Wasilla Real Estate News—Listing Your House For Free

In a previous post in the Wasilla Real Estate News I discussed what we do for FREE! But I was only half finished. That post only covered the work we do up until the time you get an offer. 

After the offer I will help you negotiate the tricky path toward closing.  We will need to respond to inspectors, engineers, appraisers, underwriters, loan officers, title officers, the buyer and their realtor between the date of the initial offer and recording.

  •  After an offer comes in we will usually put together a counter-offer.  In fact, even if the offer is pretty crummy, I recommend countering back with something that would work.  This means that occasionally we counter back with full price and terms…but still counter
  • Sometimes it takes several counters to finally arrive at an agreement.  I think my record is six counters over a three week period.  But hopefully we do finally go into contract.
  • The inspection is the usually the first hurdle.  The buyer normally hires a qualified inspector to look at the house for them.  The inspector ALWAYS finds some issues that he thinks should be addressed.  I help you determine what really needs to be done and what is often just a desire of the buyers.  For example, if the house doesn’t have gutters, the inspector almost always suggests that they be installed.  Gutters are a great idea and often help prevent damage to a home, but are not a code item and won’t be required by an appraiser or underwriter.
  • An engineer will inspect the septic and perhaps the house.  Occasionally an inspector asks that an engineer inspect the structure of a home.  A structural engineer might inspect the foundation or another part of the house.  The septic system will almost always need to be inspected and approved by an engineering firm.  If an engineer discovers an issue you have a real problem.  I will help you determine the best way out.
  • The appraiser will determine value.  The appraiser works for the lender,  but their fee is paid by the buyer…or seller.  The appraiser is NOT an inspector and cannot be depended upon to find hidden defects in a house.  But if the appraiser does call out a safety problem the issue will almost always have to be addressed to keep the transaction from falling apart. And if the appraisal comes in below the sales price, you have a big issue, however, we can usually find a way to work through it.
  • The loan is in process.  While the inspection, appraisal, engineer reports, and title work is progressing the loan is being processed.  This work is done by a loan processor that takes the file from the loan officer.  The loan officer is usually the person who takes your loan application.  The processor verifies your employment, checks the credit, and generally makes sure that everything you need for your loan is gathered together.  It generally takes some time to get the whole loan package together.  Part of our job is to check with the loan officer and loan processor during the transaction to see if we can help get anything done. 
  • The title company makes sure the title is clean. There are often issues that need to be cleaned up on the title before we can close.  Sometimes there are liens that need to be released.  Occasionally there are mineral leases, easements or other items that need to be disclosed to the buyers.  We have a title search done right after we list your property to head these issues off at the pass. 
  • By this time I have made ….ZILCH. 
  • Almost every day we talk to the buyer’s realtor about the transaction.  Often we talk several times a day.  And there are many emails and faxes back and forth.  Communication is very important during this time and it is also important to be able to handle stressful situations without losing your cool.  We always have to remember the our purpose is to help you toward your goal of a successful transaction, not winning our personal argument.
  • Schedule closing at a time and place convenient to you.  Often we will pick up documents in Anchorage to expedite a closing for you in a place that works best for your needs.  The next business day after closing the title company will normally record the transaction. 
  • YOU GET YOUR PROCEEDS CHECK !  And we finally get paid. 

I actually enjoy working by commission because I feel good about being paid for accomplishing a goal.  But in one way, it is the commission system that increases the cost of selling a home.  If Realtors were paid for the work they did whether or not the house sold they could afford to charge lower fees. 

I have toyed with the concept of working on a consulting basis for years.  In fact, I have done it a few times.  Recently I discovered the Accredited Consultant in Real Estate .  I am seriously considering this training with a goal to lower Realtor fees for house sellers and buyers. 

Stay tuned. 

Until then, I still charge 5–7% commission rates depending on the level of service and marketing you feel that you need.