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When I started as a Realtor, I was told by my broker that every real estate agent should be required to sell their personal home to see what sellers go through. I have done just that, several times! As many of you may know from my bio, I have moved and worked in several places in my 20 year career including 4 states and 14 different cities. While I have learned a lot, here are a few I feel are the most beneficial to sellers.
If your home is priced correctly be ready for multiple showings in the first week and even the first day. With low inventory available in the Shenandoah Valley, several Realtors are having back to back showings. This means homeowners have to be ready not only with their home but being prepared to be away from their home for several hours. In my case, I usually just went to work, but other homeowners plan a fun weekend get away to make their home more accessible to buyers. In addition to time away from home, be prepared to move quickly. The number of days a house sets on the market in our area is easily under 30 days, moving closer to 15 days, so have your plans ready to move on to your new home quickly.
Do not expect the camera on your phone and your photography skills to produce high enough quality photographs to showcase your home. There are two good reasons to use a professional photographer: 1) If you know someone is coming to take photos, you are more likely to ensure your home is "picture perfect," and 2) it helps to sell your home faster and often for more money than comparable homes on the market. The right realtor will provide a professional photographer who knows how to photograph your home in the best way for online marketing. With the current safety precautions in place, video photography, drone photography, or 3D virtual tours are what buyers are expecting to see before scheduling a tour. All of these can be provided by your realtor.
Professional movers are not as expensive as you may think, and for me, made the entire selling and moving experience worth it. When I first started my career, I was more like my own two men and a truck-type mover. However, as I advanced in my career and moving companies became more readily available, the better my moving experiences became. A professional full service moving company will do everything involved in your move; plan it, pack it, load it, transport it, unload it again, and set it all up in your new location! You also will have no worries with buying packing supplies, gathering and discarding boxes, and labeling where all your belongings go. They will take care of all of that. Professional movers will move everything in the home, so just a word of warning, having your home decluttered and ready to show also will help with not taking your "junk" drawers with you to your new home.
Having the Right REALTOR®
A REALTOR® provided me with peace of mind I was getting the best price for my home, at the same time not having to worry about the time between a ratified contract and closing. After interviewing 2 or 3, I chose a realtor that I personally liked and trusted to have open and honest communications with me. Also by choosing a full service REALTOR® I had use of their knowledge and contacts such as professional photographers, painters, landscapers, handy-persons, etc. that I could utilize when negotiating the home inspection or getting my home ready for the market. After becoming a REALTOR® myself, I realized there were more things my REALTOR® was doing on my behalf than I realized. These include negotiating on my behalf without emotion, resolving concerns before conflicts arose, soliciting feedback on showings to offer advice, gathering the needed documents for closing such as the HOA packet or the Covenants and Restrictions, and operating under a strict code of ethics that require REALTORS® to cooperate with each other in furthering clients' best interests.
Having sold a home in a major city, a tourist destination, and recently a lake destination, these are the key takeaways from my experiences as a seller. I hope these tips will make your next move easier.