Selling your Home with Sunny Day Real Estate
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Why Hire a Real Estate Agent
For most Buyers or Sellers purchasing or selling your home signifies the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in your life. That should be a FUN experience! Let an experienced REALTOR alleviate the common stresses that frequently come along with the do–it–yourself approach.
According to a NAR survey (National Association of Realtors), the share of homeowners who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was a mere 12 percent in 2007 , and that was when homes were really moving on and off the market quickly. So why do so many sellers opt for hiring a real estate agent to assist them in the sale of their property? Well, the reasons are plenty, but here are some the most notables:
- Selling a Home is an Expensive Transaction: Real Estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. There are potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars involved in these deals $$$!! There are big checks being written and extremely valuable assets exchanging hands. Wouldn’t you want a professional to guide you through this process? Wouldn’t you feel better if you were working with an experienced agent who perfects the skill of buying and selling Real Estate every single day?
- FSBO’s (For Sale by Owner) can’t list their home in the MLS: Owner/Sellers who choose to go it alone without the help of a licensed Real Estate agent are known as FSBO’s, an acronym for
For Sale by Owner. Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles that a FSBO has is their inability to disperse their home’s information to Real Estate Professionals via the MLS.
- Buyer Agents Won’t Show FSBO homes to their Clients: Buyer agents, like anyone else, expect to get paid for their services. How do these buyer agents receive their commission? Typically, the buyer agent will get paid a percentage of the commission that the seller has agreed to pay their listing agent (usually an even split of 6% of the sales price; 3% to the listing agent and 3% to the buyer agent). If an owner/seller is not cooperating with buyer agents, or in other words, not paying a commission at all, then those buyer agents have no monetary incentive to show that particular home to their clients.1 For the FSBO the result is a detrimental lack of exposure of the home to those agents who are most likely to bring a buyer.
A Professional Agent Understands the Market Value of a Home: Homeowners frequently lack the ability to objectively assess their home’s value. Naturally all sellers want to make the most money possible through the sale of their home. At Sunny Day, we want the same thing for our clients. Our goal with all of our listings is to achieve the maximum sales price that the market will allow for the home. So often however, emotional homeowners will overprice their home. An overpriced home will result in very limited interest from buyers and their agents, few to no showings, and longer days on the market.
A Professional Listing Agent should be objective and fair in pricing a home for sale. A knowledgeable and experienced agent will take the owner’s emotions out of the equation, providing their seller with an up to date market analysis of the home’s value. An objective point of view that is grounded in facts and hard market statistics will help determine a competitive list price for your home.1
- Buyers Don’t Like Negotiating Directly with the Seller: Most buyers prefer to negotiate with the seller via the seller’s listing agent as opposed to negotiating directly with a seller who has no listing agent. These buyers simply feel more comfortable making an offer on a home when there is a listing agent involved. Not only is the listing agent bound by the Realtor Code of Ethics, which makes buyers more comfortable, but the listing agent also serves as an emotional buffer in what is often an expensive, emotional transaction and what can at times be a lengthy process of negotiations.1
A Listing Agent Will Help their Sellers Avoid Legal Pitfalls: Texas is a full disclosure state when it comes to Real Estate Transactions. All known construction defects in a home must be disclosed by the seller. The most common source of litigation against a seller has to do with non–disclosure of such defects. Real Estate agents are aware of the importance of full disclosure and will provide their clients with the proper forms not only for disclosure purposes but for the entire Real Estate Transaction (i.e. purchase agreements, financing addenda, numerous disclosure forms, and the list goes on).1
Try thinking of it this way, would you want to perform open heart surgery on your husband or wife if you yourself are not trained as an open heart surgeon? I hope your answer is no. ☺ It is no different with Buying and Selling Real Estate. Now of course Sunny Day Real Estate understands that performing surgery and effectively listing, marketing, negotiating, and getting a home sale to closing are not exactly the same kind of skill set. We also know however that both of these services are indeed just that, a professional skill set.
We practice and seek to perfect our professional skill of effectively buying and selling Real Estate for both ourselves and our clients every single day. And remember this too, whether you are having open heart surgery or you are selling your home for hundreds of thousands of dollars, it is indeed the case that your livelihood, your security, and your comfort will all be affected by the eventual outcome. When you consider the relatively small upside cost of hiring a professional agent and the potentially large downside risk involved with trying to sell your home on your own, then it may become clear to you that it would be foolish not to procure the services of a professional real estate agent to assist you in the sale of your home.3
The MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, is a private, member only home sales database to be used exclusively by licensed Real Estate Professionals who are members of their local Board of Realtors Organization. IT IS A FACT that the overwhelming majority of Home Sales involve cooperating agents, or agents representing the buyer side of a transaction. When a seller considers that these buyer agents use the MLS as their number one source for finding properties for their clients, they soon realize that it may indeed be in their best interest to have their home’s selling listing information in the MLS for other agents to see and provide to their buyer clients.1
Schedule Your Listing Appointment
This is the first step in your endeavor to sell your home. You should schedule a listing appointment with your prospective agent(s) to find out the answers to all of your questions.
All sellers need to be asking these questions when assessing a prospective agent’s professional qualifications:
- Does this agent exhibit a solid understanding of the current real estate market?
- Does this agent back up his or her assertions with facts?
- Has this agent described to me an effective plan for marketing my home both to other Realtors and to the public?
- Has the agent proven an understanding for the current values of homes in my neighborhood?
- Does this agent possess the experience level necessary to effectively sell my home in the quickest amount of time for the maximum amount of money?
In addition to assessing your prospective agent’s professional skill level, you should also consider some more personal qualifications:
- Do I even like this agent?
- Do our personalities mesh well together?
- Do I trust this agent?
- Will I enjoy working with this agent?
These professional, ethical, and personal criteria must be considered when you are hiring your agent to represent you in such an important transaction.
Give Sunny Day Real Estate the Opportunity to Earn Your Business
When you schedule a listing appointment with us, a Sunny Day Agent will come to your home for a personal visit. We want to get to know you, and we especially want you to get to know us. We should be able to work together comfortably and amicably. At Sunny Day Real Estate we believe that the most successful business relationships are founded with a win–win attitude. We want you to know that our goal is to help you accomplish your goals. That way at the end of the day, we are both satisfied with the outcome.
Your Sunny Day Agent will also provide you with an up to date market analysis, describing in detail the sales of comparable homes in your neighborhood, as well as what your current competition would be should you decide to list your home at that time.
Sunny Day Real Estate is also proud to say that one of the main focuses of our business is education. We educate ourselves so that we can better educate our clients. After our listing appointment, you will have a better understanding of the market as it pertains to the sale of your home. Perhaps even more importantly, you will know exactly what type of person you will be working with should you decide to hire Sunny Day Real Estate to represent you in the sale of your home.
Pricing Your Home
Arriving at an accurate sales price for your home is THE MOST CRITICAL ASPECT OF SELLING YOUR HOME. You want to get this right! You need to get this right! An inflated sales price will cause your home to sit on the market. Your overpriced home will become stagnant. An overpriced home will have little or no showings, and buyers will eventually attach a stigma to the home on account of its sitting on the market for so long. These buyers will think, ‘well there must be something wrong with that home,’ and they will be right. There is something wrong with that home. It’s overpriced!
On the other hand, an undervalued sales price will leave your money on the table. You don’t want that either. So what do you want? What do all sellers want? You want to sell your home quickly and for the greatest amount of money the market will allow. For more than any other reason, this is why you need to hire an experienced Real Estate Agent. When it comes to understanding market value, you can take comfort in knowing that your Sunny Day agent has a firm grip on the current market and how to accurately price your home for sale.
Comparable Market Analysis/Competitive Market Analysis:
Your Sunny Day Agent will provide you with a complete and thorough Comparable Market Analysis. This Comparable Market Analysis will identify homes that have recently sold in your area and that are comparable to your home based on a number of different criteria (i.e. location, size, year built, quality of finish out, etc). We refer to these homes as
comparable solds. We will carefully and clearly detail for you what makes these homes comparable to yours. We will also describe for you the leading contributing factors to the sales of these comparable homes (i.e sales price, updates, location, etc). You will at this point have a better understanding of your home’s current market value. The sales prices of these comparable solds are critical bits of information when determining the list price of your home. An effective Comparable Market Analysis is imperative to successfully pricing and selling your home.
Your Sunny Day Agent will also provide you with a Competitive Market Analysis. This often confuses some people…Comparable Market Analysis/Competitive Market Analysis…What’s the difference? To put it simply, Comparable
Solds are homes that have already sold, therefore we do not consider this as your active competition. A Comparable Market Analysis of these sold homes will provide you with your fair market value (assuming your home has comps). A Competitive Market Analysis on the other hand, will show you what your active competition is on the market right now. This type of analysis considers homes that are actively listed for sale. These homes, or your home’s competition, will be homes that are comparable to your home in location, size, effective age, and quality of finish out (among other more specific details). Your home’s competition may also be those homes that are not exactly comparable but offer a similar or perhaps better value to buyers within the same price range.
By having a thorough understanding of your home’s market value and your home’s active competition, your Sunny Day Agent will help you to price your home effectively and to stay one step ahead of the competition. The end result should be what all sellers want, that is to sell their home quickly and for the greatest amount of money the current market will allow.
Maximize Your Home’s Selling Potential w/ Clean & Functional Design
You only get one shot at a first impression, right? Guess what, the same can be said for your home. You want prospective buyers to be impressed with your home the moment they step inside. Most buyers prefer homes that are warm and inviting, and not cold, cluttered, or off–putting in any way. As your agent, we want your home to exhibit smart design and a comfortable flow. Your home should exude a positive energy for each and every prospective buyer that walks through your front door. If your home does not convey a positive first impression, then it is our job to advise you on what you can do to improve this.
So, how can Sunny Day help you create this positive first impression? We’re delighted you asked.
Your Sunny Day Agent will advise you on how to show off your home’s strong points, all the while minimizing the effects of your home’s less desirable characteristics. Early on in the listing process, you can expect that your Sunny Day Agent will be full of suggestions, if necessary, for how we can help you sharpen up your home’s appearance, thereby enhancing its positive impact on prospective buyers. In fact, this is one of our favorite parts of the job. At Sunny Day Real Estate, we love design! Moving furniture around and offering design tips to our clients really gets our juices jangling! We consider this a perk of the job!
Coming up with an effective, market accurate sales price for your home is the most important service a listing agent provides to a seller (see our section on
Pricing Your Home). But coming in a very close second in terms of priority and importance is an effective marketing campaign to be administered by your agent and dispensed both to other realtors as well as the public.
At Sunny Day, we recognize the importance of a comprehensive, diversified marketing approach. A blend of traditional marketing (MLS, Flyers, Print Advertising, Agent Networking) with the more contemporary online based marketing sources provides our sellers with the most comprehensive exposure for their home’s listing information.
When it comes to marketing, your Sunny Day Agent knows what works:
- Listing the property on the MLS (See
Why Hire a Realtor – FSBO’s Can’t List Their Homes in the MLS)
- Securing a personal website for each home and displaying the web address in all marketing material
- Posting your listing info on our own website (see our properties page)
- Listing your home’s info on websites open to the public: AustinHomeSearch.com, Zillow.com, Realtor.com
- Dispensing listing info directly to top producing agents in the respective area through face to face contact, e–flyers, office visits, and phone calls
- High quality photography to make your home stand out in our marketing material
- Virtual Tours
- Thoughtful, well designed in house flyers
- Styling your home for a good first impression
Important Note about Online Marketing in the Information Age:
In much the same way that you are, at this very moment, seeking information for your personal gain through our website and other websites that are free and open to the public, prospective home buyers are also turning to the internet in greater and greater numbers to search for their next home to purchase. According to a NAR (National Association of Realtors) research study, nearly one–third of recent buyers reported that their first step in the home buying process was looking online for properties for sale.
Top Notch Negotiating
When you procure the services of a Sunny Day Real Estate agent, you will benefit from our experience in Real Estate negotiations. When an offer comes in on your home, your Sunny Day Agent will help you objectively evaluate whether the offer is fair, inappropriate, or requires a counter offer. Each negotiation is unique, often varying depending on the needs of both the buyer and the seller. An experienced agent should have a feel for the eagerness or lack there of from an opposing buyer or seller. At Sunny Day we believe that effective negotiations will likely involve compromise, but rarely if ever involve confrontation. While Sunny Day is always negotiating in the best interests of our principals and always in cooperative communication with our principals, we also understand that the most successful real estate transactions often evolve out of a win–win agreement between the parties involved. We seek to eliminate stress and to maximize our client’s potential profit without ever compromising their marketing position.
Preparing Home for Closing
The initial offer and acceptance stage of the transaction is merely the first step in what can be a long negotiating process between both the Buyer and the Seller. Your Sunny Day Agent understands that there are many parties involved in the transaction, outside of just the Buyer and the Seller. There can be the buyer agent and the listing agent, the lender, the inspectors, the appraiser, the escrow officer, possibly the builder, the residential service contract provider, and the insurance companies, among others.
As your Listing Agent, we will remain in consistent contact with each of the parties involved. Inspection issues will be handled expeditiously and negotiated fairly if necessary. We will effort to ensure that the appraisal is ordered in a timely manner and that any appraisal issues, if any, are handled accordingly. We will be sure to communicate the necessity for homeowner’s insurance for our Buyers, and conversely, we will remind our seller clients to cancel their existing homeowner’s insurance when the time is right. Any underwriting issues with the lender should be communicated and handled intelligently and in a timely manner.
At Sunny Day, staying on top of these issues is our pledge to our clients. Your Sunny Day Agent will ensure that things are happening when they are supposed to happen. We keep an accurate timeline and checklist for all phases of the transaction. In short, we strive every day to be on top of our game, and our clients realize the benefits that result when working with a brokerage company that is on the ball like we are.
Reviewing Closing Costs & Avoiding Surprises
The day that you have been waiting for is finally here. Today is Closing Day! Have you reviewed the HUD Settlement Statement with your agent prior to closing? If you’re working with a Sunny Day Real Estate Agent, then your answer is
Yes. So often however, this answer is
No, and that is unfortunate. Many closings go off without a hitch, even when the agents involved have not reviewed the HUD Settlement Statement with their respective principals. There are, however, those untimely surprises at closing that we all dread: the buyers forgot a check, the sellers didn’t know they would need a check, someone brought a personal check when they really needed to bring a cashier’s check or money order, or there's a problem with the survey. We don’t want our clients to experience those perturbing moments at the closing table. The most common of these frustrations for a buyer or seller are when you realize for the first time at closing that you don’t understand all the fees which are showing up as debits to you on the HUD. Meanwhile you’re looking at your agent with a disappointed scowl on your face while he’s sipping a latte ready to collect his commission check and move on to the next deal. Not Cool! Not cool at all! That is not a good feeling. This frustration can be easily avoided if your agent will take the time to review your HUD with you prior to closing.
You will not experience this sort of dissatisfaction when you work with Sunny Day Real Estate, because at Sunny Day, we know that our job is not done until the transaction has closed and funds have been approved and transferred. It is our goal to keep you completely informed throughout the entire process. When you walk into your closing, you will know exactly what your debits and credits should be as they appear on the HUD Settlement Statement. There should be no surprises!
- 1National Association of Realtors. www.realtor.org or www.realtor.com | 2007 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers; 5–12–2009.
- 2National Association of Realtors. www.realtor.org or www.realtor.com Online ARTICLE: FSBO Woes: Why it’s So Hard to Sell Your Own Home
- 3National Association of Realtors. www.realtor.org or www.realtor.com. Online ARTICLE: Why Use a Realtor When Selling