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