Why should I contact a real estate professional?
Julie Garton-Good, GRI, DREI

Q:We're thinking about putting our house on the market and wonder if it's worthwhile contacting a real estate salesperson. What exactly would the salesperson do to earn the commission?

A:A good real estate salesperson is worth the commission many times over. When you hire a salesperson, you receive assistance in three primary areas: property evaluation, marketing and contract negotiation.

The salesperson will assist you in determining the proper list price for the property, as well as inform you how to prepare the property for showing. This would include suggesting minor repairs and cosmetic fix-ups which would be important in attracting a buyer.

The salesperson can determine how to best advertise the property, pre-screen buyers and qualify them financially. This frees the seller from being housebound, waiting for the prospect who fails to keep an appointment. It also assures the seller that only qualified buyers are touring the property.

When the offer is made, the salesperson's services really pay off. The salesperson will help the seller evaluate the strength of the buyer and the offer, analyze the terms and conditions of the contract and bring the sale to a successful closing.

If you're confused about which of the many brokerages would be best to sell your house, screen several with these questions: Have you sold properties like this before? Will you provide a marketing plan so that I will know what to expect? What steps do you take to make sure that prospective buyers are prequalified and prepared to buy?

If you don't feel comfortable with a particular agent or brokerage, don't do business with them. Building strong communications between the seller and the company is vital to a successful sale.

Lastly, look for a Realtor® to market your home. This professional not only belongs to the industry's largest professional trade association, the National Association of Realtors® and its state and local affiliates, but is a salesperson who agrees to adhere to a professional Code of Ethics.