Why phone a friend or neighbour?
Because all is not as it seems and they are in it for the money.
It’s tricky isn’t it? Life has thrown you a curve ball or you are simply making a huge lifestyle decision because you realize you need to downsize and move on from the home you have lived in forever. When faced with a move out of your home after years of living there and you feel you have no idea who to turn to for advice, it can seem overwhelming. This may not be you yourself who is moving but mum and dad who need you to help them.
Let’s assume you are not sure of who to speak with because you and your family have had little need for a real estate agent in years. Even your neightbours have lived in their homes for ages. Because you have not had ‘selling our home’ as top of mind, you probably haven’t taken much notice of the signs that have appeared in your neightbourhood. Let’s assume now that a move really is on the cards so it is time for action.
If you have access to a computer, then no doubt you might consider trawling through the real estate sites looking for answers. There are so many sites to check on, some specifically targeting home sellers like yourself, as these ones are trying to get you to choose an agent through them. Why? Because they stand to get a cut of the commission you will end up paying.
Please don’t be surprised by this. You didn’t really think they were just being helpful, did you? Trying to appear unbiased and offering you a selection of agents to choose from?
Here is what happens. There will be an inquiry form for you to complete and your details will whiz through cyberspace to agents registered in their system. You will be given options to supply details directly to said agents or be somewhat incognito until you choose to release those more personal details – eg your phone number.
Whatever the case, this generates a flurry of activity from agents trying their best to impress you with their efficiency of a response to the news that you are thinking of selling. This response by agents may be somewhat daunting if in fact you simply were seeking general information about selling a home and were not actually at the stage of selecting an agent. Nor even ready to speak with them yet. For example, you might be checking commission rates and marketing fees of local agents. However, now that you have logged your details with one of these on line companies, the agent on the receiving end only knows that they need to reply. And you as the home owner will get inundated with calls and emails from eager agents.
Now may be the time to phone a friend or neighbor instead for one of those valuable referrals I often mention. Why? Because even if you feel you don’t know an agent to talk with, someone in their circle will have a suggestion to make. Your local doctor or family solicitor is highly likely to be able to offer you a referral and believe me, that personal contact will mean so much more than the random press of a computer button. People who refer someone are more than likely to have had some personal connection with them and they are unlikely to pass on a name if they have had a bad experience themselves.
This is possibly one of the biggest decisions of your life. It’s your home. You need to be sure about who you are working with so do yourself a favour. Phone that friend, neighbor or relation for a suggestion, a referral. Don’t just rely on the internet!
Photo courtesy Huffington Post UK