Agent visit today?

homeseller2010February 14, 2011


My house will be in the market may be this week or so(crossing fingers). It is 1940 sq ft, 3BR/ 2 1/2 Bath 7 yrs young. We are planning to price it for $475,000. Right now there are no similar homes for sale in my area.

We have made necessary upgrades and today Agent(he is also friend) is visiting us to give us some feedbacks.

In his prior visit he had suggested that we should be first going for "Sale by owner"--try for few weeks or so and then move on to Agent.

Question is--Is there any hidden/specific things that we should ask him?

Is there any list?

Who exactly issues the MLS number? City?

Any suggestions/advice welcome.

Thanks in advance.


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I strongly recommend AGAINST for-sale-by-owner in your case, since you don't realize all that you need to do. MLS (where I live) is handled by real estate agents; private sales don't get listed. This is your first problem, since MLS is Visibility at a time when you most need it!

Assuming you have a brochure created, with pictures, this forum will give feedback for you on how to better present your house.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 8:18AM
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Upgrades, yet only 7 years old ?
Is it really worth that much ?
Many parts of a home depreciate, some appreciate(land if good location). I do not care for RE agents(a necessary evil,IMO, but you are probably better off going the full multi-list route (maximum exposure)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 11:03AM
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When we bought this home 7yrs ago, we did not get many upgrades like hardwood flooring, crown molding etc from the builder. These however, have become an essential to even show a home in this market!!! in our area. I could have lived with what we had, it is unfortunate that our age is catching up and we would like to move south. We are in our late 70's and early 80's.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 11:42AM
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"Right now there are no similar homes for sale in my area. "

Seriously? And you live in the US? That seems pretty unlikely.

I'm not sure using a friend as an agent is a great idea. Your agent needs to be objective and they need to be able to tell you things you might not want to hear. Is your friend willing to do that? Is your friendship ready for that challenge? It takes a special kind of friend to tell you your house smells bad or your wife's favorite lamp is an eyesore.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 2:05PM
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I agree with Ottawa. If you don't know the basic questions to ask your realtor, I don't think you should be doing an FSBO. Mistake number two is using a friend as realtor.

As a compromise, if you want to save money on realtor fees, there are realtor companies out there that will list your home on the MLS, but you do the showings. They will do all the paperwork when the house sells for a fraction of the price. Can't remember the name of the discount places right now.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 2:24PM
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bill--Two homes were for sale in past 4 weeks--one similar to mine got sold within 3 weeks of listing, and the other little smaller than mine got offer in the first open house and was in the market only for a week!! Yes, this is in North Jersey US--get the zip--07054. Right now there are no similar homes in my area for sale, this is the reason I am trying to hurry up.
I also feel there is always room for learning. I have done some research regarding the home selling---let me see how that goes in practice. Yeah, there is lot of sites that gives info, however, I kind of get lost sometimes and am always sure I can fall back on this forum.

Thanks till now for the response.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 2:48PM
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"Yes, this is in North Jersey US--get the zip--07054. Right now there are no similar homes in my area for sale, this is the reason I am trying to hurry up. "

A quick zillow search turned up 101 3 bedroom, 2+ bath homes in your zip. From the map, it looks like the zip is only about 3 miles long north to south, so some of them have to be close to you.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 3:36PM
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Below is the link for my Agent Interview Questions for sellers- scroll down to make sure you have the latest copy because I think it was changed. If you decide to use your friend; you need to be certain that your friendship will not suffer. You may want to ask if they've worked with friends before; and you may want to ask if you can see their current listings; you want to check out the photos they take; you want to google the MLS numbers to see what kind of advertising comes up & if you do not like their photos; you may want to ask if you can pay for pro pictures when you 1st sit down. If you do it when you 1st meet; they won't be hurt if you end up not liking their photos. I had 2 agents who's photos sucked bad. Pro pics will probably cost about $250 last time I looked.

Next; I agree with Sparksals on NOT to use a friend as an agent. If your part of NJ is like mine; you need to get it listed asap because the market should be here; people want to find their house by the beginning few weeks of March in order to close by the end of June. Don't waste time because you will learn the hard way like I did & Sparksals can probably remember that I was on the market a full year because we listed in April. When we sold in 2008 we had buyers this week in February with bids coming in; actually had a small bidding war; which we realistically knew the house had to appraise because neither couple would bring $$ to the table if it didn't appraise. We then picked the one with the better loan only to have them change their minds; thankfully the other couple still wanted it.. let me add that they have trashed my house.

If you want to try your hand at making your own flier; send me an email (from member page) & I can share my template which had 2 pages (sample below). I originally got the template off of the Microsoft Office template site & adjusted it a lot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Agent Interview Questions for sellers

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 4:01PM
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Jim, I have to agree you dont sound like the right person to try for sale by owner. What I mean by that, is trying this for the first time in your 70's or 80s on your biggest investment could wind up costing you a lot more than a real estate commission. This economy has brought out the worst in alot of people, thefts, and robberies have been rampant during open houses. Do you really want to open your house to total strangers without the experience to weed out real buyers before they come? In my experience, the majority of the people searching FSBO dont qualify for a mortgage and cannot get an agent to work with them. This is the reason they try the FSBOs. (not all, but a good many). In this market (and its bad in most places including Jersey), exposure is the name of the game. You cannot possibly get the exposure a realtor can get. Your realtor/friend advised you to try FSBO first, did he say why? It could be that you are in a very desirable area and he really is being a friend and is trying to save you the commission. Will he help you along in the process if you get an offer? The other alternative is, he really doesnt believe you will sell it on your own and wants you to feel he is worth the money. Im not sure.

In any event, there was a post here awhile back that a few agents put together as a list of questions. One of the posters put it all together, added a few of her own and posted it. If you search under Roselvr you should find it.

In this situation, I think the biggest question to ask your friend/agent is, Is he a full time agent, meaning he doesnt do real estate on the side. If he isnt, find one that is. You need an agent who has experience in a down market not just someone who has a real estate license.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 4:06PM
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