Why list my house with Evan Johnson Realty Group?
Exclusive services that can make selling your house faster and easier, unparalleled expertise in the local and national markets — these are some of the reasons why no one can sell your home more effectively than Evan Johnson Realty Group.
Beyond that, we’re sincerely interested in helping make the experience of selling your home as smooth and easy as possible. So even if you’re not ready to list your home quite yet… if you simply have questions about the market in your area, price or mortgage trends, anything at all about real estate as it relates to you… just pick up your phone and call the Evan Johnson Realty Group. Terms vary, but listing agreements are seldom for less than three months or greater than one year.
What makes a house sell?
This entire section could be devoted to answering that question. But to be as concise as possible, a successful sale requires that you concentrate on four considerations: the market, price, condition of the house, and exposure. Since you can’t control all of them, you may have to overcompensate in one or more areas to offset a competitive disadvantage in another.
When is the best time to list a house for sale?
As soon as you decide to sell it.
If you want to get the best price for your house, the key is to give yourself as much time as possible to sell it. More time means more potential buyers will probably see the house. This should result in more offers; it also gives you time to consider more options if the market is slow or initial interest is low.
Is there any seasonality to the market?
Peak selling seasons vary in different areas of the country, and weather has a lot to do with it. For example, late spring and early fall are the prime listing seasons in many areas because houses tend to “show” better in those months than they do in the heat of summer or the cold of winter. And of course, people like to do their house shopping when the weather is pleasant.
But keep in mind that there are also more houses on the market during the prime seasons, so you’ll have more competition. So while there is seasonality in the real estate market, it’s not something that should dominate your decision on when to sell.
How long should it take to sell?
Average listing times vary from 30 to 180 days, according to market conditions in a particular region, town, or even neighborhood; and of course, price, terms, condition, location and exposure play an even greater role. Selling in any market is easier if you keep time on your side. Most professionals will tell you that allowing yourself at least six months will put you in a position to get a better return from their marketing efforts.
How do I price my house?
In a word, realistically. That’s not to say you can’t get what your house is worth. You just have to be realistic about its value, and price it accordingly. A good place to start is by determining the fair market value.
What is “fair market value,” and how do I determine mine?
Simply put, the fair market value of a house is the highest price an informed buyer will pay, assuming there is no unusual pressure to complete the purchase. It is usually not the asking price.
To get an estimate of fair market value, ask an Evan Johnson Realty Group associate for a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) of your house. This service is free of any charge, without obligation. The analysis will give you a realistic figure based on the most salient points of the local real estate market. It should provide information about recent sales of similar houses, including how much they sold for and how long it took.
Should I fix my house up before it goes on the market?
Unless your house is nearly new, chances are you’ll want to do some work to get it ready to market. The type and amount of work depends largely on the price you’re asking, the time you have to sell, and of course, the present condition of the house.
If you’re in a hurry to sell, do the “little things” that make your house look better from the outside and show better inside. Read on for several specific ideas for making low-cost improvements.
What should I do to make the house show better?
First, make your house look as clean and spacious as possible. Remember, people may look behind closet and crawlspace doors, as well as those to the bedrooms and bathrooms. So get rid of all the clutter; have that garage sale and haul away the leftovers.
After you’ve cleaned, try to correct any cosmetic flaws you’ve noticed. Paint rooms that need it, regrout tile walls and floors, remove or replace any worn-out carpets. Replace dated faucets, light fixtures, and the handles and knobs on your kitchen drawers and cabinets.
Finally, as with the outside of your house, try to make it easy for prospective buyers to imagine your house as their home. Clear as much from your walls, shelves, and countertops as you can. Give your prospects plenty of room to dream.
Should I make any major home improvements?
Certain home improvements that are useful to almost everyone have been proven to add value and/or speed the sale of houses. These include adding central air conditioning to the heating system, building a deck or patio, basement finishing, some kitchen remodeling (updating colors on cabinets, countertops, appliances, panels, etc.), and new floor and/or wall coverings, especially in bathrooms. Improvements that return less than what they cost are generally items that appeal to personal tastes, like adding fireplaces, wet bars, and swimming pools, or converting the garage into an extra room.
The challenge that comes with any home improvement designed to help sell your house is recouping your investment. There’s always the risk of over-improving your house — that is, putting more money into it than neighborhood prices will support.
So how much is too much? Professional renovators have found that, no matter how much you improve any given house, you’re unlikely to sell it for more than 15% above the median price of other houses in the neighborhood, whether you do $1,000 worth of work or $50,000. That’s why you might want to ask your agent’s opinion about the viability of recouping the cost of any major renovation before you start the work.
What about home warranties? Are they available to sellers as well as buyers?
Yes they are, and they’re worth investigating. It’s our belief that an AON Home Warranty is one of the best selling points you can add to your house. In fact, a 1996 survey conducted by an independent market research company shows that houses covered by a home protection plan sell on average 15 days faster than comparable houses without the protection.
It’s easy to see why. After a buyer has invested substantial cash savings in a down payment and moving expenses, the last thing they want to worry about is a costly home repair. With an AON Home Warranty, they don’t have to.
The warranty offers protection for you and your buyer, covering repair or replacement costs for breakdowns to most major systems and built-in appliances up to a year or more after the date of closing. When you consider the returns — a quicker sale, a better chance of selling, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing 24-hour emergency service is always just a phone call away — it’s hard to imagine a better investment.
How do I reach the right potential buyers?
There was a time when selling a house was simple. Your real estate agent would put a sign in the front yard, an ad in the paper, and wait.
Of course, agents still do those things — but that’s far from all they do. Today, people are moving further and more frequently than they used to. It’s not unusual for upwardly mobile executives to relocate across the country more than once in a year. The result is that the pool of potential buyers for your house is much larger and spread far wider than ever before, and the competition to reach them is fierce.
Because you’ll probably need to cast a wider net to find the right buyer, choosing a real estate company that offers the sophisticated marketing techniques that define likely buyers, where to find them, how to reach them, and how to persuade them to buy one house over another has never been more important. The fact is, virtually everything we’ve discussed up to this point, from pricing to home improvements, from the Competitive Market Analysis to the “For Sale” sign in the yard, is part of a marketing process that’s put into motion when you decide to work with My Gay Agent.
What’s an MLS®, and why do I need one?
A Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is one innovation that makes it easier to reach a large number of prospective buyers and dramatically increase the exposure of a property.
How important is advertising?
Advertising remains one of the most important components of the marketing process. But again, it’s not as simple as it used to be, at least not in the hands of a good broker.
Many people don’t realize how costly advertising can be — a full page ad run by a local real estate office in your local newspaper can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Yet it’s a far more cost-effective way to go than the three or four-line classified ad you would probably run if you were selling the house yourself. Here’s why:
Your classified ad requires a prospective buyer to find it amidst the dozens of others on the page, and be impressed enough by its message to call in response. In contrast, the broker’s ad is designed to “find the buyer” — with its large size and easy-to-read layout, the eye-catching photographs and professionally written descriptions, plus the fact that it includes not just one, but several houses for sale.
How does the inclusion of other houses benefit yours? The power of numbers, plain and simple. Fewer than 5 % of buyers actually purchase the first house they call about. When they call to respond to the broker’s ad, on the other hand, they’re likely to be shown a number of houses similar to the one they initially expressed interest in seeing.
And that’s just advertising in the local newspaper. Brokers today, especially larger ones, employ a variety of other proven advertising methods, including the Internet, magazines, radio, TV, and direct mail.
Quite simply, it’s a system under which participating brokers agree to share commission on the sale of houses listed by any one of them. So, for example, if you list your house with one broker and another broker actually sells it, they share the commission. The advantage to you is clear; more people have an interest in selling your house.
What should we expect from an open house?
As another valuable part of the marketing process, the open house offers prospective buyers the chance to view houses in a low-pressure, “browsing” atmosphere. With that in mind, you shouldn’t expect it to generate a sale, at least not directly. What you should look for is traffic, and calls to your agent for private showings in the days following the open house.
Open houses are always valuable, even if very few people show up. Such a situation can indicate that the price is too high; it may also lead you to look for ways to improve curb-appeal. Try not to draw your own conclusions — your agent will give you a full report on open house activity, and offer a professional assessment of its results.
Agents often hold an open house for other agents shortly after a house is listed. This event, usually held mid-week when real estate people can give it their full attention, can be as important to your efforts as your listing in the local MLS. The more professionals who see your house, the more prospects you’re likely to reach.
Will my agent be present at the closing?
If you wish. While their presence is not required by law, both the buying agent and the selling agent may attend the closing. Even though most of the procedures are handled by the lenders, title companies and in some cases an attorney, you’ll find your agent to be a valuable source of information and counsel, especially if any last-minute problems arise.
Good agents are also extremely helpful in the days immediately prior to the closing. They’ll help you prepare by giving you a step-by-step preview of the entire process and what will be expected of you. And they’ll make certain you bring all necessary documents and other information.
How do I find the agent that’s right for me?
A good place to start is by talking to friends, neighbors, relatives — anyone whose recommendation you trust.
Another way to find an agent well-suited to sell your house specifically is by responding to local advertising from agents — such as those “just sold” mailings you find in your mailbox from time to time. The very existence of such self-marketing efforts suggests that they may have more to offer you than the agent who picks up the phone when you call the local real estate office.