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Ben Hoefer's Advice

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  • 9 Contributions
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Ben Hoefer wrote:

Does anyone know how to change the square feet listed on zillow?
It's been changed on home information page but not updating to the public profile and it's been a few days.
July 23 2010
(0)

Has the Housing Market bottomed out in your neighborhood?

Response
Seattle as a whole is down from last year. We saw a large increase in pending sales in the first third of this year along with a small increases in price. I am not yet thinking we are at the bottom though. The tax credit helped boost sales and since the beginning of of May we havfe seen a a much lower amount of pending sales and purchase loan applications I think we are near the bottom, but not quite there. The markets I believe will see an increase in sales over the next 6 months will be in the $500,000-$1,000,000 range as they were not falsely increased by the tax credit, many high paying jobs are coming into the area, and as interest rates are projected to rise, many people will be looking to take advantage of these rates and keep their payments low if they will live in it long term. Very high end and luxury homes are beginning to sell again as well. I believe we'll see the bottom late next winter, although it will be a slow recovery even from that point on.
June 10 2010
(0)

If a realtor finds a buyer, is he entitled to a percentage?

Answer
This question would likely best be asnswered by a local real estate attorney in your state or area as rules and laws change in different areas and states. If you're in Washington (many states have similar rules), I'll help explain your possibilities. If you are a for sale by owner, there is likely no obligation to pay a commission if you have not signed or communicated anything related to a commission to the agent that brought the buyer. There may be legal issues with this as the agent may be the procurring cause, but if nothing was agreed upon in beforehand it may be tough to prove.In speaking as a member of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS)  in Washington, the standard listing contracts clearly state that the listing agent will receive the entire commission on the close of the sale unless another member of the NWMLS brings forward a buyer. In that situation the buyers agent will receive the advertised commision listed on the NWMLS. In example, if the full commission was 6% (all commissions are negotiable) of the sales price and a buyer walked in off the street that was unrepresented, the listing agent would be entitled to keep the entire 6% commission. If another agent, who is a member of the NWMLS, brings an offer that is accepted, the listing agent would be required to pay the advertised selling office commission to the buyers agent. This is commonly half of the full commission but again all commissions are negotiable. If someone brings a buyer and contract forward that is not a member of the NWMLS, for example a real estate attorney, the listing agent is not required to give any of the full commission to them.Many other states and MLS's have similar rules, but check your local rules and any listing contracts you signed.Finally, although a single agent may be entitled to the full commission, it may be a talking point with them before accepting an offer if they will be willing to change the original contract. I typically would adjust that amount if I was representing both as I would then not truly be able to represent each side to the fullest.Hope this helps and feel free to contact me with further questions.
June 10 2010
(0)

If a realtor finds a buyer, is he entitled to a percentage?

Answer
This question would likely best be asnswered by a local real estate attorney in your state or area as rules and laws are different in different areas and staes. But if you're in Washington (many states have similar rules), I'll help explain your possibilities. If you are a for sale by owner, there is likely no obligation to pay a commission if you have not signed or communicated anything related to a commission to the agent that brought the buyer. There may be legal issues with this as the agent may be the procurring cause, but if nothing was agreed upon in beforehand that may be tough to prove.In speaking as a member of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS)  in Washington, the standard listing contracts clearly state that the listing agent will receive the entire commission on the close of the sale unless another member of the NWMLS brings forward a buyer. In that situation the buyers agent will receive the advertised commision listed on the NWMLS. In example, if the full commission was 6% (all commissions are negotiable) of the sales price and a buyer walked in off the street that was unrepresented, the listing agent would be entitled to keep the entire 6% commission. If another agent, who is a member of the NWMLS, brings an offer that is accepted, the listing agent would be required to pay the advertised selling office commission to the buyers agent. This is commonly half of the full commission but again all commissions are negotiable. If someone brings a buyer and contract forward that is not a member of the NWMLS, for example a real estate attorney, the listing agent is not required to give any of the full commission to them.Many other states and MLS's have similar rules, but check your local rules and any listing contracts you signed.Finally, although agents may be entitled to the full commission if they represent both the buyer and the seller, it may be a talking point with them before accepting an offer if they will be willing to change the original contract. I typically would adjust that amount if I was representing both as I would then not truly be able to represent each side to the fullest.Hope this helps and feel free to contact me with further questions.
June 10 2010
(0)

how do i find a reliable realtor or seller's agent that specializes in short sales in my area?

Answer
Experience is key here but certifications and designations play a big role as well. Find an agent with a proven track record in selling short sales as well as a creditable designation. There are a lot of designations out there that sound similarly beneficial, but have completely different requirements. Find out how much experience the agent has in short sales and what it takes to get the designation they have. A three hour course may get them a similar sounding designation as a week long course that can really benefit you in your sale. I believe if an agent is serious about selling short sales, they would want to learn as much as possible to benefit their clients and get a designation. 
June 09 2010
(0)

are realestate commissions negotiable when listing a home for sale?

Answer
Lots of good answers here! Commisions are negotiable, as in most fields the lowest will typically not have the best result. Focus on your bottom line, and select the agent you think will best represent you and your property for their price. Interview several and see what each offers for their fee. In addition, follow up with them once it is listed to make sure they are doing what they promised. In most cases you get what you pay for, and the more questions you ask the better chance you have at that.
June 09 2010
(0)

If I list my home as a For Sale By Owner, am I getting a reputable service?

Answer
Hi Zack,You're on the right track of asking specific questions and educating yourself before making a decision. There is one great reason for listing for sale by owner; the comission. Saving on commission reduces costs of the sale, but you'll have to decide if it will benefit your bottom line. The For sale by Owner online listing will get you the exposure in the MLS which is probably the most important portion of getting your home seen by potential clients. The bad portion of listing by owner is that is all you get. You will have marketing costs yourself that will not be reimbursed if the property does not sell, and you may put yourself in additional liability without having an agent or legal guidance when dealing with contracts. The truth is some agents charge a large commission and don't do much addtional than what a For Sale By Owner online listing will do. Although, a knowledgable and experienced agent will typically get you more money for your home in addition to reducing your liability of something disastrous occuring. Keep in mind that you likely won't have to pay anything to an agent if the property does not sell while if you list FSBO you will be out the company listing fee, potentially have to offer the buyers agent a commision most likely, and all your marketing costs will not get paid back. For sale by owner can be an excellent route for some people as the end result can be very positive with a higher return at closing, but I believe a good agent is worth it. If you do decide to list with an agent, make sure to interview several and pick the one that is going to represent your home the best. Do as much research online as possible if you decide to sell it yourself. There are great staging ideas, flyer templates, and advice that can help you out throughout the web. HGTV.com and stagedhomes.com are a few of my favorites. Also, make sure to get great photos for your online exposure.
June 09 2010
(0)

How do I find a realtor that will SELL my house?

Answer
The Local MLS can have these statistics for you, but I don't think that is the best question to be asking in finding an agent. A solid track record is key, but the most sales doesn't always relate to the greatest service and top dollar for you. Make sure to see their marketing plan and previous marketing pieces to make sure your home will be shown it's best. Ask for their average day on market, percentage of successful sales to listings, and what their sales price/list price percentage is.  
June 09 2010
(0)

Why should I choose you to sell my home?

Answer
Make sure to see your potential agents marketing plan before selecting them and a few example marketing pieces of theirs. Professional photos are key to a successful sale now that everything searches on the internet. Ask them to include their average days on market and percentage of listings that have sold. That is a good test of letting you know if they are giving you the correct price or if they are just giving you a inflated price to just get the listing. I could refer you an agent in the area if you would like.
June 09 2010
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