Monday, February 14, 2011

Just like picking money up off the ground?

HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO SELL A HOUSE? A few years ago, some clients of mine who had listed their home with me, received a contract to purchase it in a matter of days As we were sitting at the kitchen table while they signed the contract, the husband looked at me and said "This is just like picking money up off the ground for you, isn't it?" Although he was smiling, I could tell that he really felt that way. After all, it appeared as if all I had really done was write the listing agreement, take some pictures, upload everything to MLS, put a sign in the yard, and a lockbox on the door, and Bam! A buyer's agent brings me a contract and I'm due a fat commission ... "just like picking money up off the ground!"

My husband and I sold four homes before I got my real estate license in 2001. Each time, we listed the house for sale with a REALTOR. Our homes always sold rather quickly. It seemed that the REALTOR didn't really have to do much work since the house seemed to sell itself. I remember looking at the settlement statement while sitting at the closing table and thinking "Wow….what exactly did the REALTOR do to earn this much money?”

So, what makes using a REALTOR to sell your house worth that seemingly big fee and why should you use one? About 80 percent of homes are sold with the help of a real estate agent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Here are a few reasons it pays to list your home with a REALTOR:
Setting the right price. One of the first things I present to a seller is a comparative market analysis which is based on recent sales in a given area and is the basis for my recommended list price. Setting the right price is crucial in home sales, because an inflated asking price can turn away buyers. An accurate assessment of the market is essential to price a home correctly. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, sellers who use a real estate agent receive on average 20 percent more for their homes than those who sell their own homes.
Marketing expertise. I will devise and implement a marketing plan to sell your home. This may include coordinating open houses, advertising via newspaper and magazines, printing and distributing brochures, producing virtual tours for Internet use, and showing your house to potential buyers. This involves time, money, creativity, and expertise. I have a website which includes my listings as well as a search feature for the entire MLS system in the greater Tyler area. A strong Internet presence is a MUST since most buyers today go to the Internet first to search for a home. My website is my biggest source for connecting with buyers. I use pay per click advertising and attract hundreds of buyers to my website each week. My listings can also be found on,, and countless other real estate websites via Internet Data Exchange.
The MLS and the REALTOR'S contacts. The multiple listing service, or MLS, is a database of all the homes for sale by real estate agents in a particular region. Once a home is listed, information about it can be accessed by all the agents in the area and matched to buyers: in effect, your home is being sold by not one person, but by hundreds. If your home is not listed with a REALTOR, it is not listed on exclusive
Objectivity. When selling, a real estate agent can provide an unemotional view of the home and what needs to be added or subtracted to make it more appealing to buyers. I try to see the home through "Buyer's eyes", and address deterrents to presenting the home as an appealing place to live. I am an ASP, or Accredited Staging Professional, and have had extensive training on how to make your home attractive to buyers.
Drafting skills. As a REALTOR, I draft contracts, know the information that must be included in the documents, and can also advise you about what stipulations you should make in the contract. Real estate contracts in Texas are 8 pages long and soon will be even longer. Having someone help you understand what each paragraph of the contract means is a necessity these days.

Negotiation and closing assistance. A real estate agent can provide advice to sellers when deciding whether to accept or modify an offer or counter-offer. Once an offer has been accepted, I will assist the Seller with going over inspection reports, help with repair negotiations, and ensure that all stipulations in the contract are complete. I will keep a finger on the pulse of the transaction until the sale is completed.
Here is the bottom line. As a full time REALTOR, I am involved in the business of real estate and handle real estate transactions EVERY DAY. I KNOW real estate, not only from the required education I received in order to take the real estate exam and maintain my real estate license, but also from my 10 years of practical experience actually selling real estate. I can help you avoid common pitfalls and maneuver the real estate "jungle" successfully with fewer headaches, less stress, less time wasted, and more money in your pocket.
Is selling real estate like picking up money off the ground?.....well, not exactly!


  1. I love your descriptive comment, "I will keep a finger on the pulse of the transaction until the sale is completed." That would be great in an English class!

  2. Thanks, Sherry! Transactions can go to "code blue" quickly if you don't. Also thank you for reading the entire post :)

  3. Impressive work here, loved the valuable information. Thanks for all your efforts.