If you are a seller interested in knowing what we can do for you to sell your property, here are things you will want to know.
The first question we are usually asked is: "what will it sell for?" We won’t pick a figure off the top of our head. We will come up with an expected market value of your property after inspecting it and entering its data (square footage, acres, amenities, condition, etc (up to a dozen qualities) in our own proprietary valuation program which has proved to be remarkably accurate. We will cross check this valuation with a comparative market analysis of comparable sold properties in the same area with similar characteristics. Between the two we will give you what we believe is a realistic valuation of what it will sell for in a reasonable period of time. If you list the property at a price near enough to that figure, it should sell.
How well and how soon it sells depends a good deal on how it is presented to the public. Here are the multiple ways we do this.
- We photograph your property, measure and computer generate floor plans, record all relevant data, and prepare a 2 to 4 page color brochure on glossy stock for distribution to all interested buyers and inquiring agents. This is an impressive publication (see sample) which buyers appreciate. Do we get results? Yes, our websites (rhblackburn.com and GreatPeriodHouses.com) are prominently listed (usually on the first page) on any internet search for real estate in our region (Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, etc). Our website attracts between 50 and 100 inquiries each day.
- We take this same information and list it on all relevant Multiple Listing Services in our region (Columbia Greene Northern Dutchess MLS, Mid-Hudson MLS, Capital District MLS). This gives any potential buyer or co-operating agent access to photos, plans, surveys, and all data. This has proven to be the most useful of advertising outlets. Like the website, anyone anywhere in the world can find your listing quickly.
- Our print advertising is done in premium real estate publications including the major real estate for sale magazines in our area: HomeBuyers Guide.
- We also publish in Berkshire HomeStyle - the premier regional magazine - our regular column, The Real Estate Report, a guide to home ownership and the real estate market - a lot of very useful advice on how to sell, buy, renovate and enjoy your home. This report has earned us much credibility with buyers and sellers. All issues are also available on this website (the Blog) and, for those who wish to sign up for this no-cost service, we email each issue of the Report to you.
- Our listings appear in the major online website: Realtor.com, Trulia.com, and Zillow.com with multiple photos, continuous. By subscription our listings appear on literally dozens of other websites.
- When you are in our region you will see in public places our Great Period Houses posters, featuring the best period houses in several communities, a promotion for the communities, for home owners, and, of course, for our activities.
- Real Estate signs placed on listed properties are especially useful for attracting buyers who may not have been searching for a house but like what you have. From a sign, buyers can access us by smartphone, email and website. This website also appears formatted for smartphones and tablets.
- We can arrange for broker and agent property tours so that other brokers are working to sell your property too.
- We have convenient access (via our own database) to all property owners (and addresses) in our region so that we can make selective mailing to persons who may wish to know your property is available. Your neighbors may be a valuable source of reference to their friends looking for a home nearby.
- We are your exclusive agent, we owe you the loyalty and trust you require when you entrust your property to us to sell. When we show the property I, as broker, or one of our sales persons will always be there to let buyers in and close up afterwards, then report to you the results. We cooperate with all other brokers who have potential buyers and arrange for them to see your property.
- Handling a sale. We actively participate in the entire process from listing to closing. We are involved (with you) in assisting with the offer agreement, negotiations, contract, attorneys, inspections, financing, appraisal, repairs if any, final walk-through, and the closing. We frequently assist sellers and buyers after a closing.
- We will be with you throughout the process and even after. Both sellers and buyers often ask us to keep in touch through our monthly Real Estate Reports which we can email to you automatically.
- If you have any questions or observations throughout the process you can call (518 758-1788) or email me at any time firstname.lastname@example.org. Being a writer (articles, books) I see my work in real estate as a service to the public as well as a business.
- My education and experience is unusually broad which is helpful to sellers who realize they can have confidence in the accuracy and scholarship that goes into describing their property. Our expertise is evident in books we have written on regional history and architecture include A Visible Heritage, Columbia County NY, A History in Art and Architecture and the recent Rizzoli books Dutch Colonial Homes in America and Great Houses of New England. Another forthcoming Rizzoli volumes will be on early New England architecture.
- As we say “knowledge pays, more than it costs.” The extra expertise we bring to selling homes, especially the period homes we specialize in, brings added value to your property, helping us sell it for more than others may be able to. Our expertise has been recognized by the leading real estate training school on this part of New York State where I give the architectural history course for brokers, sales persons and appraisers.
- Most important to you is the fact that selling your home is a very personal experience. For it to work well you need to know that we can offer you the trust, fidelity, understanding, and good counsel - discussed in complete confidence - to help you achieve your goals.
I am sure you have questions. Talk with me at 518 758-1788 (Kinderhook office) or email at email@example.com. Thank you for getting this far!
If you are a potential buyer and want to know what we will do for you to find you the right property in Columbia, Greene, Dutchess Counties, NY, here are points you will want to consider.
You have already been exploring the Internet for a home in the upper Hudson River Valley. 95% of potential buyers do this in their initial search. For example; searching on "Columbia County NY Real Estate".
- Nearly all properties for sale can be viewed on the Internet, either on Multiple Listing Sites or on real estate agency websites. The dilemma is that there are so many properties and brokers. Where to begin if you don't know the region or the real estate market intimately? Exploring the MLS listing sites (on this websites go to: All Properties For Sale) will show you basic information on nearly all properties for sale. You can call the listing brokers/agents to ask questions and make appointments. Or you can search for broker websites and do the same. At least the principal agency websites will show up on an internet search, but not most of them because they have not tuned their websites to be picked up by search engines. Use the internet to gather ideas about what is available at what price and in which county.
- Brokers and their agents would prefer to sell you a house they have the listing on, that is, they are the exclusive agent for the seller and stand to earn the full sales commission. Does that help you the buyer? Not really. The listing agency owes its loyalty to the seller, not you. They owe you honesty and the disclosure of facts, but they work for the seller. As in a law suit, you have the right to have your own counsel by selecting a broker or agent from another agency to represent you as the buyer. You can go it alone and many do, out of confidence or ignorance, but it rarely costs you more to have your own agent. But out of the hundreds of brokerage agency, how do you select the right one?
- Selecting someone in a real estate agency to be your "buyer's agent" may come through a personal acquaintance you are comfortable with, or from someone a friend or professional has recommended. In either case, check the agency's policies on what they do for buyers. These can be sent to you or, more likely, they will appear on the agency's website (such as the page you are on now). If they don't have a written policy, look elsewhere.
- There are several advantages to having your own buyer's agent. Besides owing you loyalty and honesty (remember seller's agents are essentially in a position of conflict of interest when showing a property to a buyer), they have a great deal of experience in their region so they can quickly answer questions such as: In what townships are we likely to get the best views? Where are the above average neighborhoods? Where are there noise problems? Where are there tax assessment problems? Are there reliable contractors available? Which lawyers, appraisers and inspectors are problem solvers, not problem causers? Where are the best restaurants, medical facilities, culture centers? What do you know about the history of this place, this house, this town? What are the unseen adverse developments which are likely to happen here? These, and a host more of questions, are what a good buyer's agent will help you with. Use them, they are valuable asset
- There are real joys in seeking out a new home. It's a creative activity which should be fun. A knowledgeable agent can paint you a verbal picture of the past, present and future of each location - what is great about a place and what is not. There are caveats you need to be aware of which you can read more about in our Real Estate Reports:
- Why Architecture Matters - How a house becomes a home
- Building a Better Way - Construction Management
- Pearls of Wisdom (finding or creating the ideal home, an architect's ideas)
- From the Broker's Perspective
- Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics (what's really happened in the local real estate market
- Creating the Home
- Learning from Mistakes
- Misconceptions in Buying or Selling property
- Steps and Stones of Buying a Home
- Meeting the Ideal Home
Here is a list of what you should expect of your buyer's agent:
- Prompt response to inquiries and appointments;
- Loyalty and honesty about properties, communities, conditions and real estate policies and procedures;
- A problem solver, not a problem causer: a willingness and ability to dig out answers and issues;
- Close attention to the unseen issues of a property: condition issues, neighborhood issues, title issues;
- Clear presentation and execution of the procedures of buying a property;
- Searching for properties based on the buyer's criteria;
- Making appointments, accompanying buyers everywhere;
- Inspecting properties, observing conditions, standards, grades, amenities; feedback to listing agent;
- Evaluation and comparative market analysis of property values;
- Seeking out new listings which meet criteria; preparing and executing an offer agreement;
- Negotiating over terms of offer (price, contingencies);
- Preparing and resubmitting final offer agreement;
- Following up with lawyers preparing contract, inspectors and tests, survey, mortgage agent, other contingencies;
- Following up on all papers and actions required for closing - inspections and repairs, mortgage application documents;
- Regular reviewing of progress and actions with agent's brokers;
- Attending the closing, following up with buyer re contractor recommendations, repairs and additions;
- Introducing buyers to key persons and organizations in community: professional, personal, social.
No wonder most buyers appreciate having their own buyer's agent!