Anyone who’s bought or sold a house before is already aware that the right agent can make a big difference in your experience. How about the brokerage where the agent is affiliated — does the brokerage involved in your home transaction really affect you as a consumer?
Brokerages can provide different services for buyers and sellers. If you’re selling a house, here are some of the things you can (and should) expect from many brokerages.
One of the most important things that a brokerage does for sellers involves marketing their listing, letting qualified buyers know it’s available and providing the information those buyers crave in a lovely presentation. Spend some time looking up homes in your neighborhood and take a look at some of the photos and listing descriptions. Some agents invest in professional photos and staging, which helps attract potential buyers.
Education for you
Most people don’t sell a house very frequently, so there’s a lot you might not know or remember about the process, and it’s part of your agent’s job to help educate you about the gaps. You might not think you need to learn anything about selling a house, but at the very least, it’s helpful to get an idea of what the market is doing so that you aren’t surprised at the price range an agent suggests when you start interviewing them.
Education for agents
The licensing requirements for real estate agents vary in every state, but each state requires some basic education in addition to continuing education as the years’ pass. Those are baseline requirements that might not cover everything an agent realistically needs to know to do business in your market, from legal restrictions to negotiation best practices. Some brokerages prioritize education for their agents more than others, providing seminars, webinars, reading materials, regular meetings, and other resources to make sure their agents know what’s new and what’s critical.
A network of buyers
One of the biggest reasons why a seller would want to use a real estate agent in the first place is because agents can help expose your home listing to a broad section of buyers who are qualified to buy your house and interested in your specific dwelling. This is why listing your home as a for-sale-by-owner can be risky — you don’t have access to the agent and brokerage networks of buyers.
A network of mortgage and title pros
Just like real estate agents, you’ll find a wide variety of mortgage and title professionals who specialize in different things. If you want a jumbo loan, or you’re purchasing rural property, or a condo or you don’t have a full down payment — all of those are situations where you might want to consider using a specialized mortgage broker who can give you a full range of options. Similarly, there might be idiosyncrasies with your home loan or liens on your house that require a qualified title professional to parse. You probably don’t know how to find these people, but your real estate broker will, and they’ll also know which mortgage and title operatives are responsive and helpful, and which ones sometimes take a shade too long to respond to your needs.
Processes and procedures for the transaction
Home sale transactions are complicated beasts, legally and financially and even emotionally. Some brokerages have streamlined processes outlined that their agents are supposed to follow to make the transaction easier for everyone, while other brokerages don’t oversee the transaction quite as much. Be sure to find out if your agent or someone else will be your point person to help keep you updated on your sale.
Remember to set up your utilities and change your address
Before closing, remember to set up your utilities and change your address. Depending upon your situation, it could take a few weeks to get a tote delivered for trash removal, so plan accordingly. Address changes are often available online, making this process much easier. When you’re in the middle of moving and selling your house, every little bit of pre-planning help can make a big difference in your experience.
When it’s 9 p.m. and you need an emergency plumber, or your electricity goes out on Christmas Day, do you know who to call? If you don’t have a contractor on hand already, talk to your real estate broker about people they recommend. They’ll know people who can paint your house, pave your driveway, fix your water heater, or install a fence, and they’ve probably also heard all of the stories around town about every contractor, so you can save yourself some time and headaches by just starting with your agent first.
Whether upsizing, downsizing or anything in between, it would be our privilege to help you. Please contact Steve to start the conversation on how we can help you make a move at 719-430-4440.