SUNNY ISLES REAL ESTATE BIGGEST SALES (12-14-18)

 

12-14 2018 Sunny Isles 1

SUNNY ISLES REAL ESTATE BIGGEST SALES

*as of December 14, 2018

12-14 2018 Sunny Isles 2

WE HAVE THE KEY TO YOUR DREAM HOME. CHECK OUT REAL ESTATE PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN SUNNY ISLES .

Call now for real estate inquiries! 305-741-2142 or visit www.ralphmagin.com

#RealEstateMiami #SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateSunnyIsles #SunnyIslesRealEstate
#SunnyIslesEstate  #RealEstateSouthFlorida

Sunny Isles Beach Cultural Trips

Sunny Isles Beach Cultural Trips

The Cultural & Community Services Department plans and organizes monthly cultural trips to different destinations around South Florida. Costs for these trips vary depending on the event, but residents who present their Resident ID Card receive a discount! Bus transportation is provided to and from the events with pick up and drop off at the Sunny Isles Beach Government Center.

Reservations

Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis when full payment is made. Reservations are NOT accepted over the phone. Reservations can be made in person at Pelican Community Park Community Center, Monday to Saturday, 8:30 am to 8:30 pm and Sunday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, or at SIB Government Center.

Waiver forms are available at the Government Center, Pelican Community Park and as a PDF download.

Payment

Payment is accepted in person in cash (bills no larger than $20), credit card (MasterCard/Visa/Amex) or by check. Payments by check sent in the mail must be accompanied by a copy of a valid SIB Resident ID Card. Make checks payable to the “City of Sunny Isles Beach.” Please complete the appropriate payment method section on the Registration and Waiver Forms.

Refunds

Full refunds can be made only when a reservation is cancelled at least 7 days prior to the event trip. When the cancellation is made less than 7 days prior to the event, a refund of the ticket price will be considered only if a replacement has been found to purchase the ticket.

Limited Ticket Purchase

When making a reservation for a cultural event trip, upon verification of residence, a maximum of four tickets may be purchased by one participant. For more information on any particular event, please call Cultural & Community Services at 305.792.1706

Sunny Isles beach 2

Schedule of Upcoming Cultural Trips:

Cultural Trip: Jungle Queen Holiday Dinner Cruise

December 20 @ 4:15 pm – 10:00 pm

Fort Lauderdale

Closing Early – Government Center & Pelican Community Park

December 24 @ 1:00 pm – 11:30 pm

Sunny Isles Beach

Closing Early – Government Center & Pelican Community Park

December 31 @ 1:00 pm – 11:30 pm

Sunny Isles Beach

Cultural Trip: Hamilton

January 15, 2019 @ 6:45 pm – 10:30 pm

Fort Lauderdale

Cultural Trip: Chocolate Festival at Fairchild Garden

January 27, 2019 @ 10:45 am – 4:45 pm

Coral Gables

View more schedules at their website or call them at 305.792.1706.

#RealEstateMiami #SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateSunnyIsles #SunnyIslesRealEstate   #RealEstateSouthFlorida

Check out homes for sale in Sunny Isles. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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How Long Does It Take to Buy a House?

How Long Does It Take to Buy a House?

How Long Does It Take to Buy a House?

There are a lot of steps to buying a house, and that takes time: It takes 50 days on average to just close on a home.

How long does it take to buy a house? A lot depends on how much time you spend shopping for one. But once you have a contract, it takes an average of 50 days to close on a house.

There are a lot of steps to buying a house, and any of them could drag out the timeline, especially if you’re not prepared. Here’s the home-buying timeline, broken down step-by-step, so you can be in control:

1. Do Your Homework

Time: 1-14 days

Dreaming about owning your own home is one thing; making it happen is another. To get beyond the dream stage, you need to do some critical research to help you figure out what you do and don’t want — along with how much can you afford.

It’s mighty disappointing to fall in love with a house only to find out you can’t afford it. A quick chat with your bank can help you avoid that heartbreak — it’s called pre-qualifying. But it’s no guarantee you’ll get a mortgage (that comes later), only an indication of how much you can afford.

2. Find An Agent

Time: 1-7 days

Finding an agent who suits you is key to the home buying process. They should be your most trusted adviser. Look for one with intimate knowledge of your desired community. If they know the inside scoop, they’ll know a great deal (or a bum one) when they see it.

3. Get Pre-Approved for a Loan

Time: 5-8 business days

Getting pre-approved for a loan signals you’re a serious buyer. Most agents recommend you have a pre-approval in hand before you make an offer, and they can offer recommendations for lenders. But pre-approval goes deeper than pre-qualification. It needs a ton of documents from you. A couple of tips to help make this a speedier process:

  • Get all your documents for mortgage pre-approval organized and ready to go.
  • Compare rates from lenders within a 14-day window: Credit bureaus will count all their checks as just one. (That’s good news for your credit score.)

4. Shop

Time: A few days to a few months

Here’s where things really vary. There are so many variables. If you’re set on a particular neighborhood where the inventory is low, it could take longer… or you could discover “the one” on day one. It all depends on what you’re seeking and what’s available. But the typical buyer actively searches for 10 to 12 weeks and looks at a median of 10 homes.

5. Make an Offer, Negotiate, and Sign a Contract

Time: 1-7 days

Work with your agent on price, contingencies, and other terms of the deal. A couple of tips to help make this step proceed smoothly:

  • Include the pre-approval letter from your lender in the offer, and put down earnest money. (Commit 3% to 4% of the sale price instead of the standard 1% to 3%, and you might really put a fire under them.)
  • If you receive a counteroffer, respond ASAP. You don’t want to give another buyer time to jump in with a better offer.

Related: Tips for Making an Offer on a House

6. Get Final Mortgage Approval

Time: A few days to 3 weeks

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage doesn’t automatically mean you get a loan on the home you have under contract. The lender has a few other requirements once the home is chosen, such as an inspection and appraisal. And they’ll want to see even more current copies of your financial documents.

From this point on, the steps to buying a house will often overlap, so you’ll have several wheels in motion.

Related: “I Need 20% Down” and Other Myths About Mortgages

7. Get a Home Inspection

Time: 3-7 days to schedule; 2-3 hours to inspect

As soon as your contract is accepted, contact an inspector to get on their books. The inspection itself will only take two or three hours, but unfortunately, they’re not quite Amazon. They seldom show up the next day.

However, they can get the report to you quickly. Many inspectors take pictures and fill out the report as they go, then send it to your inbox within hours of completion. But it can take up to a couple of days if they’re backed up.

If the inspection turns up issues, it can cause some delays. This can range from a day or two to renegotiate, or longer if, for example, you have an FHA loan that requires certain safety standards. A home with peeling lead paint may need to be repainted, which can take weeks.

Related: A Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers

8. Get a Home Appraisal

Time: Up to 5 days to schedule; a few hours to do the appraisal; up to 5 business days to get the report to the lender

The appraisal is key to getting a mortgage. If the home fails to appraise for the mortgage amount, you may have to put more down or renegotiate the contract. That’s why you want to line up an appraiser as soon as you have a house under contract. And unlike the home inspection, this report goes to the lender instead of you and takes longer because the appraiser has to do additional research on what homes are selling for in the area.

9. Get Title Insurance

Time: 1-3 business days for title check; 2 weeks for insurance policy

Your title company will perform the check, which means they’ll look at deeds and other documents to make sure you will own the home free and clear of any liens or former claims to the property.

10. Get Homeowners Insurance

Time: Up to 2 weeks

Your insurance company may send someone out to assess the property for potential risks, which can take several days. And your mortgage lender may require other types of coverage, such as flood insurance.

11. Arrange for Closing Funds

Time: A few minutes to a few days

Find out from your agent whether you need to bring a cashier’s or certified check or transfer funds digitally. Transfer the funds to the right account, and get your money ready to release.

If you ever receive wiring instructions by email, call your agent or lender to confirm one of them sent it. Call the phone number you have on record for your agent, not the one listed in the suspect email.

12. Conduct a Final Walk-Through

Time: 1 hour, the day of or day before closing

This is your chance to make sure the sellers made any agreed-upon repairs and left the property in as good (or better!) condition than the last time you saw it.

13. Close on the House

Time: 50 days on average; 1-2 hours to actually sign the paperwork

Each step after you’ve got a contract on a home is part of the closing process. And that process —  which includes getting the loan, inspection, appraisal, title, insurance, etc. — takes the average home buyer about six weeks.

When it’s time for the main event, bring your photo ID, and stretch your hand muscles; you’ve got a lot of signing to do! But getting the keys? Takes hardly any time at all.

#RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateMiami #RealEstateSouthFlorida

#SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateExpert #homeselling 

Check out homes for sale in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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Take 5: What to Negotiate when Buying a House

Take 5: What to Negotiate when Buying a House

 

Take 5: What to Negotiate when Buying a House

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home?

  1. Closing costs. Your closing costs are determined by a variety of factors, but you can expect it to be between 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Ask the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs upfront or request a closing credit that can be used to make specific updates and fixes to the home.
  2. Furnishings. Love how the seller has furnished and decorated the home? Buyers often negotiate keeping couches, fixtures, landscaping items, patio furniture, appliances, and more. And many sellers agree, wanting to make the home more appealing.
  3. Inspection and closing timing. Buyer offers that include a quick inspection and close timeline are often more attractive to sellers who have been going through the process for far too long. Just ensure you allow yourself ample time to get your financing in place and complete proper, thorough inspections.
  4. Home warranty. Sellers will often agree to pay the premium on the home warranty at closing and then hand it off to the new homeowner, who is responsible for the deductible on any future claims.
  5. Repairs. Your inspection may uncover small or large repairs needed to bring the home up to standard. You can negotiate to have these items fixed before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover the costs.

#RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateMiami #RealEstateSouthFlorida

#SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateExpert #homebuying 

Check out homes for sale in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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NORTH MIAMI BEACH REAL ESTATE BIGGEST SALES (12-07-18)

 

12-07 2018 North Miami Beach 1

NORTH MIAMI BEACH REAL ESTATE BIGGEST SALES

*as of December 7, 2018

12-07 2018 North Miami Beach 2

WE HAVE THE KEY TO YOUR DREAM HOME. CHECK OUT REAL ESTATE PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN NORTH MIAMI BEACH .

Call now for real estate inquiries! 305-741-2142 or visit www.ralphmagin.com

#RealEstateMiami #SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateNorthMiamiBeach #NorthMiamiBeachRealEstate

 

The Setai Miami Beach

2001 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, Florida

There is always more to explore in the beaches of Miami.  Perfect location for relaxation is something the best offer Miami Beach has to give. The Setai Miami Beach is located at  the heart of South Beach. An oceanfront property created to give the best accommodation and perfect get away from the hustle bustle of the city. The  Eastern Aesthetics compliments the sleek Miami Art Deco that is rich in historical art and unique boast of arts.

The Setai Miami Beach

The Setai Miami Beach will surely take you to a haven of relaxation from the services, facilities and the ambiance that is great for the most intimate time with the special people. It is the perfect image of serenity, grace and timelessness. Experience the best of The Setai Miami Beach at their eastern designed hotel,  best accommodation, popular Pool & Beach Bar restaurant, dining, spa and other facitlities and amenities for a time worth spent.The institution is a proud recipient of the following awards:

 

#1 hotel on Miami Beach in 2013 by U.S. World & News Report

Best for Romance by SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Awards in2012 by Conde Nast Traveler

The Gold List 2012 both US and UK

Readers’ Choice Awards Best in the World

Top 50 Hotel Spas in the US

The Setai Miami Beach

The awards will tell you more of how great it is to stay at The Setai Miami Beach. Grab their special offers by visiting their website. For reservations and inquiries call them at (305) 520 6110 or (888) 625 7500 or email them reservations@thesetaihotel.com.

#RealEstateMiami #SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateNorthMiamiBeach #NorthMiamiBeachRealEstate

Check out homes for sale in North Miami Beach. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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7 Important Repairs to Make Before Selling A House

7 Important Repairs to Make Before Selling A House

 

7 Important Repairs to Make Before Selling A House

The most critical things to do to increase your home’s value before putting it on the market.

As a smart seller, you’ll want your home in tip-top shape — but you don’t want to eat into your profits by overspending on home improvements. You won’t be around to enjoy them anyway. The key is to focus on the most important repairs to make before selling a house to ensure every dollar you spend supports a higher asking price.

“Smaller and less expensive updates in combination with good staging will have a great return,” says Colorado Springs agent Susanna Haynie. But how do you know what things to do before putting your house on the market? Prioritize these updates — and consider letting the rest go.

 

#1 The Most Important Repair to Make Before Selling: Fix Damaged Flooring

Scratched-up wood flooring; ratty, outdated carpeting; and tired linoleum make your home feel sad. Buyers might take one step inside and scratch the property from their list. Want to know how to increase the value of your home? Install new flooring.

“Replace what’s worn out,” says Haynie. “Buyers don’t want to deal with replacing carpet, and giving an allowance is generally not attractive enough. Spring for new, neutral carpeting or flooring.”

If your home already has hardwood floors, refinishing does the job. Expect to spend about $3,000 on the project — and recoup 100% of the cost, according to the “National Association of REALTORS® Remodeling Impact Report.”

Consider swapping any old flooring for new hardwood. This project costs more at around $5,500, but you could recoup more than 90% of that at resale. If that’s not in the budget, any flooring update makes an enormous difference.

 

#2 Fix Water Stains

You’ve learned to live with the results of a long-fixed plumbing snafu, but for buyers, a water stain suggests there could be a dozen pesky problems hidden beneath the surface. That’s why this is one of the things to do before putting your house on the market.

“No buyer wants to buy a money pit,” says Haynie.

First, make sure the problem is fixed: Bring in a plumber to look for leaky piping or poor yard drainage if your basement is damp. Diverting rainwater from your foundation may cost as little as $800, and repairing a leaking pipe costs approximately $300.

As for the repair work, replacing a water-stained ceiling runs about $670, and drywall costs around $1.50 per square foot.

All are cheaper than a lost sale.

 

#3 Repair Torn Window Screens

So super inexpensive — and even DIY-able. You can purchase a window screen frame repair kit from a home improvement store for $10 to $15.

Considering the simplicity of this repair, making the fix is always worth it — and so are other small but highly visible issues. When you’re debating how to increase the value of your home, nix any small problems, snags, or ugly spots that might make buyers scrunch up their brows.

 

#4 Update Grout

Is your grout yellowing or cracked? Buyers will notice. New grout, on the other hand, can make old floors look like they came straight from the showroom

“The best return-on-investment projects before selling a home involve making a home look like new,” says Malibu, Calif.-based agent Shelton Wilder. She recently sold a home above asking price after a complete re-grout.

This is another small fix with a big impact: Simple bathroom re-grouting may cost just $1 to $2 per square foot, increasing to $10 per square foot for more complicated jobs. And if you’re handy, you can save even more DIY-ing it.

 

#5 Resuscitate a Dying Lawn

Nothing says, “This one’s gonna take some work” like a brown, patchy, weedy lawn.

Fixing the problem doesn’t cost a ton of money — and you’ll get it all back (and then some!) once you sell. Hiring a lawn care service to apply fertilizer and weed control will cost about $375. Once you sell the home, that comparatively cheap fix could recoup $1,000. That’s an unbeatable 267% return on investment.

 

#6 Erase Pet Damage

Did your (sort of) darling kitten scratch your bedroom door? Fix the damage before listing your home. Otherwise, buyers may consider the scuffs a canary in the coal mine.

”If you have pet damage, buyers will [then] look for pet stains on the floor,” says Haynie.

Refinishing a door costs between $100 and $215 (or less, if you’re willing to DIY). Replacing pet-damaged carpeting or hardwood may be a bigger job than buffing out some scuffs — but it’s worth the cash.

 

#7 Revive an Outdated Kitchen

A full kitchen renovation is rarely worth it when it comes time to sell — even though buyers love a fresh look. “Kitchens are still one of the most important features for buyers,” says Haynie.

The problem is, this $65,000 upgrade isn’t something that buyers will pay you back for. Sellers recoup about 62% of a full-on kitchen renovation. If you’re updating the space just for your sale, focus on low-cost, high-impact projects instead.

“Updating the kitchen doesn’t need to be expensive,” says Wilder. “Painting wood cabinets, updating hardware, or installing new countertops or appliances could be enough.”

Setting up your home for selling success doesn’t have to be expensive. Focus on the most important repairs to make before selling a house by picking projects that do more than look pretty. Choose updates that get your home in selling shape and justify a higher asking price.

#RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateMiami #RealEstateSouthFlorida

#SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateExpert #homeselling 

Check out homes for sale in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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NORTH MIAMI KEYSTONE SANS SOUCI REAL ESTATE BIGGEST SALES (11-30-18)

11-30 2018 Miami Keystone 1

NORTH MIAMI KEYSTONE SANS SOUCI REAL ESTATE BIGGEST SALES

*as of November 30, 2018

11-30 2018 Miami Keystone 2

WE HAVE THE KEY TO YOUR DREAM HOME. CHECK OUT REAL ESTATE PROPERTIES FOR SALE IN NORTH MIAMI KEYSTONE SANS SOUCI .

Call now for real estate inquiries! 305-741-2142 or visit www.ralphmagin.com

#RealEstateMiami #SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateNorthMiamiKeystone #NorthMiamiKeystoneRealEstate

Check out homes for sale in North Miami Keystone Sans Souci. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

 

 

 

Tropical Madness Art Exhibition

3000 N.E. 151st St. North Miami, FL  33181

 

“A picture is a poem without words” -Horace

Art is a language of freedom expression in a creative way. Everyone needs an outlet of feelings to ease the level of stress or just to relay happiness or to convey opinion on something. In any way, it is a great to feel free to express yourself through art.

The Tropical Madness Art Exhibition is an exposition of art by local artist from Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. These artists shows portrait of native and exotic plant growing in South Florida. Their wonderful masterpieces express hope of appreciation of the natural beauties around us.

Tropical Madness Art Exhibition

The event will be at Florida International University – Biscayne Bay Campus at  Glenn Hubert Library. The exhibition is up until February 3, 2019. Open for all ages without any entrance fee. Come and recognize the magnificent work of art. Who knows this might inspire you to bring out the artist in you and join the artists behind the canvass. For more inquiries on the event, you may contact (305) 919-5718. You may also visit their website at www.tropicalbotanicartists.com.

#RealEstateMiami #SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateNorthMiamiKeystoneMiami #NorthMiamiKeystoneRealEstate

Check out homes for sale in North Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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How to Find the Right Person to Sell Your House

How to Find the Right Person to Sell Your House

How to Find the Right Person to Sell Your House

Your guide to hiring the listing agent who can set you up for success.

Your home is where you’ve lived and loved, where you’ve laughed and cried, where you’ve huddled and snuggled. You’re the pea, your home is the pod. And you’ve been through a lot together.

Now that it’s time to put it on the market, you’re likely experiencing some sadness, plus plenty of anxiety. Because really: How often does your future depend on selling your past? If you’re a little overwhelmed, we don’t blame you.

But there’s also good news: You don’t have to go it alone.

A listing agent has your back when it comes to the financials, like setting a listing price and marketing, staging, and making repairs to your house. He or she can also help you navigate more personal issues, such as your timeline, and what you’re hoping to achieve with the sale.  

For all of those reasons, it’s important to find an expert who is right for you and your specific situation, and who can help you get what you want. Here’s how.

Know What a Listing Agent Can Do for You

Before you start interviewing prospective agents, have a clear sense of what you want to get out of the selling process. When so much money is on the table, it’s crucial to know what your goals are, so that you can find an agent who really speaks to them.

Then, it helps to understand what a listing agent does (other than sell your most valuable asset — no big deal).

The listing agent will:

Work with you to price your home

Market your home (we’re talking pretty pictures, social media promo, cute staging — the works)

Negotiate with home buyers

Usher the home sale through inspection and closing

Now, let’s break all of that down . . .

Pricing your home. This is the BIG question, right? How do I set the price? The short answer is you’ll need to trust your agent to recommend a smart listing price.

So how can you tell whether an agent — a relative stranger to you — is choosing the best price for your home? You need to do two things:

Know, generally speaking, what your property is worth. Do your own research on the prices of local comps, (but understand the limits of online property sites). Run your info by your agent for an informed perspective.

Ask the agent for pricing information on homes he or she has recently sold. Specifically, what the differences were between their listing prices and how much the homes ultimately sold for.

When it comes to the agent’s pricing history, you’re looking for accuracy. Anyone could suggest a high price for your home, knowing it’s what you’d like to hear. But nobody (especially you) wants to have a house languish on the market, or to reduce a price repeatedly.

Marketing your home. The listing agent will also get the word out that your house is on the market, using a combination of old-school (but powerful) marketing techniques — such as direct mail, signage, and open houses — and the modern methods we know and love, like social media. Savvy agents will post pics of your house on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and any other platform that can get likes plus the attention of other real estate agents who can bring buyers to the table.

Negotiating with buyers. When offers start pouring in, your agent will negotiate with prospective buyers on not only the sale price but also on what contingencies (aka special circumstances) are attached to the contract. As with any negotiation, there could be some stressful, fraught moments with the buyers. You’ll want an agent who can step up for you, and who has a negotiation style that you’re comfortable with.

Closing the sale. Once you’ve signed a purchase agreement with a buyer (woo-hoo!), your agent will help you navigate the sale’s remaining steps. This includes negotiating home repair requests post inspection and dealing with any last-minute surprises before closing.

The average listing agent does all of the above. A great listing agent does all of the above, while also inspiring your confidence — that they’re getting the best price for you, and that they’re representing you and your home in the best possible light.

So, let’s talk about how to find and hire that kind of agent.

 

Ask These Questions to Find a Great Listing Agent

Here, time is on your side. Aim to hire a listing agent six to eight weeks — or more — before the day your house is listed on the market (also known as the “go-live date”). You’ll be grateful for the cushion, especially if the agent you ultimately hire recommends that you make repairs or upgrades to your home before it’s listed. (That wouldn’t be unusual.)

To find prospective agents, start with your network. Ask friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues for recommendations. Word-of-mouth endorsements, as always, can be priceless.

You can also turn to another trusted friend: the internet. Property websites such as realtor.com® have directories that let you search for agents in your area. These databases can clue you into important details, such as an agent’s years of experience, number of homes sold, and past client reviews.

Three out of four home sellers only contact one candidate before picking their listing agent, according to a NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® report. While that may be the norm, it’s smarter to shop around. Interview at least three agents before deciding on the one you want to work with.

During the interviews, ask these questions to help assess whether an agent is the right fit you:

  • Do you work as an agent full-time? Like most professions, experience is no guarantee of skill. That said, much of real estate is learned on the job.
  • How long have you been in the business? Generally, the more experience an agent has, the more they’re tapped into the local market.
  • How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood in the past year? You don’t need to find an agent who specializes only in your community, though that would be ideal. You do want someone who has recently sold at least a few homes in your neighborhood and knows the local and hyper-local inventory.
  • What’s the typical price range of homes you sell? Most agents work across multiple price points, but you don’t want an agent who has never sold a home in your range.
  • What’s your fee? An agent should be able to articulate their value and explain their commission rate.  
  • How will you market my home? You don’t want to hire someone who’s just going to stick a For Sale sign in your yard and call it a day. The agent should present a comprehensive marketing plan for your listing — this should include strategies for staging your home, taking professional photographs of your home, promoting the listing on social media, marketing to other brokers, scheduling open houses, etc.
  • Will I be working with you directly, or with a team? Some agents lead or work as part of a sales team. The lead listing agent shares client responsibilities with other agents. Where one agent may handle private showings for a listing, another may host open houses. A benefit is that for the same fee, you get many people working for you. But if you want the sole attention of the listing agent, you may want to stick to a one-on-one arrangement.
  • Will you provide one-on-one service? Whether you’re working with one agent or a team, ask how responsive they can be to you, your timeline, and your goals.
  • How long on average are your listings on market? Your average sold-to-list price? This can help you suss out whether the agent is a solid marketer and negotiator. These are real estate stats that the agent can pull from your local multiple listing service, or MLS.

The bottom-line: It’s in your best interest to pick an agent who understands your goals, fits your personality, and can get your home sold for top dollar. When you meet someone who can offer all of the above, congratulations — you’ve found your listing agent.

First Thing: Know What You’re Signing up For

Now that you know what you’re getting when you find the right listing agent, let’s make sure you know what you’re committing to when you sign that agent’s “representation agreement.”

The most common type of representation agreement is the exclusive right-to-sell agreement — a legally binding contract that states you’re going to use that agent to sell your house. Under this agreement, you’re giving the agent (and the agent’s brokerage) the right to sell the home for a mutually agreed-upon time period and compensation. IOW: You get peace of mind that you have a dedicated agent; the agent gets peace of mind that you’re only using their services. Other common terms include the agent’s duties to you, like marketing, and a dispute resolution plan.

There are other types of representation agreements, where agents don’t have exclusive rights to sell the property — meaning multiple agents can try to sell the home and compete for the commission. However, when agents know a listing is exclusively theirs, they’re fully invested in selling the property (which, again, should also give you peace of mind).

Every contract has an expiration date, but the length of the contract can vary. Some are three-months; others six months. It all depends on what you and the agent agree upon. If the contract expires before your house is sold, you can re-list your home with another agent.

Of course, there’s a chance you sign an exclusive listing agreement but just aren’t satisfied with the job your agent is doing. To protect yourself, make sure the representation agreement has a cancellation or termination clause that lets you void the contract before the expiration date without any financial penalty.

Understand How a Listing Agent Gets Paid

So  . . . at the end of the day, how do listing agents get compensated for their work?

Real estate commissions — including the listing agent’s commission — are typically charged as a percentage of the home’s sales price. For example, on a $300,000 house, a 6% commission would cost $18,000. Commissions are negotiable. The commission is usually split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent as well as their respective brokers.

A caveat: If an agent represents the seller and the buyer, the agent becomes a dual agent and earns both sides of the commission. In dual agency, you may have more room to negotiate the rate — just keep in mind that you’re not being represented exclusively as you are in single agency. You may want to hire an attorney to review documents and help you negotiate.

The listing agent’s commission fee often covers the cost of professional photos, marketing and marketing materials, and any administrative fees charged by the agent’s brokerage.

Also, consider this: Great agents — with their pretty photography, HGTV-worthy staging tricks, and marketing smarts — earn their keep.

So, if you’ve read all of the above, you’ve done your homework to find a great agent. Now you’re ready to sell that house.

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Check out homes for sale in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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