Play Straight While Getting a Realtor – Reprint from Lowell Sun 4/23

James Haroutunian, a real estate attorney, always has a great column in the Lowell Sun.  This has to do with people who prefer selling their homes without a realtor but want to get a realtor’s opnion of the potential home value – which is done through a Comparative Marketing Analysis. His comments are right on.  A “realtor” will invest a number of hours not only meeting with you twice (once initially and again when the CMA is complete) but also preparing the information that you will ultimately use to sell your house.  So it would certainly be appreciated to be honest about your intent.   
Part of the real estate process is building relationships and this is considered one step in that direction

Q: I want to sell my house without a Realtor, but I want a Realtor’s opinion of my home’s value. Should I approach a Realtor under false pretense, or be honest? Also, how do I choose the right Realtor?

A: I polled a few experienced Realtors. All agree that honesty is the best policy.

Each Realtor said some form of the following: “I am happy to make a relationship, which may blossom into a listing.”

Acomparative market analysis, or CMA, is a real-estate agent’s presentation of their opinion of market value. Moreover, a CMA provides agents with an audition of sorts. During the CMA presentation, agents can exhibit their personalities, professionalism and marketing proficiency. This foot in the door plants a seed, which may grow over time.

Folks who attempt to sell their home independently may become frustrated with the process, or be unsuccessful. Should this happen, the first interview often goes to the real-estate agent whose CMA sits in the homeowner’s file.

Some online bloggers warn against honesty, fearing an agent will not provide an accurate opinion. However, my experience with quality agents is different. In order to gain confidence in a real-estate agent, rely upon professional opinions from trusted sources such as mortgage lenders, insurance brokers and real-estate lawyers.

Personally, after 13 years in this business, I have taken part in hundreds (if not thousands) of transactions. This perspective allows me to recommend the proper real-estate agent for the situation. Due to the personal referral, your real-estate agents will be interested in impressing the lawyer as well as you.

Attorney James Haroutunian practices real-estate law, estate planning and probate at 630 Boston Road, Billerica. He invites questions at or by phone at 978-671-0711. His blog is found at http://www.hlawoffice. com.

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