Thursday, June 28, 2007


These questions will go along way in determining if you are going to hire a PRO or not!

1. How long have you been selling real estate?

2. How many homes did you sell last year as seller's agent?

3. Of the homes you sold last year, again as a seller's agent, what was the average number of days from the original list price to the accepted offer?

4. What was the average ratio between the listing price and the selling price?

5. What kind of market share do you and your company have?

6. Do you have a personal assistant?

7. What is your experience selling homes in my town?

8. Can you provide me with at least 3 recent references?

9. I have read the Internet is an extremely valuable tool. How will you market my home online?

10. Do you have your own personal website for marketing homes and is it on the 1st or 2nd page of Google?

11. Do you have a Real Estate blog that will promote my home online and if so is it optimized in the search engines for local Real Estate?

12. When a buyer calls on my home will you ALWAYS be the one they speak with?

13. How will you communicate with me regarding your efforts?

14. How readily accessible will you be?

15. Once the offer is accepted will you be attending all the inspections?

16. How will you verify that the buyer is qualified to buy my home?

17. What are your fee structures and why?


For more great Real Estate information, marketing tips, and advice check out my Real Estate website at Metrowest Massachusetts Homes.

Making Smarter Choices in picking your Real Estate Agent

Choosing your agent for the wrong reasons. Many homeowners are tempted to list with the real estate agent who suggests the highest listing price. Selecting an agent and pricing your home properly should be two mutually exclusive decisions. One of the oldest Realtor tricks in the book, and known in real estate circles as "buying a listing", is a strategy designed to have you sign a contract and then a short time later, ask for reductions until your home is priced properly.

This is not to say that a home should never be reduced, markets do change. Look at the data presented to you carefully through the eyes of a buyer. Market data never lies. * Homeowners should choose an agent with the best marketing plan to sell their home. In the real estate business, an agent with many successful closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced or doesn't do much business. Past success is a great indicator of future success. This point can not be stressed enough...Do you want to be stuck with an unqualified agent who has overpriced your home? A sure recipe for disaster.

Hiring a friend....More often than not when you hear this, you later find out that they are no longer a friend or that their relationship has become strained. Is your friend a Top Producing agent? Helping a friend is great but not at your expense.

Hiring a part time agent....Don't you want an agent that support their family by selling your home? Lets face it; there are a lot of people in real estate who are part time, semi-retired, or have a spouse that supports them. It's not their career.

Shocking statistic....According to the National Association of Realtors 93% of all real estate transactions are done by 7% of the agents that are licensed Realtors. What this statistic says loud and clear is that there are a lot of part time Real Estate agents that don't do much business.The take home message is that selecting a top agent to work with is paramount if you want to increase your chances of being satisfied with the home selling process.

For more great real estate information check out Metro West MA Real Estate

Monday, June 25, 2007

Waste of a Sunday....The public open house.

Yes... I am talking about the waste of time that thousands of agents continue to participate in week after week on Sundays....THE PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE.

Nationally less the 1% of homes sell from a public open house. Serious buyers are most often looking at homes with Realtors. So who goes to open houses and why do agents continue to do them? There are a few reasons for both of these questions. 1st lets address who you can expect to show up.

1. Your neighbors - curiosity gets the best of most people. Expect your nosy neighbor to
be there to compare your place to theirs.

2. The "professional" Sunday open home looker - these are the folks that just like looking at
homes. Homes after all are interesting...they all have there own unique features.

3. The Unqualified - If you are selling a home for $600,000 you expect the potential buyers
walking through to be qualified to spend $600,000 right? WRONG...more often than not the
people walking through will be unable to spend the asking price.

4. The "idea" person - this is the person that will walk through the open house to get "ideas" for
their home...could be decorating, furniture, whatever. This person will most often show up at
the more expensive homes where there are things on a grander scale.

5. The "Robber" - although far less common than the above four, an open house is an open
invitation for a potential robber to case your place prior to coming back to get what they

So why do agents do public open house's....there are a few simple reasons.

1. As an agent chances are pretty strong you will meet a neighbor(see above). This is a great
place to establish re pore for future business. Who knows maybe the neighbor is thinking of
selling their home in the near future. If the neighbor and the agent "connect" it could lead to
future business.

2. An agent could meet a legitimate buyer that can't afford the home they are holding public(see
the "unqualified" above) but may be a buyer at a lower price point.

3. Open houses benefit agents seeking potential additional clients/customers.

4. The seller wants them. A seller will only want an open house if they have not been educated
by a good Realtor on why they are a waste of time. An agent that doesn't do much business
will often "sell" this as part of their presentation to the seller, to get the listing. They tell the
seller how wonderful they are and how much "traffic" will be coming through.

5. An open house is a quantifiable action that shows that the Realtor is making an effort to sell
their home. There are lots of things that agents do behind the scenes to sell homes but this is
the one that is physically aparent.

Is it possible that you may get lucky and sell your home through a public open house?....Sure it is but don't expect it. Again nationally, less than 1% of all homes are sold through a public open house. I have been a Realtor for the last 21+ that time I have sold 2 homes through a public open house. I have been involved in over a thousand real estate transactions during that time. Is it any wonder that you see way more of the Sunday open house signs in a down market than you do when things are selling briskly....think about it.

For more great real estate information check out Metro West Ma Real Estate

Sunday, June 24, 2007

ATTENTION HOME SELLERS - Don't get sued because of bedroom misrepresentation!

According to errors and ommission insurance for Massachusetts Realtors, one of the areas that has drawn the most recent litigation is the misrepresentation of bedrooms when the home is serviced by a septic system.

Septic systems are rated according their bedroom capacity. When someone says the septic system is "rated" for four bedrooms it means that the system will handle the waste generated by four bedrooms.

Where sellers and Realtors get into to trouble is when there are rooms in a home that are counted and marketed as bedrooms when in fact they are not. As an example, you could have a home that has three bedrooms on the 2nd floor and another room on the 1st floor that is called a "bedroom". It may have a closet and a window large enough for a person to fit through - both requirements of being a bedroom.

The problem, however, is that if this home has a septic system that is rated for only three bedrooms, it is not a four bedroom home and should not be marketed as such.

The misrepresentation occurs when the seller or realtor represents this room to be a bedroom through various marketing channels such as the multiple listing service(MLS). The buyer then relies on this information, only to later find out through town hall or other means that in fact it is not a four bedroom home. There are certainly differences in market value between three and four bedroom homes regardless of the overall size of the house.

Another example would be a home that has had an addition and the room added is called a bedroom but there has been no corresponding "upgrade" to the septic system.

As a realtor, whenever there is any doubt about the bedroom count, records should be verified to determine the correct information. This information can be found at the local board of health. You can also view my in depth article about Massachusetts Title V and home selling by clicking the link.

For more great local real estate information check out my Real Estate website that details how to effectively market your home to the masses online at Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Get your Title V done early

As a Realtor who is involved in quite a few home sales it continues to amaze me that many sellers are not getting their title v out of the way prior to putting their home on the market or at least within the 1st few weeks that it gets posted for sale.

The financial burden that a failed septic system creates is fairly substantial for most. Aside from the unexpected financial headache, it also involves digging up your yard to install a new system.
There is testing involved and then sending the system out for bid. I would recommend at least three bids, as in my experience they can vary greatly.

The worst part of this nightmare is if you already have your home under contact and then find out your system has failed. There are times when your new system has to be "raised" due to new title v regs. Most buyers don't want to find a large mound in their yard that they were not expecting.

Here is a neat little video that explains how a septic system works.

Septic System Anatomy

Sound Advice - get your title V done early!

Other related Real Estate articles:
Massachusetts septic bedroom count misrepresentation
Massachusetts Title V

Thinking of selling your Metrowest Massachusetts home and want to work with a top notch Realtor? Check out Metro West MA Real Estate