Friday, January 14, 2011

Hire a Local Realtor® and Win

Your brother-in-law is a Realtor® and wants your business when you are considering listing your home for sale. Only problem is, he lives in another city. “No problem,” he says. “I can handle the entire transaction. Besides, I’m only an hour away.”

Is it a good idea to list with him? Sure, he’ll probably discount his commission but what will that minor reduction really cost you in the long run? It doesn’t matter if he’s a stellar Realtor®, if he isn’t from your area, mistakes are inevitable.

Hiring an agent that works in your city is one of the best investments that you can make when selling your home. For example, they know local ordinances; this ensures that you won’t be out of compliance with local ordinances. Your out-of-area agent may put up a for sale sign that could get you into trouble with the city’s code enforcers while a local agent knows exactly what’s allowed.

Many cities such as Long Beach, California require that ALL Realtors® and real estate agents conducting business within the city limits of Long Beach hold a valid business license … does your out-of-area Realtor® have a valid business license for Long Beach? Are they willing to get one? How long would that take?

Local Realtors® know the market and will assist you in pricing your home appropriately. While your brother-in-law has access to area comps, does he know the nuances between all the various neighborhoods? A local agent most certainly does and can price your home appropriately.

What happens when you need something? Can your brother-in-law come over right away? What if someone calls to see the home when they are driving by the sign? Can he be there within fifteen minutes? Will the potential buyer have to wait an hour or more? What if you run out of flyers? How long will you have to wait before new ones are put into the box out in front? A local agent is just minutes away and ready to serve.

The Multiple Listing System (MLS) is one of the most powerful tools any Realtor® can use. Your out-of-area agent should use it to list your home so that other agents can find it. Problems sometime arise when out-of-area agents accidentally places the home in the wrong area. What if he lists your home in his locality out of habit?  If that is the case, when local Realtors® have buyers in your city, your home won’t pop up when they search the MLS! Likewise, Realtors® in other cities will see your home and dismiss it because it’s not in the correct area where their buyers are searching for homes.

Does your out-of-area Realtor® have a regular advertising contract with local advertisers? Your brother-in-law might be a genius in HIS city but does he know yours?

What does an incorrect MLS listing or lack of suitable advertising mean to you? Qualified buyers won’t even know your home exists. Your home will languish on the market and you will be forced to lower your price. As your listing grows older, the few buyers who DO find your home will wonder why it has been on the market for so long.

When the time comes to list your home for sale, instead of hiring an out-of-town Realtor®, hire a local one and give your home the best advantage possible. If your brother-in-law offers his services, suggest that he refer a local agent to you instead; he’ll get a referral fee and you’ll get a local professional realtor to sell your home. This is a win-win for everybody!

For more information about what a difference a local Realtor® can make, just give me a call at 562-882-1581 or visit my website at 

Allison Van Wig©

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