Tag Archives: find a realtor

Why You Shouldn’t Try to Sell Your Home Yourself



Everyone knows the market is slowly recovering. The Fed has even hiked interest rates (well, hiked may be a bit of an exaggeration) as an indicator that the US housing market, among other economic factors, is on the mend. As a result,  some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, a phenomena known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are a lot of on-line marketing schemes which have been set up to help FSBO participants. All you need is to put a sign out front and an ad on a FSBO website and you are good to go, right? How hard can it be?

Well, Tom Ferry, a well known Real Estate guru recently tweeted, “Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for less than when it’s sold by an agent

It’s a great article I would encourage anyone thinking of selling by themselves to read it.  I want to emphasize a couple key items. This is not like selling your car. You cannot pull out the registration, flip it over and sign it over to the new owner. It doesn’t work that way. Especially when there is a mortgage in place which must be paid off and the buyer is getting a new mortgage.

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home is quite extensive. I counted the number of times one of my buyers had to sign his name during a closing ceremony and he signed it 68 times. Now granted, some of those forms were copies, but the majority of them were unique documents. I closed on a cash purchase home and although there were not 68 signatures required, there were still more than 31.

The Real Estate contracts and forms are designed to protect both the seller and the buyer, so you want to use good ones. Most Real Estate Agents have access to good contracts. I recommend you find one that is member of the Georgia Association of REALTORS®, as the GAR has some of the best copyrighted contracts available. A non-member can also pay a fee to have access to the forms.

And really! Why do most people want to sell their homes themselves? They don’t want to pay a commission to an agent. Think of your agent as a temp hire – you are the boss. You are hiring them to represent you and assist in completing a complex task. If they do a good job, you are likely to make more money from the sale of your home than you would if you didn’t use them, so where is the risk?


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What is my Job in Helping my Realtor?

Guess what? Your job is the same as your Realtors.

Yes. I am telling you that you need to do your research too, even though you are paying your Realtor to do it, because at the end of the day the more you know about your home or about what you want in a home, the more you realtor knows about the same things.

So. YOU need the following as well as your Realtor:

  • Trust
  • Knowledge and Uniqueness
  • Clarity

Trustworthiness is a scary thing sometimes, especially when your potentially largest asset is on the line. But this is why you find a Realtor you can trust in. So you CAN trust them. Yes, you do your research, but do not overstep your bounds. Let them do the work and leave it in their hands once you know what you want in a home or in your area to sell your home.

Knowledge. Let me explain what I have said about you as a buyer or seller needing to do research and I will also tie that into the uniqueness category.

Buyers: Know what you want in a home! You do not need to know what paint colors you will want on the walls yet, but you need to know how many bedrooms, bathrooms, appliances, location, desired extra rooms, space, and desired local amenities you want for you and your family. If there are any unique features you have on your need list your realtor needs to know so they can research for that in your home or amenities. Your one unique need or desire can be the most difficult part for your Realtor to succeed in finding for you.

Sellers: Know what unique features your home has to offer in comparison to the homes in the local area. Know what your market area is selling for so you and your Realtor can decide on a reasonable price for your home. Know what unique and desirable amenities your community has for potential buyers moving to your area do not know about: any of these amenities could be a very large selling point to buyers and could be a very large marketing point for your Realtor to use.

Clarity has been scattered out throughout the last two points but I want to make sure that it is clear that you need to be clear. 🙂 Know your needs, wants, and timeline for selling or buying your home and express those to your Realtor.

Develop a relationship with your Realtor, one of trust, respect, and enjoyment. They are here to help you and long to make the selling and buying easier for you! Do not take advantage of them but appreciate them.

This blog post was co-authored by Christy Bonner.

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Interviewing Susan Carroll from the Move

Rainy-Morning-4f6b700317490_hiresOn this rainy Monday morning I understand how difficult it is to get started on the to-do list you have for the day, so let me help you prolong that productivity for about five more minutes by telling you about the interview I had with Susan.

Just to back up a bit though I will tell you about the glass pane that I am looking through for the perspective of the interview I conducted with Susan. I am Susan’s intern and am attending college, at which I am taking an entrepreneurship and small business class. I had to seek out and interview three entrepreneurs, for which I chose Susan! She is always such a delight to talk to, with such wisdom, clarity, stays focused and intentional in her conversations, and has such a great heart for others.  Conducting this interview with her truly made me appreciate her more as being her intern and warmed my heart for those that will choose her for their Move, whether buying or selling, because she truly longs to help and serve others.

So the interview, for simplicity and the sake of condensing an hour long interview I will number the questions I asked followed by her summed up responses. Here we go! Are you ready to get to know Susan Carroll a little bit better?

1. What were your first steps?

I wanted to understand more about Real Estate. I knew the experience I had in buying many houses but I did not truly know what working in Real Estate looked like. It was so different from anything I had ever done before and I had to start from scratch. My first steps were obtaining training and receiving my Real Estate License. This took me approximately six months to acquire the start-up knowledge I needed before receiving any clients. I learned really quickly that I needed an assistant to be able to accomplish all that I needed to do.

2. If you had it to do over, what would you do differently?

I would probably join a team because I could learn more constantly working beside others who know the business better. There are perks to me still working alone out of BHHS though.

3. What part does creativity play in your business?

The need for creativity is never ending. I constantly have to step back and look at the big picture.

I try to work 20% on the business and 80% in the business.

Working “on” the business is considered to be the time you are putting systems in place to maintain and run the business.

Working “in” the business is considered to be the time you spend working one on one with my clients.

4. What are your intangible rewards?

Intangible rewards include helping people because I have had a lot of experience in how difficult moving is and I want to build relationships to help others with the process. I know how difficult and frustrating it is to not understand the process of buying or selling a home and want to make sure others have a better experience than I did.

5. What is your best marketing technique? What portion of your time do you spend on advertising?

Every day, I try to reach out to at least five current and two future clients. I also try to have face-to-face meetings with two or three clients every week. I think I am my best marketing technique as I present myself to my potential clients.

6. What makes your business unique?

I believe that my level of service and care is unique. This is a priority because of my experience with moving. Having Berkshire Hathaway Home Services behind me creates a corporate level of opportunity behind my individual business as they provide my CRM, webpage, email, initial business cards, mass printing, public signs, and feed my business to many international marketing sites. They allow me to do so much more than standing completely alone in the business.

7. How do you use social media?

I do not use it very well yet, but I am getting better. I know that staying on people’s minds is the goal by being consistent with posts. Social media is a passive market procedure but it is essential to advertising my business.

8. Did you write a Business Plan? Do you wish you had?

I wrote a business plan initially but it was written before I had clients so I was still very new to the business and did not know everything that the business entailed. A Real Estate Business Plan is very different from other types of business plans. I need to update it with my new knowledge and experience.

9. Would you enter Real Estate all over again?

Yes. “Although I feel I am still new to the game, I like it.”

I hope you enjoyed reading the interview I had with Susan as much as I did conducting the interview! Come back and read our blog tomorrow at 2 for our weekly post!

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How Do I Find a Realtor that Best Suits my Needs?

In order to have the best experience when selling or buying a home, a Realtor is needed. A realtor can work so many wonders, help in so many ways, provide so much comfort, relieve so much stress. The only “problem” is finding the right one for you and your home, whether you are buying or selling it.

There are many things you need from your realtor including:

  • Trust
  • Knowledge
  • Uniqueness
  • Clarity

You are deciding to trust one person or team with your potentially largest asset financially and most prized possession- a roof over your family’s head. You need to be able to trust in every step of the way.

You need your Realtor to have knowledge whether you are buying or selling your home.

For Buyers: You need your Realtor to know exactly what you want in a home, in location, and in timing. They need to know the area you are wanting to purchase a home in, to know the current market values, the market trend for the area is, and any special circumstances affecting the area that could potentially increase or decrease the value of your future home.

For Sellers: You need your Realtor to know your home in order to be able to market it efficiently. They need to know the area your home is located to be able to sell it in a timely manner to a buyer. Marketing is key for your Realtor when selling a home, they need to know the in and outs of your local community to sell its key features, to know the current market values, what the market trend for the area is to correctly help you price your home, and any special circumstances affecting the area that increases or decreases the value of your home to potential buyers.

Uniqueness is such a essential characteristic of a good Realtor. If a realtor has a unique advertising front in their technique it can make the timing of you selling or buying a house be much quicker than if they are doing simple and average methods. If the Realtor is working as an individual Realtor under a large Home Services Business, the tools they are given can potentially help the selling or purchasing a home tremendously if the Realtor knows how to take advantage of them.

Last but not least in the list, Clarity. As a buyer and seller you need to fully know and comprehend the steps you and your Realtor need to take to buy your new home or sell your old home. If your Realtor is vague in the steps that need to be taken, then that is not a good sign, they need to be able to tell what you need to do when to prepare your home or to view your potentially new home. There are too many legal steps and paperwork that needs to be completed for your Realtor to not have a complete and clear concept of what needs to occur when. If you are already working with a Realtor and your mind is fuzzy on what is happening in this fast, whirlwind of events, ask to meet and discuss everything that has already happened and what your next steps are. I am sure they will be more than happy to clarify with you the productivity they have made on helping you buy or sell your home already and what they plan on accomplishing next.

What do you need to do for your Realtor? Come back and Read our next Tuesday’s Post! October 6, 2015.

This blog post was co-authored by Christy Bonner.

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The Home Selling Process

For Sale! The first time you buy or sell a house can be terrifying. There are many papers to sign, steps to take, and no one can seem to give you a clear step by step directions of what you need to do first. Realtor.com did an excellent job of laying out the steps you should take as a seller in the article, “The 7 Step Guide to Selling a House,” but as I refer you to read their article I want to highlight the first major step and Realtor’s Step 2 is finding a Realtor. Finding a quality and trustworthy Realtor will make those last 5 steps clearer with your specific needs in selling your home. Come back and read our article on Thursday to know how to select a Realtor!

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