Sunday, November 18, 2012

2012 is nearly done, roll on 2013!

We are now past mid way through November 2012 and although the market seems to be holding up remarkably well I suspect we won't get far into December before the season takes the focus of most sellers and buyers in another direction. For those who are going to give up on this year and decide to launch or re-launch their property into the early 2013 market then here a few tips on choosing that all important estate agent:
  • How long have you been in residential property sales? Is it your full-time job? While experience is no guarantee of skill, real estate — like many other professions — is mostly learned on the job.
  • What designations do you hold? Designations such as FNAEA and MRICS, which require that agents take additional, specialized real estate training, are held only by about 25% of estate agents.
  • How many homes did you and your firm sell last year? By asking this question, you’ll get a good idea of how much experience the agent has.
  • How many days did it take you to sell the average home? How did that compare to the overall market? The agent you interview should have these facts on hand, and be able to present market statistics to provide a comparison.
  • How close to the initial asking prices of the homes you sold were the final sale prices? This is one indication of how skilled the agent is at pricing homes and marketing to suitable buyers. Of course, other factors also may be at play, including an exceptionally hot or cool market.
  • What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home? You don’t want someone who’s going to put a For Sale sign in the yard and hope for the best. Look for someone who has progressive (not aggressive!) and innovative approaches, and knows how to market your property competitively on the Internet. Buyers today want information fast, so it’s important that your agent is responsive.
  • Can you recommend service providers who can help me obtain a mortgage, make home repairs, and help with other things I need done? Because agents are immersed in the industry, they’re wonderful resources as you seek lenders, home improvement companies, builders and other home service providers. Practitioners should generally recommend more than one provider and let you know if they have any special relationship with or receive commission from any of the providers.
  • What’s your business philosophy? While there’s no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess what’s important to the agent and determine how closely the agent’s goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.
  • How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How frequently? Again, this is not a question with a correct answer, but how you judge the response will reflect your own desires. Do you want updates twice a week or do you prefer not to be bothered unless there’s a hot prospect? Do you prefer phone, e-mail, or a personal visit? Would you like a log-in to a 'vendor portal' to see what is happening?
  • Have a pre-sale home appraisal. Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale marketing appraisal. An estate agent will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before viewings begin.
  • Organize and clean. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or loft. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and skirtings to make the house shine.
  • Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn out or will need to be replaced soon, such as your flooring or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be handy when negotiations begin.
  • Find your warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the boiler, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house.
  • Spruce up the kerb appeal. Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrance? Is the walkway free from cracks and damage?
  • Call David Clark and Company on 01353 665020 to get the ball rolling!

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