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Chicago, IL – May 4, 2017 (PRNewswire) When it’s time to sell their home, most Americans have their eye on the bottom line. RE/MAX brokers say sellers want to know, first and foremost, what their home is worth, what commission the broker will charge and how much they might have to spend to get the home ready to sell.
“Those are vital questions, but they aren’t the only ones,” said Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois.
Choosing a broker can be confusing because most of us sell a home only every 10 to 15 years, and the real estate business has seen dramatic changes over the last decade thanks to the internet.
According to Kreider, the secret to success lies in choosing a broker whose approach to selling homes meshes with a seller’s goals and preferences. To make that happen, sellers must ask the right questions.
Based on interviews with RE/MAX brokers, here are five questions sellers should ask when selecting a broker.
1. What is an appropriate listing price?
Whatever the ultimate sales price, the listing price is a vital starting point, noted Mary Reuter Kenney of RE/MAX Excels in Geneva, Ill.
“Some sellers and brokers may want to start with an elevated list price hoping for an eager buyer, but if the price is too high, it can keep buyers away. The longer a home sits on the market, the lower its eventual selling price is likely to be, so a realistic list price is essential. Sellers should ask a broker to present a list price recommendation based on the recent sales prices of comparable homes in the area, while also keeping the impact of current competition in mind.”
2. What are the expenses, besides commission, that sellers will face?
“Many sellers aren’t aware there are selling expenses beyond the broker’s commission,” said Kyra Pych of RE/MAX in the Village, Realtors, Oak Park, Ill.
“Those fees vary depending on local custom, so I go through all that with them: costs for title search and lot survey, for attorney fees, transfer taxes and other things. Sometimes, those fees determine whether a seller must bring money to the closing table, so they need the full picture,” she said.
3. How will you market my home, especially online?
Because more than 90 percent of buyers use the internet as part of their home search, effective online marketing is vital these days.
“Sellers must understand how a broker approaches internet marketing,” said Karen Danenberg of RE/MAX Suburban in Buffalo Grove, Ill. “If done right, it lets buyers get to know a house before they walk in, but to do that you need good pictures and good verbiage. If I were a seller, I’d ask to see how a broker had marketed comparable properties, and not just the photos and text on the MLS, but also what they did on social media, which is becoming a huge factor.”
4. How will the seller and broker work together?
It’s a key issue and one with many dimensions, noted Damian Ciszek of RE/MAX 10, Chicago, and there can be marked differences among brokers.
“I work on my own,” Ciszek explained, “so I handle everything, but other brokers may be part of team of brokers or may have unlicensed assistants who deal with portions of the process. Sellers should understand what information they will be getting and how frequently and just what is expected of them.”
5. What is the broker’s approach to preparing a home for sale?
Some brokers focus on maximizing value. That can mean a fair amount of pre-listing preparation for the seller but also a higher sales price. Other brokers are more willing to price a home to reflect its current condition if the buyer lacks the time or resources to make cosmetic improvements.
Jennie McLaughlin of RE/MAX Hub City in Rochelle, Ill., is among those who emphasize making homes she lists more salable, both in terms of exterior curb appeal and interior appearance.
“Curb appeal is extremely important. It defines the first impression buyers have of the property. Inside the home, it isn’t always necessary to invest a lot of money, but getting the home clean and decluttered pays huge dividends, not only in a better sales price but also a faster sale,” she said.
The RE/MAX Northern Illinois network, with headquarters in Elgin, Ill., consists of more than 2,250 sales associates and 103 independently owned and operated RE/MAX offices that provide a full range of residential and commercial brokerage services. The northern Illinois network is part of RE/MAX, a global real estate organization with 110,000+ sales associates in 100+ nations.
RE/MAX Northern Illinois
Castle Rock, CO – March 31, 2017 (PRNewswire) REAL Trends, the trusted source for news and research about the real estate brokerage industry, announced the results of the 2017 REAL Trends 500, an independently verified compilation of the Nation’s leading residential real estate companies.
According to a research report produced by REAL Trends, the 500 largest residential real estate brokerage firms in the nation closed over 3.1 million residential sales transactions in 2016. These transactions represent over one-third of all new and resale transactions completed by brokers during the year, yet the REAL Trends 500 represented less than one-half of one percent of all brokerage firms. The 500-ranked brokers closed 3.1 million home transactions with a value of over $1.0 trillion during 2016, up from $935 billion in the calendar year 2015.
This year’s survey represents the most comprehensive collection of data assembled on the leaders of the residential brokerage industry. Numbers are documented by outside accounting firms.
“Housing sales in the Nation were up 4.9 percent in 2016 from 2015. The REAL Trends 500 firms were up 6.6 percent in the same period. For the third year in a row, the Nation’s largest brokerage firms gained market share,” said Steve Murray, president of REAL Trends. “This market-share growth is unusual in that historically larger firms lose market share in robust markets. Clearly, America’s largest brokerage firms have figured out how to grow their share in all kinds of market environments.”
It took 1,843 transactions to be included in this year’s REAL Trends 500, up from a minimum of 1,702 transactions a year ago. In 2015, there were 209 firms recording over $1 billion in residential sales while there were 235 firms that accomplished this in 2016.
NRT, LLC led the REAL Trends 500 as the largest residential brokerage company in the country. The firm closed 337,780 transactions in 2016. Owned entirely by Realogy, NRT, in Madison, New Jersey, acquires residential real estate brokerage firms and operates them as affiliates of Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s International Realty, The Corcoran Group, Zip Realty and Climb Real Estate.
Number two on the list of the Nation’s largest firms is HomeServices of America Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with 245,154 closed transaction sides. Number three on the list is Hanna Holdings, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with 90,016 transactions and number four was Chantilly, Virginia-based Long & Foster Companies, Inc., with 81,032 transactions.
About REAL Trends:
REAL Trends has been The Trusted Source for news, analysis and information about the residential real estate industry since 1987. We are a privately-held publishing, communications and consulting company based in Castle Pines, Colorado. Residential real estate leaders find timely and trusted information and analysis through our yearly event—Gathering of Eagles—our monthly newsletter and other publications.
Sam DeBord, managing broker at Coldwell Banker Danforth in Seattle, talks about a recent scam in which hackers created a fake email address using his name and sent bogus messages to other real estate professionals nationwide. DeBord gives tips for agents and brokers who receive such bogus emails.
The translation? “Not using a broker is like not using protection”
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Company Appoints Industry Veteran Bryon Ellington to Lead Strategic Learning Initiatives for its Franchise and Company-Owned Brokerage Operations
Madison, NJ – Feb. 1, 2017 (PRNewswire) Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) today announced its plans for the development of a new, integrated learning institute for its leading real estate franchise brands and NRT, its company-owned brokerage business. The new learning center of excellence will operate under the direction of Bryon Ellington, who today was appointed as senior vice president of learning for Realogy.
Ellington comes to Realogy after serving in a number of key senior executive roles at Keller Williams Realty, Inc., where he has worked for the past 15 years. Most recently, Ellington served as the company’s chief learning officer since 2014, where he was credited with building and implementing its learning platform.Going forward, Ellington will lead the effort to integrate and strengthen the learning and development resources from across NRT-owned brokerages and the Realogy Franchise Group brands, which include Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, ERA® and Sotheby’s International Realty®. As part of its strategy, Realogy also has engaged Miller Heiman Group, a leading sales performance company, to collaborate on the development of a world-class learning platform. Realogy intends for its integrated learning institute to offer customized learning opportunities serving new and experienced sales agents and brokerage managers affiliated with Realogy’s franchise brands and company-owned brokerages.
“We view learning as a strategic asset, and we are making a strong investment in creating a world-class learning platform across our franchise brands and NRT. We look forward to Bryon Ellington’s leadership to help guide our learning initiatives in the future.” – John Peyton, President and Chief Operating Officer, Realogy Franchise Group
“Realogy’s commitment to creating a learning and development center of excellence will help enable our brokerages to enhance their respective agent value propositions and provide their affiliated sales agents and brokerage managers with a competitive edge.” – Ryan Gorman, Chief Strategy & Operating Officer, NRT LLC
With a background in education and technology, Ellington began his real estate career in 2002 with Keller Williams. In 2016, he was nationally recognized by Training Magazine with its Emerging Training Leader award. Ellington previously served as the company’s chief operating officer for its international master franchising efforts and spent four years as the company’s chief products officer. In his earlier years in the industry, he served as director of research, development and implementation and as an agent sales and technology curriculum team leader. Ellington received his bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate in secondary education from the University of Texas, and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from the Acton School of Business in Austin.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements related to Realogy’s development of an integrated learning institute and platform to enhance sales agent and broker productivity. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors discussed in Realogy’s filings with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws, Realogy expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any of them to reflect actual results, any changes in expectations or any change in events. For additional information concerning risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to differ from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, and risks to our business in general, please refer to Realogy Holdings Corp.’s SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015 and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2016.
About Realogy Holdings Corp.
Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) is a global leader in residential real estate franchising and brokerage with many of the best-known industry brands including Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, The Corcoran Group®, ERA®, Sotheby’s International Realty® and ZipRealty®. Collectively, Realogy’s franchise system members operate approximately 13,650 offices with more than 268,000 independent sales associates conducting business in 111 countries and territories around the world. NRT LLC, Realogy’s company-owned real estate brokerage, is the largest residential brokerage company in the United States, operates under several of Realogy’s brands and also provides related residential real estate services. Realogy also owns Cartus, a prominent worldwide provider of relocation services to corporate and affinity clients, Title Resource Group (TRG), a leading provider of title, settlement and underwriting services and ZapLabsSM, its innovation and technology development subsidiary. Realogy is headquartered in Madison, New Jersey.