Uncategorized July 24, 2017

Selling Lynden, WA Real Estate: What To Ask Your Realtor

If you are thinking of listing your Lynden, WA real estate, chances are you have been scoping out your local Lynden, WA realtors. Choosing a qualified individual to represent you and your home is the first (and most important) step to a successful transaction. After all, a good Lynden, WA realtor will help you not only sell your home fast, but also for the most money. This market is also highly competitive which isn’t just overwhelming for buyers. It can be for sellers as well. When multiple offers are coming in, you may not be sure which one is the best offer for you. A qualified real estate agent can help you go through the offers and select the one that fits your needs. If you pick the wrong realtor, your home could end up sitting on the market and grow “stale”. While some real estate professionals might be offended that you want to ask them a few questions, you should definitely get some information before signing a listing agreement. If you are trying to determine which Lynden, WA realtor is your match, ask them these questions.

1. What credentials make you qualified to sell my home?

At the minimum, your Lynden, WA realtor should have a Washington license and belong to the local association. This allows them access to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service which is where your home is listed and as a result, seen by hundreds of Realtors AND all over the world. Do they have any other certifications that specializes in something specific such as luxury or second resort homes? Are they a member of  the National Association of Realtors®, which requires additional training and following a code of ethics? Do they serve on the local board? How are they involved in the community? Have they been recognized for their real estate success? How long have they been in the business? These are the types of questions that can give you a hint on their involvement in the industry and the community. A Lynden, WA realtor that seeks additional education and finds a way to give back is someone that is likely passionate about the bigger scope of what the term “home” really means.

2. How many homes for sale in Lynden, WA did you close last year?

The answer to this is multi-faceted. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a realtor in Lynden, WA is good or not. After all, market conditions can play a big role. However, it does suggest that enough people have put their trust into them for their real estate needs. Lynden, WA Real estate is a referral business. So if the number of sales is high, chances are that they know what they are doing. If you want a more in-depth answer to this question, ask about their sales volume, how quickly the homes sold, what neighborhoods these homes were in and how close the accepted offers were to the list prices.

3. Do you specialize in specific neighborhoods and areas?

Having a realtor in Lynden, WA that specializes in your neighborhood can give you a huge advantage. They may be aware of certain nuances, amenities or upcoming developments that other realtors may not know about. They also know the past, present and future of this areas real estate market which can be of benefit to a home seller. Listing a home for sale in Lynden, WA also includes selling the neighborhood.

4. How do you decide on the listing price?

The next most important thing after selecting the right realtor, is selecting the right selling price for the current market conditions. Homes that are overpriced can sit too long causing buyers to think there is something wrong. Homes that are priced too low can mean you didn’t get your full potential. A realtor will pull comparable sales from the last 6-12 months which tells you what buyers are willing to pay for a home like yours. This in turn helps you pick a price that is fair which is attractive to buyers. In this competitive market it is more important then ever to select the right price as overpricing can still back fire even with all the demand.

5. Will I be working with you or are you a part of a team?

If your Realtor in Lynden, WA is part of a team, find out who you will be working with. Usually, when an agent is working with a team, that means there is always someone to help you if your realtor is unavailable for whatever reason. Or if your realtor is not a part of a team, but has an assistant, you may be corresponding with them as well. This isn’t a negative in anyway, in fact your Realtor having extra support is a great bonus. However, it is nice to know all the people that will be involved so you don’t overlook communication because you don’t recognize the name.

6. How much does selling cost?

Selling is not free. There are closing costs, commissions and potential repairs depending on how the inspection report comes back. Finding out ahead of time a rough idea of what this will cost can help you plan accordingly. Some realtors will take a lower commission, which sounds appealing at first, but being the listing agent is not cheap. Out of pocket, it can cost a Realtor anywhere from $500-$5000 to market your home for sale in Lynden, WA. Here is a quick break down of the on average costs:

  • Professional photos on average run around $400.
  • Professional staging  on average is about $2500 although can go WAY up depending on the property.
  • Professional post cards created, printed and mailed to your neighborhood/sphere are usually around $400.
  • Professional flyers/brochures created for the flyer box & signage (which also carries additional costs for install) is usually another $400.

Another type of marketing is creating a video of 3D tour of the property. A professional videographer will run around $3000 while a 3D tour is around $500. Of course realtors can do some of these tasks themselves (like the photos and flyers) however the outcome doesn’t always show as well as a professional’s work and it is still time spent. So be leery of anyone willing to reduce their commission to get your listing. Usually a portion of that commission goes towards the cost of marketing your Lynden, WA real estate that is FREE to you.

7. What is your marketing plan?

Speaking of professional photos, staging and postcards, ask a realtor what their marketing plan is. Each professional should have a printed out folder that identifies who they are, the brand they are affiliated with, where your Lynden, WA real estate will be seen and how they plan to get your property in front of buyers whether it be social media or open houses.

8. What do I need to do before I list?

Ask them their professional advice (and don’t be offended) on how to prepare. Do you need to paint? Repair? De-clutter? Will staging services be necessary? A real estate professional will likely have people they have worked with in the past who can do some fixes if you are unable to get your home ready yourself.

9. How do I get ahold of you?

If you two don’t have the same communication style, it may not be a deal breaker but it could be frustrating. Your realtor should be able to correspond in the way you request, but finding out how often they like to reach out, and how, can help you know what to expect. If you just want to know when there is a showing or an offer, tell them. If you want weekly updates via email and phone, tell them. If you just want texts, that is fine too. Also ask if there are certain hours they are unavailable.

10. How long will it take to sell my home?

No agent can guarantee a number, but they can give you an idea based on recent market activity. For example, real estate in Lynden, WA is selling in less than the national average, which is 65 days. One property can throw off the whole average though, so while this is the number for this month, we suspect it will go down due to demand this summer. For more information, give me a call!