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Let's assume that you are one of the thousands of Victoria area homeowners each year who have decided to sell their home. The decision is never arrived at lightly and you have given careful consideration to finances, what is needed in a new home and where you plan to relocate. How then, do you put your selling plan into action?

For best results, the participation of a REALTOR is an absolute must. The vast majority of residential homes are sold with the help of a REALTOR. Using a real estate professional has numerous advantages over 'going it alone'.

Training and expertise
First and foremost, REALTORS are highly skilled individuals who have completed an extensive training program to receive a license. In addition, a REALTOR's most valuable asset is the ability to meet your demands and look out for your best interests. In short, REALTORS know how to sell your property at the best possible price. To do this they use a number of specialized skills and techniques.

A comprehensive knowledge of the housing market is perhaps the most powerful tool a REALTOR has. A REALTOR will assess your property and use a sophisticated comparative analysis to determine a fair and workable selling price range. This is only the first step. Once an initial price range has been set, a REALTOR will offer a number of valuable tips on how to get the best possible price for your home in the shortest possible time.

Your REALTOR will help develop an overall marketing plan for your property aimed at exposing your home to the maximum number of buyers who would be interested in purchasing a property such as yours. Listing your home on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), along with advertising and open houses are among the options. Once potential buyers have been located, a REALTOR can make your life easier by pre-screening applicants before the time and effort is spent showing your home.

Once a suitable buyer is found, REALTORS can be of immense help during the sometimes stressful negotiation period. They have been through this procedure many times and know the finer points of offers and counter offers. A seller without a professional on his or her side could be at a distinct disadvantage during this process. Having a REALTOR working for you during negotiations keeps you at 'arms length', greatly reducing the anxiety involved in selling and allowing clear, objective decisions to be made.

Once the price has been set and the buyer is ready to close the deal, your REALTOR will assist you in drawing up a legally enforceable contract. The bottom line is that a REALTOR will be with you every step of the way from making your home as attractive as possible and exposing it to the right buyers, to negotiating on your behalf and closing the sale.

This information is provided by the Victoria Real Estate Board for the information and benefit of consumers.

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