A Good Real Estate Broker? Priceless.

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Some may have gotten the impression from my last blog entry that I don’t value the services of real estate brokers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Real estate brokers are experts at marketing. They know what buyers in your area are looking for. They know what needs to be done to your property to make sure it sells. They know how to get the word out to buyers and other brokers.

Keep in mind that time is not on your side when selling your house. It needs to be ready for sale from day one. Most sales actually occur in the first 30 to 45 days. That doesn’t mean you won’t sell your house if it has been on the market longer. It just gets harder.

If you don’t like what your broker is telling you about what you should do to your home, ask to be taken on a tour of houses in the area that are your competition. Your broker should be able to show you why he/she is making the recommendations to you. You might also tune into some of the shows on HGTV that address getting properties ready for sale.

Real estate brokers are experts in getting people to write offers. This is a real skill. Buyers want to be sure they are doing the right thing. They will have concerns – about the property, about whether or not they can afford it, about financing, about how the buying process works. Brokers will support them in working through their concerns. They will encourage them to write an offer. This takes time and the seller can rarely do this.

Real estate brokers also provide another invaluable service. Wisconsin law requires them to make sure that buyers who submit offers have the financial ability to buy your property. Generally buyers get a letter from their banker stating that they have money for the earnest money and are eligible to borrow the rest. Sometimes the buyer is preapproved for a mortgage. Make sure you get this information from your broker when you get an offer.

I have always used full-service brokers in selling property and have been glad I did, but I recognize that I need an appraiser when it comes to establishing the fair market value (selling price). I also recognize that when it comes to legal matters (reviewing offers, counter-offers, and the myriad of issues/conflicts that may arise with buyers), an attorney is necessary. Brokers are neither appraisers nor lawyers.

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