Selling your own home is one of life’s most emotional moments for most people. Emotions can replace logic.
Calling in agents for advice on what your property is worth often creates more confusion.
Most sellers do not realise that there are many factors that can contribute to the value of their property.
The real estate agent’s appraisal of the value of a property is only an estimate of the likely selling price and not a true independent market valuation - put plainly it's an opinion. To make things worse unethical real estate agents in trying to win your business, over estimate the value of the property so you can give them the house to sell. At the same time they underquote the property to buyers at a price range below market value to attract buyers.
As a seller there are five things you want and should expect from your real estate agent:
• TRUTH at all times
• RELIEF from the stresses associated with the selling process
• AWARENESS of factors influencing the sale of the property
• EFFORT to sell the property
• And of course, the HIGHEST PRICE
Interestingly, buyers want the exact same things, EXCEPT they want to pay the LOWEST PRICE. A good agent knows how to close this gap, using their negotiation skills to achieve the best possible price for the seller.
There are three things that need to be in place to achieve the highest price: the right pricing strategy, the right marketing; and the right presentation.
The first step in pricing your home right, is to establish the true value of your property. If you do not understand the true value, you risk rejecting the best offers. Home sellers who are realistic about their asking price have the best chance of selling for the highest price.
Multiple opinions from multiple agencies often show a large disparity in the prices quoted. A good way to determine the value of your property is to hire an independent property valuer. It’s money well spent.
It will help you determine a fair asking price. Valuers look at comparable sales and for them a higher value on your home does not determine if they work for you or not - there is nothing for them to gain from over-inflating the price.
If you don’t want to pay for a valuation, ask the agents to back up their quoted prices with comparable sales and to put their quote in writing. So if the campaign is not going well, you can re-visit and see if these really were accurate.
You can protect yourself by asking the agent to guarantee the price they quote you. This means if it sells below the quoted range, you should not be liable for the commission. This will safeguard you from any unethical agent intending to mislead you about the true market value of your home.
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