What should be in listing contract?

Asked by Maude Moore, 08080 Fri Apr 24, 2009

So I'm about to list my property - an estate sale. The comps are fine and pricing seems right. Major company,agent seems good.. But what else do I ask for in contract? Web photos/ads? Weekly newspaper ads? Open House monthly? It's an older home that needs to move and I need to get it right the first time.

Also, is a home warranty an advantage worth getting?
Appreciate any suggestions or tips

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James L Stec…, Agent, Montclair, NJ
Sat Apr 25, 2009
I couldnt say it any better than anyone else has to this point, just to ad a few things though.
A home warranty is always a good thing especially on an older home with aging utilities and appliances.
Discuss it with your agent you may want to put it on up front or use it later as a negotiating tool once home inspection issues arise.
One thing I will say for open houses.If you use a company that promotes open houses utlilize this tool to the max.If one can be done every weekend until it sells all the better.
Although it may be true that the home being held open that day rarely sells at the open house, 3 out of 10 listings do sell as a result of an open house program.(PROGRAM being the key word here)Meaning: if you use a company that has an open house program it means that it coordinates throughout the neighborhoods in which they are being held.(Networking of office & company Agents) Many of us keep a list of all the opens being held in that area that day,and direct people to them according to their needs.
If in your area you have ten open houses it means that agents while not selling the open house they are sitting are meeting buyers in different price ranges and many of them may fit your situation.
They can then be directed by agents at other open houses to your home because they've visited your home during an office caraven and are aware of it's style,details ect.
They may also visit your home with an agent they met an an open house around the block later that week.
The open house also provides critical information to you.How many times are you going to be able to get useful feedback from 10-15 buyers in a 4 hour period. You may not see 10-15 people in 2 weeks.If youre wise you'll use this feedback to get your listing in line with what the public expects of it.
Wichever way you go I think you have received a boat load of good advise here.
I wish you the best of luck in your sale.
0 votes
Gina Chirico, Agent, Fairfield, NJ
Fri Apr 24, 2009

I agree with all the responses regarding price as the #1, most important factor together with marketing and exposure. Did the agent you selected provide you with their marketing plan and show you samples of their marketing of your home, including internet marketing, brochures, mailings, etc? With 90% of buyers starting their search on the internet, you can’t afford anything less than the most cutting-edge tools to market your home. Some still look in the newspapers but the internet is where its at. In addition, buyers demand multiple photos and lots of them, if they don’t see them, they simply move on so make sure there are plenty of photos.

Open houses typically do not sell homes but the agent sitting them may get a few buyers out of it. Lately the turnout at open houses has increased but I think there's a better chance of getting a real qualified buyer through an agent showing them the home vs. an open house.

I provide my sellers with a written marketing proposal and a written commitment of what I will do for them and when it will be done by. Holding myself accountable to the sellers. Accountability is a big part of the listing agent.

As far as home warranty, I sometimes leave that as a negotation tool during the inspection but there is no harm in signing for one now.

Good luck.

Gina Chirico
Sales Associate
Prudential New Jersey Properties
Livingston Regional Office
973-715-1158 cell
973-992-6363 ext 116 office
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri Apr 24, 2009
Hi Maude, One thing you've got right is the importance of getting "it right the first time." THE most important thing to get right is the price - no amount of marketing or effort will sell an overpriced home.

Now on to agent selection and the listing agreement. The agent you choose really does make a difference and so take the time to interview. Even within a company, agents vary greatly. As certain as I am that the systematic approach to selling homes that my company has devised works if it is followed consistently, I am just as certain that it will fail if is not executed well. It comes down to agent effort - it matters a great deal.

Hire a full time agent - you owe it to yourself to have the support of an agent that is fully dedicated to their work.

Insist on a Marketing Plan - have the agent lay out specific activities, frequency and timelines. Ask how often you should expect to hear from the agent with feedback. Talk about pricing and what might trigger a pricing discussion. Exposure is critical - ask the agent how and where he/she will promote your home. Be sure that the internet figures heavily into any plan. Here you are on Trulia Maude - you get it, make sure your agent does as well. Be sure your agent takes lots of photos - good ones - and uses them in the advertising on and off - line.

And also ask, what if you do not deliver on your promises - what recourse do you have.

You are so right that getting it right at the beginning is so important. Although statistically your home may not be expected to sell in 60 days, the fact is that the greatest excitement for any home is during the first 60 days of its listing arrangement - when it is fresh and new. If you blow it during that time, it is a great marketing blunder. Having said that, in spite of our best efforts, sometimes we miss the mark. If you find that this happens, adjust quickly.

Good luck to you Maude - you've asked some great questions!

Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
Marilyn Geig…, , 08034
Fri Apr 24, 2009
Dear Maude,
I agree with Diane. A marketing plan is key. It spells out the details of an agents commitment and as a resource for you to use in case you don't feel all of the items have been implemented.

You of course want a full time agent. Lots of agents in this market have not been able to sustain their business base so a call to their broker to confirm their status in the office would give you the straight story.

The marketing plan should include more Internet exposure than newspaper or print advertising. 82% of buyers look first on the Internet. Newspapers are just to promote the agent and as long as they pay for newspaper or magazine exposure that's no skin off your nose. But just make sure that the majority of their marketing is done on the Internet including CraigsList.com

Open Houses do draw lots of buyers but it doesn't help if your agent doesn't advertise them on Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow and Cyberhomes. I've purchased a "Featured Home" slot on Realtor.com which means my sellers property gets exposure on the first page.

You want lots and lots of pictures and a Visual Tour of the property and the amenities that make it special. You also want to know how (phone or email ) and how often the agent plans on providing feedback. You'll want to have the property address as a website that includes the Visual Tour.

To check out my services visit http://www.ChooseMarilyn.com for more details.

Good Luck with your listing.

Marilyn Geiger
Weichert Realtors
0 votes
Larry Sarlo, Agent, North Wildwood, NJ
Fri Apr 24, 2009
Ask the agent for comps.. The sold comps in the area are what will tell the story. I do a trend analysis and need to also consider REO and short sales in area. that will be your competition However if your property is unique in any way that will also be a factor in appeal. High appeal will win over price. Although everyone today is looking for a bargain. As a listing agent they need to pay attention to your specific goals move it fast price it right. Internet marketing strategy is important. Make sure negotiations will be handled properly; Meaning be comfortable with your agent's communications. Use a stratgy of to keep the house fresh on the market possibly committing to reduction in price after so many days.
Remember anyone can list a property, its selling the property that is the trick. Do not commit to 1 year. If that is the agents strategy to list the property for a year than that is how long it will take. You can always renew your contract. Make sure your property has curb appeal. At least make it have clean un cluttered lines. Get them in the door then they can be sold. Most people are sold or unsold on a home as soon as they see it from the outside curb.

Open houses are good, web presence is important. How exactly will they utilize the web to market your property. Just Realtor.com? Back page Yahoo Trulia Zillow oodle . The most important is craigslist. The power of craigslist should not be underestimated. How you list there is more important.
Thinking outside of the box is very important...marketing! Home warranty's are just OK I am not a big fan of them up front I'd rather use it as a negotiation tool. Put it in up front and you are giving away negotiation tools.. Better to leave it to an offer when trying to keep your price. Hope this helps... Need anything just email me.

Larry Sarlo
Weichert Turnersville
0 votes
Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Fri Apr 24, 2009
If you've decided on an agent, you should have gotten a marketing plan. That would outline exactly what to expect from the agent you are hiring--everything from the web advertising to print to open houses to flyers, etc. This will vary from agent to agent and company to company. And, you might find that the more an agent offers, the more commission you will be charged. If you didn't get a marketing plan, I would certainly ask for one before hiring anyone.

Above and beyond that, you need to find out if you would be released from the listing agreement if you decide the agent is not living up to the promises made and/or you just do not feel comfortable working with him/her.

Hopefully, you've interviewed more than one agent and will pick someone who is full time and can show you the success they have had in your neighborhood. Don't just choose the one who promises you the most $$$. Review the comps and see for yourself which makes the most sense.

Home warranties are cheap and can be reassuring for some buyers. Some listing agents give them to you for free for listing with them.

Good luck with your sale.
Web Reference:  http://www.dianeglander.com
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