Getting Started, Common Questions & Concerns
In life, everything has a beginning and an end. The Listing Squirrel promises that we'll be here for from start to close!
- Get on the phone with a Listing Squirrel Agent – Once you decide and purchase a package that best fits your needs and budget, a representative will contact you for initial information such as owners’ legal names, necessary property information, and detailed contact information.
- Discuss Pricing – We help you understand today’s real estate values when setting the price of a listing or making an offer to purchase. Detailed information and reports will be sent to you and reviewed, so together, we can price your home appropriately to maximize your exposure and return.
- Review & Sign – The Listing Agreement and required Documents will be sent to you for review and signature(s).
EVERYWHERE! Name a real estate website that you are familiar with and rest assured that your home will be seen on it when selling your home with The Listing Squirrel! Here at The Listing Squirrel, not only will your home get the same amount of marketing and exposure, if not more, than if it was listed with a traditional agent. Once in the MLS, it then gets “sent” (for all intents and purposes) to website aggregators, or third-party sites such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Yahoo Real Estate, and hundreds of more sites.
Welcome to one of the most frequently asked questions in the real estate industry! We know you want assurance that you are making all the right decisions at the right time, however, this question cannot be answered with a simple or general answer. Every real estate market is different, therefore, the best time to sell a home will be different from one real estate community to another. The general sentiment is that the spring and summer months are the best time to sell a home. Others could argue that fall and winter present less competition. But the fact is, serious home buyers are always looking!
Bottom line, for every home being sold, there is always a buyer and The Listing Squirrel will help make that connection!
Pick up the phone and call us today! We are here to answer your questions, concerns, and help sort through those random Squirrel thoughts!
Pricing & Commissions
Your home can be your greatest asset, so when it comes to selling your home, deciding on a number to put on that value can be complicated. At The Listing Squirrel, it’s our job as your trusted agent, and as real estate experts, to use our knowledge and expertise of market data to assist you in determining what the best listing price for your home needs to be.
All of our Listing Squirrel Packages include a detailed CMA (comparative market analysis) that is an in-depth evaluation of recently sold “comparable” homes in the past 6-12 months. While there is not an exact science to determine what a home will sell for, professionally completed, a “CMA” will take into account many features of not only a home but also the local area and neighborhood, narrowing down the optimal sales price range.
Together, as a team, we work to get the maximum price and the best terms possible for YOU! It is your home and completely your decision!
Good question! The understanding is that real estate agent fees/commissions are how most agents are paid for the homes they sell and/or when they bring a buyer for a home that is being sold. With The Listing Squirrel by your side, when you as the seller set a listing price for the home, you need to take into account commissions and/or fees; it’s the cost of doing business, right?
So let’s break this down! Traditionally, you would account for the selling agent’s commission and the buyer’s agent commission. But with The Listing Squirrel, it is not a variable or percentage – you get to choose your Listing fee! (Action button for packages?)
Once you choose your Listing Squirrel Package, now you have to decide on what you are willing to pay a buyer’s agent that is willing to show and sell your home to their client!
Please note that at The Listing Squirrel we do require that all of our sellers agree to some level of commission for the buyer’s agent should they have one. Again, the percentage of commission is completely up to you as the seller!
Keep in mind that the buyer’s agent is the one taking their clients from home to home and then ultimately “selling them on your home!” SO how much do Buyer’s agent get paid in a traditional transaction? Traditionally, 3% of the sales price in the DFW market, but all sellers can decide one a different percentage.
This is our favorite question!
Think about the traditional transaction where the commission is a percentage (traditionally 6%) of the sale price, where 3% went to the listing agent and 3% went to a buyer’s agent! For example, if the home sells for $500,000, the real estate agent commission of 6% would be $30,000 and split between the two agents.
Now with the same scenario let’s say you choose our Full Service Package, if you list and sell your home for $500,000, The Listing Squirrel is paid the flat fee of $5000 versus the $15,000. And you as the seller choose the buyer’s agent to be 3%, your total commission to list and sell your home is now only $20,000 versus $30,000. THAT IS A $10,000 SAVINGS!
Ready for more reasons to list your home with The Listing Squirrel? At The Listing Squirrel, you get to choose how much you want to list your home for at a flat rate and then you have the potential to pay a flat fee for the buy-side too! In other words, if the buyer calls off your sign and buys your home through us, we only charge you the amount of the package you chose to list for the transaction fee for the buyer’s side! For example, if you choose The Basics Package for $995, and the buyer does not have an agent, we only charge $995 for the buy side to complete the transaction, Essentially, you are avoiding the up to 3% commission that is traditionally paid to a buyer’s agent.
WOW! Do the math on the saving for The Listing Squirrel to work both sides also known as being an itermendiary!
All The NUTS & Bolts – Contracts & Disclosures
We help with all disclosures and contracts necessary in today's heavily regulated environment!
The Texas Property Code requires that most home sellers fill out a Seller’s Disclosure form. The purpose of the form is to disclose any issues with the house you are selling that you are aware of and give the potential buyers information and a historical account of your home.
Yes! Because compliance is a priority, The Listing Squirrel will provide you with the disclosure forms that you are required to provide to buyers.
At The Listing Squirrel, we heed your mother’s best advice: “Honesty is always the best policy.” The seller and the seller’s agent are required to disclose known material facts about the property Thus, you must disclose to potential buyers anything you are aware of in your home.
Texas Property Code does require that most home sellers fill out a Seller’s Disclosure form.
In a nutshell, the purpose of the form is to disclose any issues you are aware of and give the potential buyers information and a historical account of your home. This will include the appliances, as well as information about electrical, heating, sewer, water, or other mechanical systems. As well as latent or hidden defects that are not apparent from a visual inspection, such as the presence of mold, the existence of asbestos or lead-based paint, a crack in the foundation or a prior flooding problem.
But just how detailed should I be or what if I honestly do not know?
Remember, the form is to disclose information that is known. For the most part, sellers are not held responsible if they answer “no” or “unknown” to one or more disclosure questions when it comes to information that is not within the scope of the homeowner’s actual knowledge.
Squirrel translation ~ a seller could legitimately be unaware of serious problems — like a cracked foundation, termites deep in the walls or a roof on the verge of leaking. Under those circumstances, in most cases, you, the seller(s), would not be held responsible.
First and foremost, the answer to this question is: professionally and promptly!
At The Listing Squirrel, we cannot stress enough the value and importance of the concept held amongst real estate agents that “time is always of the essence!” Why is this important? Because delaying or playing games never helped anyone gain anything! So, when it comes to the time to negotiate and act as a buffer with all parties throughout the entire transaction, we also adhere to the highest professional standards and procedures in the real estate industry.
Regarding The Listing Squirrel’s actual procedure, any potential buyers and/or their agent will submit their offer/contract to firstname.lastname@example.org. Then, the seller is presented with every offer via email with noted highlights of what the offer contains. For example, offer price, type of loan, option period days, earnest money, etc. Then, depending on the package you have chosen, an agent will be there to guide you and handle the back and forth communication until terms are agreed upon, and the contract is executed.
The same applies if there are negotiations during the inspection period and/or the appraisal.
There is so much more to real estate transactions then photos, a sign, and going “LIVE” on the Internet!
Bottom Line ~ It’s a NUTTY process!
But Do Not Scurry! At The Listing Squirrel, we have you covered with all of the necessary documents, disclosures, offers, counter-offers, negotiations, essential dates for inspections, appraisals, getting you to the closing table, and so much more.
After closing your first few real estate transactions as a real estate agent, many quickly learned how important it is to have a good title company handling your client’s closings. Independence Title S&K is a firm led by highly experienced title attorneys, specifically dedicated to guiding The Listing Squirrel, their agents, and their valued clients through the title and escrow process. Priding themselves in exceptional communication, Independence Title readily available our company and our clients any time of day, weekends included. Their team keeps all parties informed throughout the process, giving everyone peace of mind that they are being taken care of each step of the way.
At The Listing Squirrel, we know all the time and effort that goes into deciding to buy or sell your home, therefore choosing a team of meticulous experts to go above and beyond in providing peace of mind and trust was of the utmost importance.
Marketing My Home
Most importantly your home goes into the local MLS immediately once you have submitted your photos. Then your home goes “viral!”
Name a real estate website that you are familiar with and rest assured that your home will be seen on it when selling your home with The Listing Squirrel! Here at The Listing Squirrel, not only will your home get the same amount of marketing and exposure, if not more, than if it was listed with a traditional agent. Once in the MLS, it then gets “sent” (for all intents and purposes) to website aggregators, or third-party real estate sites such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Yahoo Real Estate, and hundreds of more sites.
The Sign is another tool to market your home so that people know it is for sale and should call if interested.
Facebook and other social media is another form of Marketing that we use to post your home for sale! At The Listing Squirrel, we do have certain requirements to share your home on social media. Call us today and let’s chat!
No, that is how we protect you from unwanted solicitation calls from other realtors. Only a licensed agent can list a home in the MLS, and as your listing agent, regardless of what package you choose, we will enter your home for sale in the MLS. Furthermore, it is not allowed to mark a listing in the MLS as a “For Sale By Owner.”
No, your direct contact information will only be accessible to other licensed agents that have access to the MLS.
Absolutely! MLS allows for up to 36 photos, and we encourage you to use the maximum amount. You can use a photographer of your choice or use one of our preferred vendors. While we recommend that you have your photos done by a professional real estate photographer, you are also allowed to take them yourself as well.
Showing My Home
WE ARE SO GLAD YOU ASKED! There are several things you need to know before listing your home for sale! When a home is not properly prepared to go on the market, it can put a homeowner at a huge disadvantage.
Remember when your parents said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression?” Don’t think that the same concept doesn’t apply when it comes to selling a home. So you must be prepared and make sure that it is presented in the best possible light for that “first impression!”
DON’T PANIC – We have you covered! At The Listing Squirrel, you will get several resources and lists to follow to get you through this process! From Staging your home, decluttering, the cost versus value on remodeling projects, to top design trends to get your home sold!
This is all part of your “Action to Sell” documents that comes with all our Listing Squirrel Packages!
Only licensed agents! Either the buyer will have an agent that will schedule a showing through ShowingTime, or if a potential buyer does not have an agent that they are working with, a licensed agent from The Listing Squirrel will schedule through ShowingTime to show your home.
While you, as the homeowner, are capable of showing your home, we caution all of our clients to only show to those they know and/or are pre-qualified.
ShowingTime is the top showing management and market stats technology provider to the residential real estate industry. Sellers love ShowingTime because it’s simple to stay informed and easy to confirm appointments. Not only will you be able to receive notifications about showings automatically, but you will be able to see feedback from potential buyers and view all activity on your home during the sales process! At The Listing Squirrel, all of our packages include this service!
Let’s get you showing!