Over the past few years, the home selling process has continued to change. Homes are advertised on websites like ZILLOW, REALTOR.COM, and HOMES.COM. Public open houses are conducted less frequently in favor of virtual open houses. While print marketing is still quite effective, there is a strong reliance on social media and digital advertising.

Another recent change is how REALTORS® work to meet seller and buyer needs. Many agents now work in teams. Some team members work with sellers, while others work as buyers’ agents exclusively. Some team members support the team as ‘transaction managers’. Their job is to process the contracts and make sure that each step is completed, such as the home inspection or mortgage appraisal.

This team approach can be very efficient for the agents, but does it help the seller? Sometimes the brand name for the team can be confused with the brand name of the actual brokerage. When considering hiring a REALTOR® who works as part of a team, there are many questions a seller should ask:

• What is the brokerage associated to the team and what services are offered to sell my house?
• Does this brokerage have a strong position selling in my neighborhood?
• Who are the team members and how will each of them help to get my home sold?
• What makes this team the best choice to list my?
• What is the marketing plan offered by the team and how is it different than what the brokerage offers?
• Before I decide to hire the team, will I meet all the team members who will be working to sell my house?

Another growing trend is the explosion of new brokerages in our area. Some are boutique agencies that specialize in working with relocation clients or working in specific markets, like the New York Metro area, in towns just 45 minutes outside of the city. Others are discount brokerages that work for reduced commissions because they limit their marketing and support for your listing. You may want to consider a discount brokerage. If you work from home, you may be comfortable showing the property yourself to all buyers and their agents. You may also be skilled in handling the contract negotiation yourself. Here are some important questions to consider:

• What marketing services are offered and how does this differ from ‘full service’ agencies?
• How much money will I save on realtor commissions?
• Are buyer agents from other brokerages compensated if they sell my home?
• How familiar are these agents with my community?
• Do homes listed by discount brokers sell faster or take longer to sell than homes listed by traditional brokerages?
• Do homes sell for higher or lower price when listed by a discount brokerage?
• Does this brokerage have a strong position selling in my neighborhood?
• What type of support is provided, who verifies the buyers’ financial qualifications?

Before deciding, compare these agencies to traditional ‘full service’ REALTORS®. After checking marketing plans, agency market share, negotiable commissions and transaction support, you may be surprised with the value offered to sell your home.

© 2020

About the author

Diane Belcuore

Diane Belcuore

"Diane Belcuore is by nature a hands-on First Responder of the finest caliber. She was the first to promptly respond when I reached out to the NJ Realtors' Association for their top pick, and she has been my digital right-arm, at and on my side throughout the parental-home-selling process, this on a challenging NJ-specific background. She pre-empted my e-questions, giving me guidance in not only a timely but also a customer-savvy fashion. Her highly professional touch is tempered with both kindness and wisdom; this is a rare combination in any field, and I treasure the intangible quality of that very touch. Diane, harnessing her invaluable personal safety net of relay professionals, is a ONE-STOP-SHOP of a realtor. She has an impeccable sense of timing, strategy and tactics - the very person to stand by you when it counts. Who needs Artificial Intelligence when you can just call Diane!" IRENE CYMBAL, MARCH 2020

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