Home Decorating and Staging
Insider Secrets to a Beautiful Home



Find a Great Realtor



Find a great realtor.

Selling a home has become very complicated. Lots of laws have been passed to try to protect home buyers from purchasing homes with serious defects or from seller fraud. Even more laws are being passed to protect them from unethical mortgage companies.



Not sure you need a realtor? You may not need a realtor if:

  • You’re up on all the legal implications of selling a home
  • Understand pricing and how to determine the market value of your property
  • Can take pictures and create virtual tours so that potential buyers can view your property online (many buyers find homes online or by driving around the neighborhood)
  • Can place your home on the MLS, advertise, hold open houses, screen showings of the property
  • Know how to prepare a contract and negotiate an offer
  • Are prepared to call for inspection and resolve any issues that occur as a result of that inspection
  • Can hire a title company to deal with all the legal issues of transfer of title and protect yourself legally to ensure that you get fully paid at closing

When hiring a realtor, hire the best you can find. A really great realtor will:

  • Be busy because they get lots of referrals from happy clients, but never too busy to call you back or talk to you about any issues or concerns regarding your home
  • Work as hard as they can for you so that they can sell your home as quickly as possible and they will be totally honest with you about what your home is worth and what you need to do to get top dollar
  • Be just as available after they get your listing as they were before you signed the contract
  • Pay for professional photography, online listing, advertising and either they themselves or an associate realtor will hold an open house every single weekend until you get a contract
  • Invest heavily in marketing to other realtors who are looking for the right home for their clients in order to bring more qualified buyers to your front door

Some of the most successful realtors:

  • Pay for staging consultations for those sellers who need them because they know that homes that are priced right, in top condition, and that outshine the competition get offers quickly
  • They know from experience that the faster they can sell your home, the happier you will be, the more people you’ll tell, the more referrals they’ll get, the more listings they’ll get, the more houses they’ll sell and the more money they’ll make!
  • A successful realtor understands that staying on the market longer than a month is going to cost them and the homeowner money

Why is it so critical to price correctly from the start?

  • If a newly listed property has a lot of showings, but no offers in the first month, there are issues to address and the consequences of not dealing with those issues, or dealing with them too late are a price reduction of the property
  • The first price reduction can be as high as 5% of the listing price (or $10,000 on a $200,000 home)
  • This means a loss of equity for the seller
  • Loss of interest by other realtors
  • Unhappy clients
  • Less commission for the realtor at closing and the possibility of losing the listing if their contract runs out

Realtors spend a lot of money up front when they list a property and they don’t get paid until closing and if they don’t close, they don’t get paid at all.

When looking for a realtor, it helps to find one who’s experienced and successful in your particular neighborhood because they’re more likely to understand pricing in your area and how best to market to your potential buyer.

The price of the same house in the same condition can vary by thousands of dollars depending on its location and under-pricing or overpricing can be very expensive for the seller.

If you under-price, you may sell your home quickly, but you will be selling it for less than it’s worth.

If you overprice, you will stay on the market longer and lose money on house payments and all the other associated expenses of owning a home.

How Do You Find a Great Realtor?

  • Ask friends who’ve recently sold homes
  • Drive around your neighborhood and notice which realtors are frequently listed on For Sale Signs, jot down the numbers and call the realtors who have the most listings
  • Stop by Open Houses in the area and chat with the realtors (when they’re not busy showing the home to potential buyers). Many realtors enjoy the company and always like meeting potential clients
  • Stop in at realty offices in your neighborhood and let them show you around. You can learn a lot about their business practices by seeing how they maintain and manage their office and how they treat walk-ins
  • Interview the ones you like best, ask them for references and check them out

You’re placing the future return of your most valuable investment, your home, in their hands and you have every right and obligation to find the realtor who will help you earn the most money on that investment.

Ask them about their commission and don’t be afraid to negotiate. But don’t disregard a higher commission without thoroughly exploring what you’re getting in return.

A realtor who will work very hard to get your property noticed and sold is worth hiring! You may pay a slightly higher commission, but you will make more money in the long run.

When's the Best Time to Contact a Realtor?

When you first decide you want to sell your home. Before you make any improvements that you think might increase the value of the property, find out what your home is worth.

If you don't think you have the time or skills to stage yourself, you might also consider hiring a home stager. A really good stager can advise you on paint colors, furniture arrangements, accessories, updating lights and fixtures, and any other improvements that will increase the appeal of your property. Most stagers are happy to discuss your project and to provide you with a bid for services at no cost.

Then with the projected asking price as your guide, you can prioritize which improvements will bring you the greatest return on your investment.

Listen to Your Realtor

When you find the realtor that you feel comfortable with, have confidence in and trust to work hardest for you, do everything possible to help them bring you top dollar for your property.

That means, listen to them and do what they say.

This is where the work begins. When you get tired and decide you want to fudge or let a few things slip, strengthen your resolve and work even harder. It will mean more money in your pocket at the end of the day.

You will most likely be asked to:

  • Thoroughly clean the house inside and out (unless it’s already perfect) and keep it that way
  • You may be asked to paint
  • Replace soiled or worn carpet
  • Remove extra furniture, and pack and store many of your personal items
  • And you may be asked to hire a stager, or possibly the realtor will provide you with a staging consultation as part of their listing agreement

Many top realtors team with stagers because staged homes sell fastest. A great stager can make your home look like a model home.

Buyers get excited when they walk into a home that is priced right and looks fantastic. And they start making offers immediately. They know if they don't, someone else will!

And that’s just what you want, a quick sale at top dollar because when you get multiple offers, you can be choosy.

Looking for a Realtor in Denver, Colorado?

Hiring the right realtor will save you money. See who made my list of Best Realtors in Denver Colorado.

Next step: Think like a buyer and deliver their dream home.

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Alex Hinst is the author of Home Decorating and Staging and owner of Alex Hinst Designs, located in Denver's Historic Highlands.

Alex Hinst Designs has hundreds of success stories in both private and investor home renovations and is dedicated to helping you create your perfect home.

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