The Secret to Selling your Home: Part One

Post written by Kim Cedarstrom, REALTOR®, Roche Realty Group, Inc.

Thinking about selling your home? There is a secret that you need to know that will maximize your chances of selling and will net you as high a return as is possible in the current market. Actually there are multiple parts to the secret. I’ll break this down into three parts. In this installment I’ll cover step one: preparation. Preparation includes determining how and where you will present your property for sale, how you will be represented, and what you will pay for that service.

There is no law that prevents you from selling your own property. There are folks out there who try to sell “For Sale By Owner” all the time. Back when the real estate market was booming, this had some possibility of success. Today this approach is very unlikely to work. Not only has the market turned from seller driven to buyer driven, it has changed its very nature. The real estate market is driven by the internet these days. Currently, we list our properties for sale on over 32 web sites, as well as on our own in-house site. If your property is not exposed to as broad a sweep of the internet as possible, you have very little chance of selling today. There are services that will list your property on MLS as “entry only” for a reduced commission (usually 2.5%). This approach does give some exposure, but it’s minimal and you are left to fend for yourself in all the other aspects of the transaction. By the time you hire a lawyer to check all details, your gain is minimal and you will be stuck with a lot of work.

SECRET PART ONE—Hire a qualified REALTOR© to represent you. How best to do this? Interview and negotiate. Hiring a REALTOR© is the same as hiring any professional, a lawyer, or accountant, or broker. Remember they will be working for you, not you for them. A qualified REALTOR© will market your property, negotiate the sale, and guide you through the closing. During the interviewing process you will negotiate the proposed selling price, the type of agency the REALTOR© will have, the duration of the listing agreement, and the commission you will pay for his/her services. Be careful. Signing a listing contract locks you into a relationship with that REALTOR© for the term of the listing agreement. You will be under contract to that REALTOR© for the period of time stated. Many REALTORS© will take your listing at an unreasonably high price to secure the listing and then return to you shortly asking for price reductions to bring your property down to what it should have priced at in the beginning. This does two bad things. One: Your property is introduced to the market at price which makes it unattractive and will cause it to languish and become stale. “Start high and negotiate” was a mantra you could get away with in a sellers market, not in the current one. Two: You only get one shot at a first impression, and if that impression is a negative one, it is very hard to overcome.

Commissions are negotiable; they are not set by law. In fact it is improper to advertise commission rates. Over the years the standard commissions have been 10% for raw land, 8% for commercial real estate, and 6% for residential. The rate you pay is agreed to by you and your agent. A word of caution, a lower commission may not mean more money in your pocket. A 1% difference in commission in the selling price of a $200,000 home is $2,000; an amount that is easily made up and exceeded by the negotiating skills of qualified REALTOR©. Also, ask yourself if your agent is working for a reduced commission, is their heart really in getting you as much as possible, or in just getting a quick sale. Put yourself in their shoes.

There are different types of listing agreements as well. Every state has its own rules. Here in New Hampshire there are two variations of Exclusive Listing Agreements- “Exclusive Right to Sell/Lease” and “Exclusive Agency Agreement”. The “Exclusive Right to Sell/Lease” is by far the most common. This agreement basically states what it sound like: you have hired this agency to represent you in the sale of your home and you  agree to pay the commission no matter who presents the buyer for the sale. The Exclusive Agency Agreement allows for you, the seller, to bring a buyer to the sale and pay a reduced commission. Very few REALTORS© (in fact I don’t know of a single one) will enter into Exclusive Agency Agreements today. The way I handle this is if you the seller have a hot prospect, but you want me to handle the transaction, we negotiate the commission on that possible transaction. Remember, everything is a negotiation. The other type of relationship which can occur when your listing agent produces a customer who contacts the listing agent directly (not through another REALTOR©). Your listing agent then will represent both parties—the buyer as well as you the seller. This is called “Dual Agency”. Your listing agent must inform you in writing of this relationship so you will be aware of the situation. This is not generally the case, but may happen.

Listing agreement contract lengths are usually in six month intervals—a minimum of six months, usually a year. It’s a lot of work to list a home for sale, and these things take time to market. Again though, remember, these things are negotiable. Also, be aware that all listing agreements have clauses that extend the duration of the agreement to cover any customers exposed to your property by the listing agent during the time the agreement is in force.. What this does is prevent you from striking up a deal with a customer shown your property by the listing agent with out paying the agent for his or her efforts. Be sure to note this time. Most agreements call for a six month period, some a year. Be apprehensive of any longer time. I’ve seen them for as much as three years. I doubt that length of time is defensible, but save the problems and don’t agree to more than a year. Remember also that you are legally obligated to stay in this agreement for the agreed upon duration. This is when agents who list your property at an unreasonable price just to “tie up” your property will apply pressure to reduce your price to where it should have been from the start. Listing at a market driven price would have precluded this sort of pressure and would probably have your home sold by now! Personally, I never hold by clients to the entire term of the listing contract if they have any reasonable reason to terminate.

Choosing who represents you in the sale of your home is also a matter of chemistry. Do you feel comfortable with the agent? Remember you are hiring me, just like you hire a lawyer or accountant. Is the REALTOR© knowledgeable? Does he or present well? Is he or she familiar with the area, neighborhood, and type of housing e.g. second homes?


In conclusion if you want the secret to successfully listing and selling your property, follow these steps: 

             1. List with a REALTOR© you can trust and work with.

            2. Read thoroughly and understand the documents you sign.

 

     If you have any questions, feel free to contact me Kim Cedarstrom at kcedarstrom@roche.g.corvida.com or on my cell at 603-520-6609.

 

    Next time I’ll deal with the second part of the secret to selling your home. The 800 pound gorilla in the room: SECRET TWO—The right price!

Memorial Day

Beyond the BBQ: A Symphony of Remembrance and Summer Joy in the NH Lakes Region

Memorial Day serves as the official kick-off to summer in the Lakes Region. Towns ready ...
Read More →
Welcome to New Hampshire's Lakes Region

Welcome to New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

New Hampshire’s Lakes Region is one of the most stunningly beautiful places in the United ...
Read More →
The Granite State: Top Spot for Relocation in 2024

The Granite State: Top Spot for Relocation in 2024

New Hampshire just garnered major recognition as the best state to relocate to in 2024 ...
Read More →
Real Estate Sales Insights: Lakes Region Market Update

Real Estate Sales Insights: Lakes Region Market Update

It’s hard to believe we’ve already churned through 4 months of 2024. I researched the ...
Read More →
Market Trends – Spring 2024

Market Trends – Spring 2024

As a Realtor®, I’m always paying attention to the real estate market. I’m often asked ...
Read More →
Temperance Tavern in Gilmanton Sold

The Historic Temperance Tavern in Gilmanton Sold

Gilmanton—According to Frank Roche of Roche Realty Group in Meredith, the historic Temperance Tavern in ...
Read More →
Needs and Wants When Buying a Home Balanced

Balancing Needs and Wants When Buying a Home

In the current housing market, where choices are often limited, and demand frequently outstrips supply, ...
Read More →
Only two homes for sale at South Down Shores and Long Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee pictured above

Spotlight on Homes: New Hampshire Market Analysis

At present time, there are 1,007 single-family homes for sale in New Hampshire. The median ...
Read More →
New Hampshire Ranks High in Recent Studies

New Hampshire Ranks High in Recent Studies

Every day in our industry, we see how rising home prices have made it more ...
Read More →
South Down Shores Barn Complex Transformation

South Down Shores Barn Complex Transformation

In 1981, the transformation of Laconia’s scenic South Down Farm began, converting the former 126-acre ...
Read More →
Massachusetts and New Hampshire - a Tale of Two States

Massachusetts and New Hampshire – a Tale of Two States

Most of my articles talk about housing, trends, home values, and the desirable lifestyle we ...
Read More →
Spring flowers at the Belknap Mill in Laconia, New Hampshire

Spring Trends in Lakes Region Properties

It’s been one of those winters, or should I say lack of winters, that we ...
Read More →
Sales Snapshot: The Current Highest Prices Property For Sale in The Lakes Region Is on Governor's Island for $12,998,000

Sales Snapshot: New Hampshire’s Affordability Challenge

As we spring into March and approach our busy spring selling season, I thought I’d ...
Read More →
Gunstock Mountain in Gilford, NH

Gunstock: Gem of the Lakes Region

Nestled among the stoic peaks of the Belknap Mountain range in the heart of New ...
Read More →
Roche Realty Group Announces Top Producers for 2023

Roche Realty Group Announces Top Producers for 2023

Meredith — Frank Roche, president of Roche Realty Group, announced the top five producers for the ...
Read More →
AI and the Future of Real Estate

AI and the Future of Real Estate

Imagine, if you will, looking at a mysterious picture box filled with a whole world ...
Read More →
Prices rise Broadview Condominiums originally sold to the developer for $500,000

Prices Rise Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

We’ve got a great match coming up for this year’s Super Bowl…The 49ers vs. the ...
Read More →
Smart Moves in Condominium Ownership Samoset

Smart Moves in Condominium Ownership

Here in the Lakes Region, a good part of our residential housing inventory is in ...
Read More →
Land Sales Unveiled: New Hampshire's 2023 Market

Land Sales Unveiled: New Hampshire’s 2023 Market

New Hampshire The Granite State… true to its motto, “Live Free or Die”, which encapsulates ...
Read More →
Exploring Cash Sales Dynamics in Lakes Region Real Estate

Exploring Cash Sales Dynamics in Lakes Region Real Estate

I was at a sales meeting at Roche Realty Group the other day, and we ...
Read More →
Roche Realty Meredith

Roche Realty Group Reports Over $150 Million in Sales

               Meredith- Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc., ...
Read More →
Lincoln, New Hampshire Riverwalk Resort

Lincoln, New Hampshire: From Mill Town to Ski Destination

Tucked in the heart of New Hampshire, sprawling across 131 square miles of varied terrain, ...
Read More →
Lakes Region Towns Stand Out For Their Spirit of Giving

Celebrating the Spirit of “Giving” in the Lakes Region

Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of New Hampshire, the Lakes Region stands out not only ...
Read More →
AI's Impact on the future of real estate

Real Estate’s Future: The Impact of AI

The other day, I was talking with my son Chris about the changes in the ...
Read More →
NH Lake Sales Activity - picture of lake with mountains and homes

Lakes Region Waterfront Sales 2022 vs. 2023

We’re getting near the end of the year, and I thought I would pull up ...
Read More →
Winter Snowmobile

Real Estate in a Winter Wonderland

As I drove around the other day with my kids, I was looking at some ...
Read More →
Toys for Tots Drive

Roche Realty Host Annual Toys for Tots Drive

As the holiday season approaches, Roche Realty Group is excited to announce the kickoff of ...
Read More →
Small Business Saturday New Hampshire

Small Business Saturday Living Gratefully in New Hampshire

We have so many things to be thankful for here in New Hampshire: plenty of ...
Read More →
Annie Brown Joins Roche Realty Group

Annie Brown Joins Roche Realty Group

Meredith — Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc., with offices in Meredith and ...
Read More →
Gunstock Mountain in Gilford, NH

Gunstock Upgrades for Winter as Real Estate Shows Resilient Growth

As the leaves of New Hampshire’s forests transition from the vibrant hues of fall to ...
Read More →
Preserving New Hampshire's Lakes

Preserving New Hampshire’s Lakes: A Community Effort

With over 250 lakes and ponds throughout New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, there are unlimited outdoor ...
Read More →
Home Inspections — The Uninspected Abode: A Spine-chilling Tale of Regret and Terror!

The Uninspected Home: A Spine-chilling Tale of Regret and Terror!

One night, not many years ago, in a quaint, somber town nestled amidst the haunting ...
Read More →
Interest Rates

Interest Rates Impacted by Treasury Yields

It looks like the national picture for housing stats has not improved in recent months; ...
Read More →
Local Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions

Local Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions

Our communities are facing a shortage of both residential and commercial properties, a scenario that’s ...
Read More →
Fall Splendor In New Hampshire

Fall Splendor in New Hampshire

New Hampshire in the fall is akin to stepping into a live canvas painting — ...
Read More →
Samoset Condominiums on Lake Winnipesaukee

Condominium Sales Surge in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region!

As we start entering October’s bright fall colors, I thought I’d take a look at ...
Read More →
Empowering your offer

Empower Your Offer in a Sizzling Real Estate Market!

As a seasoned real estate professional, I often consider the market conditions to keep myself, ...
Read More →
Reviews of New Hampshire's Lakes Region

Reviews of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

We’ve had a great summer in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, and we’re approaching the brilliant ...
Read More →
Waterfont Sales Activity Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Waterfront Sales Activity in the Lakes Region

As we head into September, I have compiled data and insight into what is happening ...
Read More →
Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend in The Lakes Region

Labor Day Weekend has arrived, and the weather forecast for the Lakes Region looks fantastic, ...
Read More →
Interest Rates

The Mortgage Interest Rate Dilemma

This past week, we saw an increase in mortgage rates following a rise in bond ...
Read More →
Best State To Live In — New Hampshire at #3

New Hampshire 3rd Best State To Live In!

WalletHub just released its rankings of the best state to live in for 2023. It’s ...
Read More →
City/Town Comparison can make the research process easier

City/Town Comparison For Your Move

Some studies place moving to a new location as one of the top ten most ...
Read More →
New Hampshire Real Estate Lacks Inventory

New Hampshire Real Estate Inventory Crisis

A Multifaceted Analysis of Rising Interest Rates and Beyond New Hampshire is currently facing a ...
Read More →
Peaks of New England

Exploring the Peaks of New England

In my younger years in school, I always loved geography. Living in New Hampshire, there ...
Read More →
Climate Exodus: Insurance Companies Seeking Refuge from High-Risk Sates

Climate Exodus: Insurers’ Fleeing High-Risk States

Flooding, Forest Fires, Heat Waves, Tornados, oh my! The recent stretch of weather has certainly ...
Read More →
Real Estate News Headlines - Lakes Region NH

Real Estate Tidbits to Consider

Here are a few real estate tidbits I’ve pulled to keep you up to speed ...
Read More →
Roche Realty Group Sells out Lakeside at Paugus Bay

Roche Realty Group — 6 Months in Review

Closed sales for the first 6 months of 2023 have been impressive at Roche Realty ...
Read More →
Newfound Lake

Lakes Region Waterfront Sales Activity 6 Month Comparison

Below you will find data and insight into what is happening in sales activity on ...
Read More →
Buying Land

Buying Land in New Hampshire — Comprehensive Guide

New Hampshire, also known as the Granite State, offers a diverse landscape that includes picturesque ...
Read More →

Leave a Comment