The following will give you some insight into the process of selling a home through a real estate agent:
Consult with your REALTOR® regarding your time-table for getting your home sold.
Have a top REALTOR® out for an appointment to give you a Comparative Market Analysis and explain how they get a home sold. A top REALTOR® will spell out what makes them better than others, as well as giving you a recommended price from which to enter the market.
Sign a listing agreement for a specified period of time; that may vary depending on your circumstances. Historically, what I've seen in sellers markets have been 6 month listing markets and in buyers markets 9 months listing agreements are not unheard of. But it can vary depending on circumstances and to what is agreed upon. What I normally see for me is 6% to list a home, which gets included into the Listing Price. Most often the listing agent is able to have data on your home compiled from past sales on the market and from getting a property profile from the Title Company. Any additional information, like vaulted ceilings, upgraded kitchen countertops, and other Selling Information is gleaned by the Listing Agent from the Seller as part of the information the Listing REALTOR® will take back with him/her to formulate for putting it onto the "Market" or rather the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). The MLS alone will expose the home to all agents with their buyers in town. This helps to get the home sold because what I've seen is a 3% commission is held out for any buyer agent in town who brings a Buyer (in other words the 6% commission I charge gets split between the two agents involved) - this is the incentive and one of the main purpose for Listing with a REALTOR®... to expose it to as many Buyers as possible on the Open MLS Listings. In essence then the listing agent is getting it sold, not only through their own efforts and marketing plan, but it includes the widespread efforts of others. Additionally, your Listing REALTOR®® has an incentive to track down and find a buyer for your property because normally if I do, then I would get the full 6% commissions. The rest of the Listing Service work besides listing it on the MLS is done by Top REALTOR®s alone, in order to increase EXPOSURE and to increase the odds of getting it sold.
Pricing the home appropriately on the market can be important because if it gets listed too high, it will sit past the time in which agents will tire of "wasting time" in having to show it, instead of "getting" to show it. Basically, they know how long it has been listed, trafficed and so forth. It can become "old hat" or like the "old jacket" in the closet that everyone can come to ingnore. This then equates to them not wanting to show other buyers who they think will conclude that it was either priced too high OR did not show well (too many things wrong with the property). Most common is the price issue. So, the agent will tell that buyer about the property, and that it may have something about it as to why it has sat on the market that long. So, some objective towards pricing it to sell by a couple months (in this market) is a good idea.
Get an agent that will pay attention to the details of what the market will bare when setting the price. Open the door to traffic through utilizing your Listing Agents' skills in getting the pricing "right" and therefore, the frenzy over it in a hot market to create a trigger happy Buyer willing to want to buy it at top market value.
Allow the agent to put a key box on the property if you can. This means virtually that a Buyer, escorted by a Buyers Agent, can drop in and view your home with access through the keybox, to a key to your house. This may or may not happen when you are home. Now, the listing REALTOR®, your REALTOR®, will most often put on the showing instructions: "Call Listing Agent, Keybox". What this means is that they will most often give a courteous call first, but if they were unable to reach either your REALTOR® (thus the advantage of having a REALTOR® that is fairly easy to get a hold of - I am because I carry my cell phone wherever I go) or your REALTOR® was unable to reach YOU, the owner - then implicit permission is had to go look anyway. However, that REALTOR® that is escorting his buyers is bound ethically with professional conduct to knock first before entering, in case someone is home. Now... the advantages to the keybox access are tremendous, because the logistics of making sure peoples' schedules line up, limits the owner to far fewer buyers looking at your home, than you otherwise could have. However, you may put on showing instructions: Call Listing Agent, By Appointment Only, but this will restrict your agents ability to get you the traffic you need in order to sell. It really is your option though; it still can be had by appointment only, especially in the first two weeks when anxious local buyers will still find time with the more restrictive " window of appointment" time to see it.
This really then is the process. Step one is to consult with your REALTOR®. Give Brian a call now- his contact information is found below.