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Selling your home? Selecting an agent, Staging, Pricing, Marketing, Negotiating, the Appraisal, Inspections

It’s time to sell your home. Where do you start?  Do you hire an agent? How many agents do you interview?  What qualifications do you look for in an agent? What kind of marketing should your agent do?  What price do you put on your home? Negotiations? What do you do to get your home ready for sale?  How long will it take to get it sold? What happens with the appraisal? What if it doesn’t appraise for the purchase price?  What to do for inspection results & negotiating repairs?

These are all great questions!  Let’s look at them individually.  

The first place to start once you decide on selling your home is to find a great Real Estate Agent.  There are so many agents how do you hire a great one? You want to look for proven success. How many homes have they sold this year?  Ask about their marketing plan. Do they use a professional photographer? Do they utilize true videos of your home? Do they use drone footage if needed on larger tracts of land, etc?  Do they do professional flyers? Do they send mailers to your neighborhood? Do they hold open houses? Do they actively call for buyers on your home every day? Are they experts in the market?  Do they have staff that are experts in certain areas? For example, once your home goes under contract, is there a person dedicated to and great at following up with attorneys, the other agent, inspectors, appraisers, lenders, etc?  This is an extremely important part of the equation of a great agent! They hire great people to serve you, their client

Now you have selected your agent, you will want to let them thoroughly tour your home both inside and outside and give you their recommendations on staging, any repairs, etc.  If your home needs a lot of updating you will want an agent that can weigh the costs of updating items versus the return you will get when you sell. They can also advise you on any repairs that must be made to sell.  They will also be able to give you staging advise once they have toured your home. All these items are extremely important to the overall presentation of your home.

The next step is pricing your home.  Pricing is extremely important. One way to make sure your home is priced correctly is getting a pre-listing appraisal.  This assures you how your home compares to the market. If you hired an agent with Appraisal background you will have even more expertise on the market.  Being a 20-year Real Estate Appraiser, I can say this is a huge benefit to our sellers to have my market knowledge and full understanding of the appraisal process.  One of your criteria when selecting your agent should be their knowledge and expertise of the local market.

If you chose your agent well, they will be doing some amazing marketing of your home.  As noted earlier, this should include professional photography, videography, flyers, marketing to your neighbors, open houses, marketing to other Realtors, online marketing locally, nationally, and even worldwide, and calling every day to possible buyers to get your home sold.  

There are two main times during the process of selling your home you will need to have an expert negotiating Realtor.  The first is during the offering period when you receive an offer on your home. Hiring an expert negotiating Realtor, they will guide you through the offers received, where to counter and why with a strategy to get to where you want to be.  Negotiating is a strategy that is employed to get the price where you want it. It is an art and talent. That is why top companies pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to their negotiators. The second negotiation (if you didn’t do a pre-inspection which is another strategy) is when you receive the inspections of your home.  You will want a Realtor that is very knowledgeable on all these inspections, government loan requirements, and also very good at negotiating when buyers want repairs done to your home that may or may not be needed.

The buyers will typically have an appraisal on your home.  The appraisal is a very important part of the buying process.  The lender (when they are financing) will take the lower of the two of the purchase contract or appraised value to base their lending off of.  Did you hire a Realtor that knows that process very well and can help and advise if the appraisal does not come into the purchase price? There are ways to possibly dispute the appraisal.  It is very helpful when you have a Realtor that knows the entire appraisal process thoroughly including the comparable sales and listings, lender requirements, etc.

The buyers will also have inspections on your home as noted earlier.  These may include the home inspection, water tests, radon test, pest inspection, septic inspection, well inspection, and others.  Government loans require some inspections others don’t. For instance, VA loans require the seller to pay for the pest inspection.  USDA direct loans will require all items on the summary page of the home inspection completed. USDA & FHA require water tests, certain distances on well and septic distances, other items checked by the appraiser, and engineers report of the foundation on manufactured homes, etc.    I teach classes on these items and feel it imperative your Realtor know all these things and what needs to be done to serve you properly.

Selling your home is very important to you and most likely the largest item value-wise you sell in your lifetime.  You owe it to yourself to hire an expert in all the items listed above and more. So many problems can pop up during the process.  You want to hire an expert that knows how the entire system works from start to finish so if something does happen they can step in and solve the problem for you.  Our goal with our sellers is to handle all these difficult items and more and make it relaxing and stress-free for our sellers. It’s our job to handle all this for our sellers and more so they can enjoy their lives during the process.  That is what a Rockstar Real Estate Agent does. This is one of the things we pride ourselves of at Johnson Property Group. If you are looking to sell your home, give us a call. We will gladly come out to your home and help you with the entire process.  


Chuck Johnson

Team Leader/Listing Specialist

NC Certified Real Estate Appraiser

NC Licensed General Contractor

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