Are you thinking of selling your home? If so, you will need professional help to ensure your home gets maximum exposure. A real estate professional makes sure you achieve your goals.
The listing is the beginning of a selling process that includes a well-thought-out and detailed marketing plan, accessibility to a wide range of potential buyers and commitments to professional service. It also means you will receive friendly, helpful advice throughout the sale of your home.
Technically speaking, a listing is an authority granted by you to a real estate broker to act as your agent in offering your property for sale or lease, according to the terms and conditions set out in the listing contract.
When you list your home with a real estate broker, you are entering into a binding agreement with that firm, so it is important to choose a company and a real estate salesperson that you are satisfied with. To find the right firm and individual, try interviewing three REALTORS® and ask them about the services they will offer when they list your home.
What you can expect
Your REALTOR® will conduct a thorough inspection of your property to help determine your home’s market value. He or she will take accurate measurements along with a detailed description of the property.
You will be asked for documentation on taxes, surveys, title deed and mortgage information. As well, it is important for the salesperson to know if there are any limitations on the property which might affect its values, such as rights-of-way.
The REALTOR® will also ask you questions to get a better idea of your sales circumstances (whether you are pressed for time or not) and your expectations.
For instance, you may have no pressing need to sell your home and are willing to wait a year until the right offer comes in. On the other hand, if you are being transferred to another job, you will have more time constraints. These are things your REALTOR® should know so that he or she can recommend a marketing approach that best suits your needs.
The real estate professional also needs to do a market value comparison to see what comparable homes in the area are selling for. You will also decide how long the listing will be for and whether it will be put on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®).
Use of MLS® gives your home maximum exposure in today’s marketplace because it offers the REALTOR® the opportunity to use the facilities and services of other REALTORS® through a system operated by the local real estate board. Only REALTORS® (members of the Manitoba Real Estate Association and WinnipegREALTORS®) have access to MLS®.
Understanding value and price
Before listing your home, you should understand that there is a difference between the market value of your property and the price you ask for. Often, the two are not the same.
For instance, a REALTOR® may estimate the market value of your home to be $120,000, but suggest you list below that amount if you are under pressure to sell. On the other hand, if you are not pressed for time, your REALTOR® may advise you to list it slightly above market value.
One of the most important steps in listing property is for the REALTOR® to develop a good working relationship with you. At this stage, you, the broker and the salesperson are forming a team for the purpose of selling your home.
As an owner you will be responsible for trying to assist in the marketing of your property where possible, without actually becoming physically involved in showings.
The REALTOR® will tell you about preparing the house, arranging showings or open houses and what is involved in an offer to purchase.
Scouting for buyers
Once the listing is complete, the REALTOR® will check his or her contact lists and begin trying to pinpoint and pre-qualify potential purchasers for your home. This way, you avoid an endless parade of unqualified viewers through your house.
If an offer to purchase is presented while the listing is in force and you accept it, you then owe the real estate broker a commission for having used its services.
You should realize that there is usually a clause in listing agreements which obligate you to pay a commission to the listing broker.
(Note: Multiple Listing Service®, MLS® and REALTOR® are registered trademarks of the Canadian Real Estate Association. REALTOR® identifies a real estate practitioner who is a member of the association.)