If you will be selling your house this fall, an early decision will be whether to team with a Rancho Santa Margarita REALTOR® or go the “For Sale by Owner” route. One thing to consider is messaging.

“Messaging” is one of those words that Trabuco Mesa homeowners began to hear a lot after Madison Avenue decided to verbize the noun ‘message.’ I know verbize isn’t a real word, but to me, messaging convolutes English in pretty much the same way.

Messaging rose in popularity about the same time that Hollywood actors and politicians started referring to their own names as their ‘brands’—apparently on the assumption that it makes them sound more valuable. To some of us, it makes them sound more like cattle ranchers.

Nonetheless, since it’s now mainstream to be messaging this and messaging that, whether you’re leaning toward planting a For Sale by Owner sign in the front yard or recruiting a Rancho Santa Margarita Realtor, you should be considering the messaging. Once you know that, you can message like crazy, confident that you’re not sending any wrong signals.

Most of the messaging will certainly be about how terrific it would be to live in the house. The subtexts might be that it’s a fantastic place that’s well worth the price asked; that any owner would be proud to invite friends and relatives over; that it’s clearly a leading contender among other Rancho Santa Margarita homes for sale in its price range.

With messaging in place, your Realtor can create a complete professional listing, then set the ‘For Sale’ sign in the front yard. For those who would rather go it alone, they can figure out how to pay for the listing they create themselves, then plant a ‘For Sale by Owner’ sign out front.

But that could be where the messaging goes a little haywire.

Yes, a For Sale by Owner sign on a Rancho Santa Margarita home announces to the world that the house is For Sale—and that is excellent, unambiguous messaging. But the by Owner part will, for some, carry some additional messaging that’s not quite as positive. Think for a moment about the impression you get whenever you see a house with that sign out front (a nicely printed one…the ones scrawled by hand on poster board don’t even count). Chances are, you are like everyone else: you assume you know something extra about the seller.

The messaging is, at best, This house is for sale by someone who is up front about not wanting to pay for a professional to sell it.

The other messaging takeaways can be less helpful:
  • Professionals haven’t been able to sell this house for the price you’ll be finding out about soon enough is one possibilityThere is also:
  • Here is a bargain, sort of like a yard sale—want to pick over what’s here? Or:
  • This house is going to be cheaper than a real house. Or:
  • Nobody who is professional will be involved in any way. Or:
  • If you’d like to get into a personal bargaining situation with someone who considers himself a shrewd negotiator, here’s your chance!

That kind of For Sale by Owner messaging differs greatly from:

This house is professionally represented—the unambiguous messaging all my “FOR SALE” signs send. You’ve probably seen them around Rancho Santa Margarita (often with a ‘SOLD’ placard attached). They’ve got my phone number on them, but you don’t have to drive around to find it, since it’s right here on the website. You can call me right now!
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FIVE QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR ORANGE COUNTY REALTOR®:

Since way back when good old Hannibal started considering finding a bigger area to house his many elephants, the list of questions to ask real estate agents hasn’t really undergone much change. His first impulse was to choose the Roman Empire, but that didn’t really pan out for him according to history.

If he had simply consulted an experienced real estate agent, he could have possibly picked a more appropriate piece of property and history would have been forever altered. This is just another prime example of how important it is to retain the right real estate agent, but first you have to ask a few pointed questions. So, following is a five-question list to help you with interviewing an Orange County Real Estate Agent. Bear in mind that there are no absolutely hard and fast correct answers in this. In fact, if there were, eventually all real estate agents interviewed would have memorized each and every one of them anyway, so what would be the point, right?

On the other hand, the prime goal of this list is providing an easy method for comparing each contender’s individual response, while also serving to provide a bit of info regarding what state the real estate market in Orange County is currently in. It should also give you the opportunity to see just how functional the communication between the prospective agent and yourself is. Then you should know if he or she fully understood your questions and if the resultant answers were crystal clear. It’s of crucial value for you and your real estate agent to be on the same page, so here’s the list of five questions to ask your Orange County Real Estate Agent:

What is your experience?

First ask your potential agent how long he or she has been working as an Orange Real Estate Agent. Knowledge of all the specific features of the real estate market in Orange County and your specific neighborhood is obviously an important quality for any REALTOR®. Technical glitches that could spell trouble can be avoided when agents have in-depth industry experience in their background.

What success have you had?

Next, ask the prospective agent how successful he or she has been during the past year. It’s always important to know the number of homes that an agent sold followed by asking about the number that did not sell. If your potential agent has logical reasons for those non-sales, or even says that perhaps another approach to selling them could have helped; then this could show that he or she could be a good choice for an agent. One who proves to be receptive to new strategies and analytical about the selling approach, could turn out to be an excellent choice.

How long does it take?

Ask him or her to hazard a guess regarding the length of time that will be required for selling your property. Part of the answer should include the fact that the current days on the market (DOM) related to Orange County Homes For Sale in the specific category your home falls into only serves as an all-purpose guide for your expectations. The suggested asking price for your home should also be discussed at this time.

What’s your marketing process?

Next, ask your interviewee how he or she will market your home. This should include advertising media in both print and online. It’s a sign of true professionalism when the potential agent brings some recent samples for you to look at for a better idea in this area.

Do you use professional vendors?

And last but not least, be sure to ask if he or she will be taking professional photographs. This is essential for showing your prospect that you are well aware of their importance and will also help by putting them on notice that you feel this particular part of the marketing preparation process is a high priority. It also lets the interviewee know that you will be especially conscientious about preparing your home for the upcoming photo shoot.

Remember, hiring an agent should be treated as a job interview and interviewing multiple Orange County Real Estate Agents is a good idea before making that all-important final choice. I’m hoping that you are including me in the mix and that you’ll Call Me Today!
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