In a previous posting on the Wasilla Real Estate News I introduced a discussion of commission rates. I just barely talked about the fact that I offer commission rates between 5%-7%. I am willing to also discuss rates and fixed fee contracts at lower and higher rates?but not in this post.
First, let me tell you what I do FREE OF CHARGE !
- Make an initial visit to your home. I visit your home for a quick tour so that I know what I?m going to research.
- Complete one to four hours of research. The amount of time depends on the uniqueness of your home. After determining the price I call 2?3 other experienced realtors to get their perspective about the market value.
- Meet with you again about the price. This can be done over the phone or by email. If you are ready to list at this point we will meet in person to complete the listing documents.
- Review listing documents with you. I need to have the listing contract, Alaska Real Estate Consumer form, and property disclosure forms completed and signed in order to have a complete listing. Once they are complete we begin working on the active listing. So far I am still working for nothing.
- Take photos of your property. I need your help here to make your house shine. Photos are extremely important and interior photos need to show a clutter free house with furniture tastefully arranged.
- Enter the listing on the MLS, (multiple listing system). I belong to two MLS systems, the Valley MLS and the Alaska MLS. The majority of properties in the Mat-Su Valley are sold by Valley Realtors, but a growing amount of Anchorage licensees are selling Valley property so it is important to belong to both MLS systems.
- Order title search. At this point Jay Van Diest becomes involved. He is also working for you for free since he is also paid on commission. The title search will determine if we need to clean up any title issues before closing.
- Check at DEC, (department of conservation), for well, septic, and asbuilt survey. Now Rochelle Peterson is also working for you. Except she doesn?t work for free, I pay her by the hour ? but you don?t! She physically looks through the DEC files to see what is filed on your property. Hopefully she finds something there, if not it will complicate things on the sale of your home and cause us more work. It is surprising to note that between 1/3?1/2 the homes are missing files at DEC.
- Post your property on my website. I try to put some additional info on my website about your property. This can include your disclosure forms, asbuilt survey, well log, and covenants. It depends what we have gathered so far. I will often post your property soon after it is listed and the add these documents later after we get them from you, the title company and DEC. I urge you to read this post and help me with the accuracy as well as elucidating the features of your property for potential buyers. I?m not proud, I?m happy for the help.
- Put up a sign on your property. This is usually done by Rochelle but Jay or I may do it as well. Other than the internet, this is the most important marketing tool.
- Install a lockbox. This is a Realtor lock box with your key in it so that other Realtors can access your home to show it when you are not home. This is an electronic lock box that I can read to see who has accessed the key and when.
- Review the online sites. By this time your house is in front of at least 97% of the potential buyers. It is on the Valley MLS and AKMLS which are internet based sites for Realtors only. It is also on matsumls.com and alaskarealestate.com as well as realtor.com, valleymarket.com, and a myriad of other sites across the internet that pick up listings from these sites. In addition, links to these sites from hundreds and hundreds of other realtor based websites drive traffic to your property.
- Put it in the Homes and Lands Magazine. This is where the 5% listing starts to differentiate from the 6?7% listings. It will go into at least one Homes and Land magazine at 5% but will usually run continuously at the higher rates. I may also use other print media for the higher commissions. Honestly though, it is the rare buyer who only finds their home through print media these days. Regardless of where it runs, I?m still working for free. Although, by now, I have spent a lot of time and money.
- Arrange showings. Depending on how your property is shown, I will be talking to potential buyers and other realtors about your property, giving them information and arranging showings on your property.
- Follow up on showings. I follow up with other realtors on the showing of your property. This is extremely important in a constantly changing market. We set your initial asking price based on what we could see in the market. But the market is talking to us during the marketing period and we need to listen. Sometimes it isn?t just talking to us, sometimes it is SCREAMING at us. We need to listen and respond.
- Review offers with you. This is where the rubber meets the road and experience helps. I will advise you on the merits of the offer and help you put together a response. I will talk with the Realtor who made the offer, talk with their loan officer if possible, and guide you on the best way to make the transaction work.
- I?m still working for free ? but this post is getting too long so I will continue it later. The next post about working for free will be at least this long.