When it comes right down to it, two things sell real estate: price and exposure. The seller sets the price and the Realtor exposes the property to potential buyers. All the exposure in the world won’t sell a dumpy little house for twice its value and no matter how perfectly your house is priced, if no one knows it’s on the market, it’ll never sell.
Of course I’m biased, but I encourage anyone interested in buying or selling a house to work with a Realtor. Just like anything, selling real estate can be easy—once you understand all the legal, political, social and economic variables involved, that is. Good Realtors spend years becoming experts in their field and they can make your home-buying or home-selling experience smooth and profitable if you let them. Here’s why:
1. REALTORS KNOW WHERE BUYERS LOOK
Realtors know that 92 percent of people interested in buying a home search online, so Realtors make sure your property is listed there. Not only do they enter all the most compelling features of your property into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which feeds hundreds of online databases, they optimize listings on places like Zillow.com and Trulia.com. Realtors affiliated with most franchises benefit from a distribution system that sends property data to additional nationwide databases.
2. REALTORS KNOW EMOTION SELLS
When Realtors describe your property, they don’t just mention the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. They help prospective buyers fall in love with the life they would live if they bought your property. Instead of describing your property as a “1000 square foot cabin with two bedrooms and two bathrooms,” they paint a picture by calling it a “cozy 2bd/2ba cabin surrounded by quiet emerald hills for a peaceful retreat at the end of each day.” Heck, you might want to give up your big house in town for this magical little place.
3. REALTORS KNOW THE LAW
When Realtors describe your property, they know how to comply with anti-discrimination laws. Most people outside the real estate industry don’t realize you cannot legally market a property by saying “family home” or “perfect for kids.” These phrases are considered discriminatory against older adults. (Don’t get me started on ridiculous interpretations of the law.) Are you likely to get arrested for a mistake like this? No, but someone could sue you if they had a mind to. There are many protected classes based on gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, ethnicity and more. Realtors help assure you don’t inadvertently discriminate.
4. REALTORS KNOW THAT GOOD PHOTOS SELL HOUSES
These days, everyone carries a camera wherever they go (we call them cell phones). However, when it comes to selling a property, good photographs draw people in. A quick cell-phone snap often misses the mark. With the short attention spans of most buyers browsing online, the difference between engagement and indifference is often a fabulous photo.
5. REALTORS KNOW THE COMMUNITY AND THE COMMUNITY KNOWS THEM
To get an edge, it helps to have someone on the inside. Local Realtors participate in service clubs. They are chamber of commerce members. They volunteer at local charities and serve on local boards. They have a sphere of influence that allows them to both share and collect information that helps you find your dream home or sell your house for top dollar.
Next week, I’ll share more reasons Realtors can help you buy or sell a home quickly and easily.
If you have questions about real estate or property management, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707) 462-4000. If you’d like to read previous articles, visit my blog at www.richardselzer.com. If you send me an idea I use in a column, I’ll send you a $5 gift card to Schat’s Bakery. Dick Selzer is a real estate broker who has been in the business for more than 40 years.