Choosing a Realtor: As in buying a home, the Realtor you choose to sell it is more important than the company he or she represents. I would recommend first reviewing a real estate magazine and calling 4 or 5 agents whose ads strike you. Judge how quickly you reach them and how they respond to questions over the phone. Ask the 2 or 3 agents that felt most comfortable with to come to your home, give you a presentation and prepare for you a C.M.A. – a competitive market analysis giving you their opinion of the potential sales price of your home. Ask what commission they charge and how long a listing period they require. What special promotional efforts do they employ? Be cautious and critical with claims of fast sales and big volume. When I drive by a home with a sign that says “Sold in 1 Day,” I can’t help but think what they could have gotten in 2 days or a week.

Selling a Home?!

First of all, how much should your home sell for and should you try to sell it yourself? If you hire a Realtor, what commission should you pay and how long a time should the listing contract be as well as other questions such as how the Realtor will market your home, are all important factors. Should you try For Sale By Owner? The number of buyers exposed to your home through a Realtor is 10 to 20 times greater than what you should expect selling it For Sale By Owner. In addition, the steps that must be taken from finding a buyer to actually giving them the keys to the front door are complicated and if not done properly, costly. If you want to try, I suggest you find a Realtor that will help on those terms. Personally, I’ve done a few deals where a seller and buyer have “found each other” on their own and need a professional to put the deal on paper, follow it through to closing and make sure no one “shoots themselves in the foot.” I usually charge 1 to 2% under those circumstances. Another downside to For Sale By Owner, is that the minute you place an ad, for every call from a potential buyer (and I use that term loosely) you’ll get 10 calls from tacky Realtors (me included) that will tell you they are the best thing since George Babbitt.

Regarding commission fees, you’ll find firms that charge as much as 7 or 8% and as little as 2 or 3% and everywhere in between. Personally, I charge 6% and depending on the deal and the circumstances, I sometimes charge less. Regarding the length of a listing, some firms require 6 months to a year, others will take 3 months or less. To be tied to a particular Realtor for half a year to me is a bit long. I recommend 4 months. If the agent has worked hard and does a good job, it should be sold by then. If it’s not, you have the option to try someone else. Why should you choose Phil Bowditch to sell your home? You should not have difficulty finding an agent that will do a reasonably good job and honestly work hard to get you the best price for your home. There are, however, subtle differences in how we go about it. First of all, compare examples of my promotional brochures with those of any other agent you like.

Typical brochure at sign.

No price, no floorplan, no interior photos, no neighborhood or area info.
Important information is purposely left out to force a potential buyer to call this agent, not market this home.

             My brochure at sign.

Front Cover; with price, address, and more photos.
Inside Fold; with lots of interior photos showing this home at its best!

Back cover;
with info. on neighborhood and near by community attractions.

Inside foldout;
with more info. and "most important" a floor plan of the home.

As illustrated, I do better promotional work on my $100,000 homes than most agents do on properties selling for a half million or more. Most ads are destined to make a buyer call the agent, not sell the house. I understand the value of straight and accurate advertising. I give my buyers and sellers the information they need to make intelligent and informed decisions.

Another unique marketing tool I offer is the back cover of THE REAL ESTATE BOOK, which has the largest distribution of all other real estate magazines available, as well as the largest national distribution.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE! When you choose a Realtor, you'll notice that there are a LOT OF US OUT THERE. Finding an agent that will protect YOUR interests is really not that difficult. Although I'm a competitor, I'm also proud of the people in our local Board of Realtors. Traditionally, however, you'll find the agents with more experience in the smaller firms. Of the 1500 or so licensed agents there are about 150 like me who are "Broker" agents with many years of service to the local real estate community. If you want a Realtor who will do the kind of promotional work illustrated above, the list gets "very short". THANK YOU for reviewing this web site, and of course, I hope we have the chance to talk personally.


P.S. Whoever you choose to represent you, make sure he or she is a member of THE VIRGINIA PENINSULA ASSOC. OF REALTORS. They have a very strong ethics code which is enforced rigorously.

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10356 Warwick Boulevard Newport News, VA 23601