When you bought a home you needed a sellers agent, now that you are selling your home you want a listing agent. Start with the sellers agent you used and see if they or someone they know can help in the listing of your home. They are the best resource for you, as they are someone you trust. Go through the same process of talking to them, asking them questions and interviewing them as you did with your selling agent. Most agents will come prepared with data about recent sales, recommendations for housing value, and competitive market analysis. An agent will consider the appraisal value for your house along with their data to determine the best asking price you will likely fetch from your property.
In the world of real estate, home buyers want to pay the least and home sellers want to get the most. Having an agent tell you they can get you more than the appraised value of your home, or more than other agents suggest your ask for your home is tempting. Be weary if an agent tells you they can get you much more for your home than other agents do, this is called buying a listing. While some agents might mean well, as a homeowner has an inflated perception of what their property is worth, others may do it habitually to be the listing agent for many homes.
A large part of the home selling process happens behind the scenes, and until an offer is made on your home the most common occurrence of activity is the open house or home tour by potential buyers. Listing agents don’t typically go after individual home buyers unless they focus on both sides of the transaction. They commonly market and promote your home to seller agents that work with home buyers, increasing your sales force and pool of prospective buyers.
Initial activity in the first few days your home is on the market are essential. Many agents and buyers look for homes that have been released onto the market, viewing the ones that have sat there for a long period of time as having ‘something wrong’ with them. If other buyers have looked at your home and not made an offer, then they may view your home as a waste of time. Often the issue is that an offer has been rejected by the home owner as not being the value they placed on the home. Even if you receive an offer above the market price for your home there may still be issues.
A mortgage lender must underwrite the loan and will require an appraisal. If current market conditions and the previous 6 months of real estate in your area aren’t aligned with your sales price the lender may not back the offer. You can always attempt to renegotiate the price, but that’s only if the buyer is willing to do so. Worse case scenario is that your home goes back on the market, but that only makes it more challenging to gain good offers. Buyers will likely view you as desperate to get the home sold, resulting in lower still offers. The additional value you wanted out of your home may backfire resulting in lower purchase prices.