How do you plan to market the property?
There are a number of different ways that we will market every property.
One of the most prevalent ways to advertise in today's market is through the real estate search portals. You can see from the E-Marketing Image that we market on every major real estate portal and much more. My listings will even be found on the majority of our competitors' websites.
I also understand that viral marketing can have an impact on a home's sale. The Miller Team is active on most of the social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube.
The Coldwell Banker office in Shepherdstown is one of the few locations in the area which gets frequent walk-ins. Our location, in the heart of downtown Shepherdstown, has a steady flow of foot traffic and window shoppers. Each of our listings is on display and showings can be scheduled on the spot
Images are what sells real estate, and we have professional photography included with every listing. Some of our listings will also include a Matterport 3D tour, aerial photography, and other special features such as display on the Coldwell Banker Previews website and the inclusion in unique digital and print marketing.
What are the local market conditions?
Real estate is hyper-local and trends that are occurring nationally are not necessarily being reflected locally. National market conditions should be considered as a guide for consumer feelings and can influence the prices which buyers are able to afford when borrowing money.
Much of the real estate news for our region is generated from the Washington, D.C. market. Homes in that area demand a much higher asking price than properties in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Regional news is often a forecast of what is to come. As prices increase in the major metropolitan area, buyers will seek more affordable areas in outlying areas such as Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan Counties. If prices fall, buyers will be attracted back towards the city, a consistent job market, and a shorter commute.
Our local market is very seasonal, with the market warming up along with the temperatures. Inventory usually decreases during Winter since buyers will begin shopping after the cold weather breaks. Many houses will come off the market during the down season and will approach the market again during Spring.
Market reports for Berkeley and Jefferson County are provided with up-to-date statistics showing year-over-year comparisons. The reports are provided by AdamMiller.Realtor, RBI Marketing, and MRIS, all free of charge.
For a personalized approach contact your real estate professional.
How much is my home worth?
This is the question that can make or break a listing agreement. Sellers do not always like hearing the truth about what their home is worth and will tend to go with the real estate agent who tells them the highest value.
The truth is that the home is worth what someone will pay for it and the amount a bank will lend. The home should be priced at what the market will bear, and location and condition are the two most determining factors within each market.
In order to accurately determine value, a meeting should be scheduled inside the home. Without that though, I can still provide a reasonable estimate of a home's value based on location and market conditions. There are several automated value tools which will help in that determination. A more comprehensive Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) will be performed for every listing and typically reviewed during a meeting
Some listings are more difficult to determine value. This is usually because of a lack of historical sales in the area, unique features of a property in comparison to neighboring properties, or a blight on the area such as sewer gases, train tracks, or proximity to high-speed traffic.
Could I ask for a higher price?
Sellers never want to "leave money on the table", but asking for a higher price than suggested can lead to extra time on the market and, as research suggests, a lower final sales price.
It seems contradictory, but that higher initial sales price could lead to several price drops before getting a buyer. Several drops in price means extra time on the market, and houses that set on the market are perceived by buyers to have issues. Statistically homes that are on the market longer sell for below fair market value. It is the buyer who determines the market value of the home because that is what they are willing to pay for it. As that "new property on the market" tag falls off the property becomes stale.
Overpricing a home will lose offers which could go to neighboring properties. Often overpricing leads to buyers not even seeing a home during their search. That is frequently the case when surpassing major increments of $50,000 - these are the ranges which buyers search.
Do you work with buyers in my price range?
I take pride in working with all sorts of buyers and have clients which represent the full assortment of price ranges in the area. Regardless of the value of your property, you will be serviced with the same consideration as any other.
What do you know about home loans?
Seems interesting coming from the seller's side but home financing is one of the leading deal breakers when purchasing a home.
It is true that a buyer should have their financials in order prior to shopping for a home, but not all are prepared as much as they think. A knowledgeable seller's agent can sometimes salvage a deal by utilizing alternative financing options and local lender connections.
There are a number of great financing options, both locally and nationally. Great lending programs are important, but more important is the mortgage officer who is tending to the loan.
What are the costs associated with selling?
There are a number of costs involved with selling a piece of property, and how the property is marketed can influence those costs as well.
We will begin with commission. The commission that a real estate agent will charge is based on the level of service that they will provide. There are discount agents who will list your property in the multiple listing system and not represent it. There are agents who will charge for advertising, photography, and each portion of the marketing. Then there are agents who will provide a full-service package of marketing and representation. The full-service package is what most homes need in order to reach their full potential value.
Prior to settlement a number of tests will be conducted. Most of these are negotiable by the buyer and seller so can be taken care of by either party. In our region, it is typical that sellers pay for pest inspection and sewer pumping and testing. In addition, any surveying requirements and lender required repairs are typically handled by the seller of the property.
Beyond the negotiable expenses are the taxes and fees required by the other parties involved in the transaction. A settlement attorney will be necessary for closing in West Virginia and will charge a fee for their services. State transfer taxes will typically be paid for by the seller of the property. Additionally, out-of-state residents will need to file with the state of sale and the state of residency for proper income taxation. Sellers are also responsible for their portion of property taxes, ambulance fees, HOA fees, and any leases that exist.
Most of these expenses will be included on a Seller's Estimated Net Proceeds worksheet. A good agent should be able to identify a return within a few hundred dollars based on the asking price of the property.
Can you justify your commissions?
There are many costs which go into being a REALTOR and even more for being a good one.
Every one of my listings has at least six different people who will be working on it - broker, co-agent, transaction coordinator, photographer, marketing director, and myself. This may seem a lot, but it is the best way to ensure that every customer gets full exposure to the market and the contract oversight which is necessary for smooth transactions.
There are personal marketing expenses to attract more clients. Clients with listings will attract buyers looking to purchase. So personal marketing such as business cards, personal websites, and other advertising attracts a larger pool of buyers, and more success in marketing each listing.
There are also membership fees in order to use the exclusive features which are offered to licensed real estate agents. There are local, state, and federal dues; there are multiple listing system fees which provide a marketplace for selling; there are costs for signs, flyers, and lock boxes.
Real estate agents also have franchising fees for national branding, broker fees for profit and overhead, special program fees to provide incoming leads, and then split the commission with the buyer's agent. Altogether these fees maybe upwards of 75-85% of the gross commission. That is before all of the personal marketing fees necessary to run a self-employed business model.
All things considered, a REALTOR needs to make several sales to come out even.
Does this room count as a bedroom?
Sometimes a room that is used as a bedroom cannot be legally considered a bedroom.
A bedroom must have two means of egress - one of these is typically a window which cannot be less than 5.7 square feet or 44 inches from the ground. A bedroom cannot be accessed through another bedroom and needs access to a bathroom without passing through another bedroom. A bedroom must have a minimum of 70 square feet of living space and be naturally ventilated with a permanent heat source. A bedroom does not need to have a closet, but should otherwise have adequate space for a dresser and wardrobe.
Laws vary from state to state and the above is a generalized statement. The type of loan and the appraisal may further define the requirements for a bedroom.