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Smoothing the home sale process with a real estate agent

Jun 6, 2017

You might think that you can manage the sale process yourself, but here’s why you should consider involving a real estate agent to help you.

First and foremost, agents know exactly what the requirements are for selling your home. Real estate sales are governed by many regulations, and you can count on your agent to be familiar with them. Unless you have an extensive knowledge of these regulations, you can get tripped up if you try to do it yourself.

Agents also have extensive knowledge of the real estate market in your community. They know what other homes are selling for—an important factor in pricing your home correctly. In addition, they know what buyers are looking for, how to target the best type of buyers for your particular home, and how to work with buyers and buyer’s agents.

Your agent can be a huge help to you in getting your home ready for the market. He or she will help you select a photographer, stager and other professionals who can present your home to buyers in the very best light. Your agent also will arrange showings and help you evaluate offers and negotiate with potential buyers.

Some real estate agents have particular expertise in working with clients 50 and older. A Senior Real Estate Specialist® or SRES is a real estate professional who has completed an education program and demonstrated the knowledge and expertise to work with older people. The designation is awarded by the SRES Council, a part of the National Association of Realtors®.

So how do you pick your real estate agent? Doing some research will help you find the right one. You might know someone in your neighborhood who has sold a home, but don’t rely solely on recommendations from people you know. Take a look at the rankings for real estate agents near you on sites like

You want to make sure your agent is going to be responsive, so once you’ve developed a list of potential agents, give each a call or email and see how long it takes them to answer you. You may need to contact your agent quickly at some point during the process, so look for someone who responds to your call within four business hours.

According to, here are some other questions to ask as you narrow down your list:

  • How long have you been doing this? You want an agent with at least two years of experience.
  • What were your sales last year? You’ll do best with someone who sells at least 20 homes a year.
  • What percentage of your listings do you sell? You want someone who sells an average of 60 to 80 percent of listings.
  • What percentage of list price do you get for actual sales? You want someone who consistently gets at least 95 percent, and preferably more, of list prices.
  • How will you market my home? Your agent should use websites, listing portals, an email subscription list, social media, fliers, signs, brochures and advertising to let people know your home is on the market.
  • What services are covered in your commission? According to UpNest, a website that helps connect homeowners with local real estate agents, the current average commission on a home sale in the Buffalo area is 5 percent. You will, of course, want to ask how much you’ll have to pay your agent, but you also want to know whether the commission covers items such as a website exclusively for your home or staging. If not, these items can add anywhere from $200 to $2000 to your costs.

Finally, be sure to meet face to face with your top candidates and check references. It’s important that you get along well with your agent. A meeting will give you an idea of whether the person is someone you’ll enjoy working with.

If you’re considering downsizing from your home and investigating retirement community living, you should be aware that there are many advantages to retirement living at one of the Canterbury Woods continuing care retirement communities. What tops the list for many retirees is the freedom from home maintenance chores and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that assistance, if you need it, is right at hand.

Our flagship community, Canterbury Woods Williamsville, offers resort-style living on a peaceful suburban campus. You’ll choose an elegant apartment or patio home in a welcoming community where you’ll find it easy to meet new friends.

Canterbury Woods Gates Circle is scheduled for completion this fall. This unique, modern community offers a high-quality lifestyle in the heart of Buffalo, with state-of-the-art services and amenities, and proximity to the charming, historic Elmwood Village neighborhood and the urban excitement of downtown Buffalo.

For more information about Canterbury Woods Williamsville, please call us at (716) 929-5817 or submit a request here. To explore the opportunities that await you at Canterbury Woods Gates Circle, please contact us at (716) 929-5811 or request information here.

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