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Finding A Realtor | Entreprelife

Finding A Realtor

Factory For Sale

This isn’t my Grandma’s house either.

(This is part of the Selling Grandma’s House series. For the rest of the series, click here. Also, I wasn’t asked or paid to talk about the ELP program, I just wanted to ).

How do you sell a house when you’re 1,000 miles away? You get someone else to do it for you.

The hard part is finding someone trust­worthy to do the job.

Like any good entre­pre­neur, I didn’t just want to outsource the selling part; I also outsourced finding a good realtor. Well, most of the finding.

Dave Ramsey has a program he calls Endorsed Local Providers. These are accoun­tants, realtors, insurance, health insurance, and invest­ment profes­sionals that have met the insanely high standards Dave puts forth including:

  • Willing to teach newbies (like me).
  • A veteran in their profession
  • Years of success in good and bad climates.

You can’t get much easier than picking a realtor through this site. When you get there, he lists all the options his ELP program delivers. Obviously, we’ll be picking Realtors.

After you click on Realtors, you’ve got a pick which kind of realtor you want. He offers commer­cial (business) and resi­den­tial realty, so if you’re looking to buy or sell property for a business Dave’s got you covered here too.

For our purposes, I’m picking residential.

Next, you’ve got three choices: Buy, Sell, or Both. We’re only looking to sell Grandma’s house, so I’ll ignore the other two and pick sell.

After clicking sell, you’re sent to a form that asks for the lot of personal information:

Your name, address, phone number, email, etc. They also want to know the same infor­ma­tion for the property that’s being sold.

Only give out infor­ma­tion you want the realtors to see. A few people will be sent this infor­ma­tion so consider that as you write every­thing down.

After you’ve finished, the site will give you a list of three realtors for your area that Dave recom­mends. You’ll get these after filling out the form both on the site and in an email. If the realtors are anything like the ones I was recom­mended, they’ll call you about 5 minutes after you hit send.

My Expe­ri­ence

As I said, after hitting send, the site gave me three realtors to choose from. Each realtor came with a website, a phone number, an email, and how much they’d partic­i­pated in Dave’s program. For those of you who haven’t expe­ri­enced Dave Ramsey, he’s got a lot of things you can do: books, classes, online lessons, etc.

While skimming the various websites, I got a phone call from an unknown number. Not surpris­ingly, it was one of the realtors.

He told me about his expe­ri­ence in the area, what compa­rable houses are selling for, and chit chatted with me about various things in the realty world. It was a fun conversation.

While I was on the line, the other two realtors called.

I talked to all them and got their ideas on the property. They had the address and one even went out the next day to check out the house (a quick walk around) so she could give me a realistic offer. I was really impressed by that.

After talking to everyone, it quickly boiled down to two people: Brooke and Steve.

Both are killer realtors from what I’ve been able to find but they sell in different ways. Steven sells to buyers and investors, people who are looking for a deal and hoping the market will shoot back up in a few years.

Brook is a bit different; she’s looking to sell it to someone looking to make this house their home.

Steve’s way should get the house sold signif­i­cantly faster, but would also cut about 10 grand off the sale price.

Brooke will take a bit longer, but thinks she can sell it at a higher price.

In the end, (after talking it over with my grandma) we decided to go with Brooke for a few reasons:

  • The higher sale price will go a long way helping my grandma in the future. She doesn’t have many expenses, but having that extra cushion will be very helpful.
  • We’re not in a huge hurry, and Brooke thinks she can get the home sold in about a month – a time table we’re happy with.
  • Brooke drove out to the property and was patient as my hectic schedule meant I was pretty slow returning her calls and emails.
  • She has a no-penalty contract. So even though we’re signing a 6-month contract, we can get out at any time if things suddenly go south.
  • And while both realtors were helpful, I got a better vibe from Brooke. There wasn’t a bad vibe from Steve, but Brooke defi­nitely had the upper hand as far as intuition is concerned.

Now What?

Now that we’ve chosen Brooke, it’s just a matter of signing some papers, figuring out a price, and getting the place listed.

I’m pretty stoked about this part, since it’s where I’ll start to learn how this realty thing works a bit.

What confuses you most about buying or selling a home?

[Top image by Kevin Dooley under Creative Commons license]

8 Responses to “Finding A Realtor”

  1. Loren Pinilis February 14, 2012 at 10:18 AM #

    She thinks you can get the whole sold in about a month?!? Wow. The market must be pretty good up there.
    Hope it all goes well!
    We just picked an agent that we had heard highly recom­mended by people that we trust in our church. The benefit of not being 1,000 miles away I guess :)

    • Alex February 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM #

      One to two months, but she thinks a month is doable. While Florida was hit pretty hard, there are still a lot of people moving there and since my g-ma doesn’t have any debt on the home she’s not under­water in any way.

      And yeah, if I were selling a home in Dallas I’d probably be asking friends as well. lol :D

  2. Mike Luna February 14, 2012 at 11:26 AM #

    I’ll be honest, I was rooting for Brooke the whole time. Good choice, Alex!

    • Alex February 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM #

      Hooray!

  3. ixnayonthetimmay February 15, 2012 at 3:15 AM #

    When I decided I didn’t want to rent anymore, I too went with one of Dave Ramsey’s ELPs. At first, I was just feeling around, just to see what was out there. After talking with a few, I decided to work with Scott Graff (http://www.thegraffgroup.com).

    While I did sense he wanted me to close, I never felt pressured. He convinced me by showing me that I could get into something much better than I was initially searching for for less money than I thought I’d have to spend. He helped me out by driving me to different prop­er­ties (as I didn’t have a car at the time) and he was there throughout the entire process, from loan orig­i­na­tion to inspec­tions to the final closing and handing me the keys in person. He even gave me a copy of The Total Money Makeover after I mentioned I gave my last copy to my sister. All in all a wonderful experience!

    Not having to short-sell the house does count for a lot, but even then, the 1–2 month time frame is not unprece­dented. Between offer and closing, my trans­ac­tion was done in two months. And this is in Arizona with a similar real estate situation to Florida.

    I am defi­nitely inter­ested in seeing how this selling process works out for you. Thank you for sharing it!

    • Alex February 15, 2012 at 10:34 AM #

      Wow, I’m glad you had such a good expe­ri­ence! I had no idea you’d used and ELP to get your house.

  4. Rachel February 18, 2012 at 11:43 AM #

    I really like that you were patient enough to sort out and balance the options to choose who to use. It can be a scary (for someone like me who is a scardy cat ^.^ O) to trust someone else to handle something of value. I’ll be inter­ested to see what Brooke does to sell the property!

    –Rachel

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