Associating the realtor with the sale - 2 questions

JamieJanuary 7, 2011

We will be listing this spring. I am able to get recent comparables and to plot sales trends from readily available data from my own distinct area within our sub. This is very useul not only for seeing where prices are going, but I can also see what was going on at the time we purchased. There are even some multiple resales within the time period on my own block.

So I feel like I have plenty of pricing info.

But I would like also to plot the track records of individual realtors. The municipal databases don't show who sold the property. Can I answer this question through publicly available info?

I know of a few realtors who have sold homes in walking distance of mine; the one who sold our home to us, for instance, whom I will absolutely not use, and another one who lives around the corner.

In addition to deciding who to list with, I would like to view some professionally staged homes of comparable size, age, and selling price. I'd like to get the names of stagers from the realtors and then go take a peek at the houses. I have to do this before listing, of course, because a realtor won't have much interest in helping me once I have listed with someone else. And I want to limit this effort to my sub or very, very similar places, so I think getting names from the realtors would be the most efficient way to go.

When I last sold, 6 years ago, it was amazingly challenging to get the names of used-house stagers from realtors, even though I was selling a far more expensive home. I don't know whether people weren't really using stagers, or realtors were closed-mouth, or what. But I'm hoping for better luck this time.

I do need to look at a homes very similar to mine; just going around the town and checking out places in different neighborhoods in different price ranges will not be useful to me. Over the years I have randomly called stagers based on seeing their work or a recommendation, and usually I get one or two usuable ideas from them, but because every space is different, every staging is different. In this case I'm selling a home that looks like many others very close by, so I should't have to gamble on the talents of the stager. The homes, the sales info, and possibly the pictures are out there, and I can find them. Can I find the realtors and through them the stagers?

Yes, I am a database analyst.

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"But I would like also to plot the track records of individual realtors. The municipal databases don't show who sold the property. Can I answer this question through publicly available info?"

Rather unlikely that private enterprises are willing to reveal this type of data.

It is NOT part of the public record, just like sales contracts are not part of the record.

The public record concentrates around deeds and notes.
Sales prices are not even available everywhere.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 3:42PM
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Good luck with all that. Hopefully you're waiting a couple of years before listing. If you're listing in the near future just remember that price is king.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 11:06PM
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I guess this varies regionally, but around here, the stagers all have cards in the houses, and most realtors have websites that list all of their past sales (and often also the houses where they were the buyer's agent). So you might just try asking and see what you get. If you live in an area served by Redfin, their website also lists selling and buying agents on each sold listing. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 12:29AM
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Thanks for the help. The savviest of the local realtors does appear to have lots of data, so I asked for a list of what they've sold in my area. I'll check redfin, too.

I understand that price is king. That's why I pulled all the scary comps. It ain't pretty when you bought in March 2005. But you have to look at the whole picture. DH is retiring and we'll find a lower RE tax area. The tax savings will really add up over time. And we never would have moved here if not for work -- I'm not going to stay just because of RE prices. I'll get the other side of the price king thing when we buy the next one.

This is a 1970's vintage sub full of original owners who are hanging on. They will be able to sell lower and profit more. I wonder if they will all decide to go at once.

Again, thank you all.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 8:13AM
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I thought most of staging was just clearing out clutter, and minimal decorating. The show I have been watching lately is called -Get it Sold. A show about a stager coming in. The finished result is very nice, but at the end of the show, weeks/months later, the producers say the house still hasn't sold. Granted, the staging will help, but as the producer of the show, I would think they would use homes that have sold -because of the staging!
Good ideas on the show.

I was wondering, is there a specific time period that is routine for the length of time to sign with a realty company? Our realtor had us sign for a 4 month stretch.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 9:40AM
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Any agent should be able to pull up theirs and other agents' past stats from the MLS. I would imagine that a good agent would be happy to show you their own, not so sure if they would pull the other agents' stats for you though.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:14AM
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Four months is being generous to you. Of course, it is regional, but if the avg. DOM is 6 months, you don't take a listing for only 4 months. Here in Charlotte, NC, I take no less than 6 months for a SFH, and 12 months for vacant land.
Staging is way less important now than ever before, IMO. Buyers are looking for value. Just clean, and declutter and price smartly.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 8:31AM
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Thanks ncguy. Our realtor used to live in our subdivsion. (12 years ago) We've known him that long. When he told us the price at which he wanted to list the house, I was very surprised. There's been a huge range in prices, selling in here, for the past year or so, and he went on the high side. I realize it gives room to lower, but still.
We want to take his advice, as it's been a long time since we've done this. Hope it's the right choice. How long do we wait to lower? What determines that?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 10:34AM
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Rule of Thumb:
If you are not getting any showings nor offers, you are way overpriced.
If you are getting a few showings and no offers, you are still overpriced.
If you are getting a decent amount of showings and still no offers, you are geting close to a good price, but still not there.
If you are getting a decent amount of showings, and at least one offer, you are priced right.

Caution... it is a lot harder to tell your freinds that there home is worth less than they might think, as opposed to telling this to a regular client. The worst thing to do in this market is to price it too high to start with and then end up always trying to catch a falling market. If you know that you are going to end up lowering the price later, do it now and get AHEAD of the market.
if I have sellers that insist on a slightly higher list price then recommended, we all agree up fron to reduce the price after 6 weeks. Again, this # is very local.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 10:34AM
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