor working for you?

A common question from many home sellers is "Why is my home not selling?"  If you are selling your home, either as a For Sale by Owner, or with the professional help of a Realtor, here are a few possible reasons the house is not selling.  These are all a part of the home staging process.

1.  It is priced too high.  Regardless of what you "want" to get for your house, the market is only going to pay what it is worth, in the marketplace.  You can see what the marketplace is doing by checking out our Market Insider feature.  The fantasy of finding that "one cash buyer who will pay my price" is just that, a fantasy.  Cash buyers have cash because they are smart with their money.

2.  People may not know it is for sale.  A For Sale by Owner is not really helping himself and as a rule makes about 12-16% less money than using a professional Realtor, who has access to many, many more sales and marketing outlets than a For Sale by Owner.

3.  Is there one little nagging issue that keeps popping up when buyers go through the house.  If you get a common thread from buyers that seems to indicate something wrong with the house, do not take the comments as personal insults, act on it.  Not everyone likes pink carpets, or avocado appliances, or that purple flowery wallpaper in the guest room.  If it is a regular comment, it could be stopping buyers from making an offer, even if unconscious.

4.  The house does not show well.  Are the lights one, the curtains open so there is plenty of light?  Is there the back of a couch blocking the way as soon as people enter the house?  The placement may be great for watching the TV, but it could give the appearance of a tiny living room.  Sometimes subtle items can kill enthusiasm for a house that otherwise would be perfect.  Simple home staging can make a huge difference in the presentation of your home.

5.  The buyer can never see themselves in this house.  Is the house cluttered?  Do you have too many personal photos on every inch of wall space?  Can people see the beautiful stainless refrigerator, or is every piece of art your child ever drew stuck on it?  Remove the clutter, it is costing money.

6.  How is the curb appeal?  Does the lawn need to be mowed?  Are the flower beds or shrubs overgrown, dead, or just plain neglected?  Does the front door need a fresh coat of paint?  Trim the grass and shrubs, it might make a difference that sells the house.

If you want to get an idea of what the market value of a particular home is, take a look at our free and automated market value estimator of any property you want to consider.

Try taking to heart these little home staging tips for selling your home.  It just might mean more money in your pocket quicker than if you do nothing.  And you probably should consider hiring a professional Realtor, in almost every case this will net you more money faster.

Reasons to Use a Professional Realtor

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Many people feel that they can sell a house by themselves.  Of course they can!  There are some considerations that really need to come into play before someone thinks they don't need a professional Realtor.

1. Paperwork.  There is, or should be, a contract, and disclosures for all sorts of things - condition of the property, home owner associations, lead based paint, etc..  A professional Realtor understands what disclosures and documents are required and which are very good to have.  We are living in a highly regulated environment, not to mention that if something goes wrong after the sale, someone may get sued and if the right paperwork was not done, such as a disclosure, whoever did not provide that disclosure could be in a lot of trouble.

2. Negotiation.  Most people believe that once there is a contract, the deal is just about done.  Not so much.  Realtors understand the entire negotiation process, from presenting an offer and getting the parties to agree on a price and terms, to arranging inspections, keeping the loan process on track.  By acting as an intermediary, a Realtor can skillfully avoid hard feelings between a buyer and seller over matters that could be misunderstood if not presented properly.

3.  Realtors understand the entire sales process.  They know how to get a deal done.  No one gets paid, seller or the involved agents, and the buyer does not get the house unless the sale process is completed.

4.  Realtors actually do know the market.  They help guide a seller in setting a realistic, market based price so the house will actually sell.  They also help buyers to understand what is a fair offer, based on the market and protect a buyer from over-bidding on a property.  At the same time, a Realtor will advise a buyer on not making such a low offer that a seller could get insulted and break off negotiations.  And a Realtor can save buyers hours of time and expense in searching for a house.

Consider all the factors that go into making such a large business decision, usually involving hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Get a professional who is trained, licensed and experienced.

 

What Does a Realtor Do?

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

This morning, I had a conversation with the CEO of a company who honestly said: "You should have lots of time as a realtor since you can work when you want to."

He truly felt that realtors have lots of time and was taken aback when I told him just a little about a typical day.  Any realtor can show a house or write a contract.  How about the hours of studying the market so that when a customer asks for the value of her house the agent can actually respond with an informed opinion, instead of relying on what the neighbor sold his house for, two years ago.  Fully understanding the real estate market, whether it is in a specific neighborhood, or a town, or an entire county, takes a lot more than just reading the local papers and taking the opinion of a reporter for gospel.  How many non-realtors actually understand market dynamics, price fluctuation in micro markets, how many houses have sold in their specific areas in the last week, month or year?  This is serious research and can take hours. Driving customers around looking at houses does take time, however it is far from the most important part of a realtor's day.

Then there is the small detail of letting a buyer write an offer that is credible.  Should the buyer take a guess at the value of a house, or rely on an educated realtor who knows the current market value of that specific house, or at least that neighborhood?  Again, there can be hours of research into responsibly representing your buyers so that no one wastes time making offers that are ridiculously low, or high, and that banks will simply not consider when it comes time for financing.  As a professional realtor, our job is to protect our clients from making huge financial mistakes.  Whether that means protecting the buyer from over paying for a property, or protecting a seller from pricing their home incorrectly, whther it is too high or too low for the market, our job is to look out for the best interests of our clients.

Getting the offer is just the beginning of the job.  There are the ongoing negotiations with the other side, getting the proper documentation in order, making sure the right inspections are done in a timely and professional manner, lining up title companies, lenders, repair people when needed, and more.  All the while this has to be done in strict compliance with the realtor code of ethics and applicable local and state laws. 

In short, I would say to my CEO friend, a professional realtor is at least as diligent in performing his/her duties as the most responsible employee who works for that CEO. 

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Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - The Campbell Team Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - The Campbell Team
at Keller Williams Realty
30522 US Hwy 19N, Suite 107 S
Palm Harbor FL 34684
Doug's Cell 727-741-4189
Gwen's Cell 727-741-7260
Fax: 888-447-7908