Old time Realtors always say in order to get a house sold there are seven sales (or steps) that have to be made--before the seller gets his money. (Or why selling real estate is so much fun...)
- First of all, the owner needs to “sell” the house to his or her Realtor. Mostly this sale is an introduction to the house with a walk-through but is important because if the Realtor isn't sold, how can she or he represent the home in such a way that a potential buyer will see the value in the property? The seller has the responsibility to tell the listing agent the highpoints and also any the problems with the home, so the listing will be accurate.
- Then the Realtor needs to collect the data that relates to the home including the tax cards, deeds, and disclosures so he can “sell” the house and all of it's wrinkles to the marketing department. The marketing department may be a real department or it may be the office secretary or even the classified department at the local newspaper, it doesn't matter, but the sale needs to be made again before it is offered to the public...
- Next comes the internet advertising, there are many links and sites that need to have the data uploaded, The MLS material, which at first is mostly data, still needs to include good quality photos and a clear write-up. Because most buyers start out their search on the internet, this material really needs to tell about the house and sell the property. The say a picture is worth 1000 words, so the photos chosen need to tell all about the house and sell its benefits.
- Now the area Realtors need to be told about the property. It's key to get them involved in the process right away, and to sell them on why this property is worth their client's time and money. They need to know why to show the property to their clients, how to find the property and how to get inside.
- We reach out to buyers by advertising, by internet, by signs and by the buyers Realtors, because in order to make a sale, the buyer has to be told about the house, shown photos and come in person to actually see the property. This is the step that most folks think is the only one in the selling process—but it's not. Buyers must be sold over and over—and kept sold.
- We're not done yet. There's still the home inspection, this is an important step because it's one of the last opportunites for the buyer to back out, so we are trying to keep the sale in place--the inspection is really an opportunity to sell the “deal” to the home inspector. If the inspector is satisfied and gives the condition of the house his approval, the deal moves forward.
- And then there's the bank or lending company. Not everyone uses a bank, so this step may be skirted if the buyer has cash, but if there's a loan the bank has to approve the condition and price. Bankers generally don't come to see the house, they read the material the Realtors create and in order to make the loan, they will hire another set of eyes—known as an appraiser. Here's a dis-interested third party whose role is to see the house and simply determine if it is worth the money. The appraiser will look at the MLS listing, the tax cards, the neighborhood, and with good math skills and a tiny bit of black magic added in, make his determination.Appraisers are usually willing to review additional data, sales figures for similar homes, etc, so smart Realtors may provide all the material they used to set the price in the first place--even the appraiser needs to be sold in order to “green light” the transaction.
So there you have it, seven sales to get to one closing, but that's the goal when someone calls and says, “I'd like to sell my house—can you help...”
Dane Hahn is a real estate professional serving Sarasota and Charlotte Counties from Sarasota Realty Associates in Venice, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 941-681-0312. See him on the web at www.danesellsflorida.com