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Honest answers or just agreement?

Do you want honest answers from your REALTOR®, or do you want them to drink your Kool Aid?
This is a dilemma that occurs on a regular basis.
All too often, a Seller will tell prospective REALTORS® what their property is worth and why. Then they will choose the Agent that simply agrees with them. The result is normally failure.
When selling a property, there are many factors to consider. These include price, location, home design, deferred maintenance, and a dozen other things. To successfully sell your property, you need honest answers, not just someone that agrees with you.
When a Seller tells a prospective Agent that their new granite countertops, with new bottom of the line stainless steel appliances, mixed in with outdated 30 year cabinets, is now a “Gourmet” kitchen, what should the Agent do? Likewise, do glued on laminate floors increase the value like genuine wood floors would?
To successfully sell your home, at the highest price, you need honest opinions from several Agents that are experienced in successfully selling real estate. Some Sellers also get opinions from both men and women REALTORS(S), as each may have a different perspective.
Begin by asking prospective Agents to first come view your home, then have them do a Comparative Market Analyst (CMA) for you. All too often, Sellers want a CMA done without the Agent ever seeing their home. In most cases, there is no way of determining the value of a home without seeing it. Even “cookie-cutter” homes have different upgrades and differences.
Once completed, go over the CMAs with the Agents. Determining the value of a home is not an exact science, so not all of the CMAs will have the same exact price. However, in most cases, they will be within a reasonable range. Beware of the one that comes in high above the others, unless that Agent can demonstrate why the other ones are wrong. No amount of “superior marketing” will sell a $300,000 dollar home for $450,000.
When the Agents visit your home, ask them for honest opinions. You want to know what you can do to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Ask them what they think the negatives and positives of your home are.
Once you list your home, ask your Agent to get feedback from the Agents that show your home. Knowing what the other Agents, and their prospective Buyers, think of your home is very valuable.
A good indicator of if your Asking Price is correct, will be the number of showings that you get when you list your home. Today’s Buyer has an abundance of information available, including pricing and comparable sales. Unlike years ago, when the REALTOR® often chose the homes for Buyers to see, today it is the Buyer that tells their REALTOR®. Buyers won’t waste their time looking at homes that they feel are overpriced.
Jim Weix is Broker/Owner of The Real Estate Company, Inc., with offices in Stuart and Port Saint Lucie. Jim can be reached at 772-288-1900 or