SERVING THE ENTIRE IOWA AND ILLINOIS QUAD CITIES ............................................................




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Have a question? The answer is just a call or e-mail away. Contact us at tom&cyndee@quadcitiesrealestate.com

We know you want to sell your home for the most money, in the shortest time and with with least inconvenience. If you want serious advertising and effort from your agent, call or contact us for a FREE MARKET ANALYSIS of your present home. We are both Certified Residential Specialist by the Residential Sales Council. No obligation, of course. Call us on our private line at 570-7629 at RE/MAX BI-STATE or Contact us at tom&cyndee@quadcitiesrealestate.com - LOOKING TO BUY? Check out the services an Accredited Buyers Representative can mean to you.

Our Goal is to provide you with the most up to date information and Exemplary Service at all times. Homes are an important decision and a long term investment. When Your Money Matters, you need and deserve the most competent professional help available. We strive to always be on top of the market and to further our education's, that we may be knowledgeable to give you the best service and advice at all times.


You have decided to sell your home. Now what? Sure you can pick up the phone and call one of the companies, but just who will answer your call? You have been looking around at open houses and met a lot of agents. They all seem friendly, but how much do they really know? You have worked and made payments on your present home for some time now. All you really want is to sell at the top dollar the market will allow, for it to take place within a reasonable time period, and not to be inconvenienced more than you absolutely have to be.

Inconvenienced, what a nice word for total chaos. Days or weeks of living in a sterile environment, where nothing can ever be out of place because someone may want to see the house. Sure you can send the kids or pets to the cleaners to be cleaned, neatly pressed, folded and put into clear plastic bags to be stored in the closet until this thing is all over, but how about you? You have to live too!

Then there are the problems of finding a new home, getting financed, and worse of all packing and moving. Will it ever end?

There are so many agents out there, it is hard to choose with whom to work with. It should come down to which broker or agent has the most knowledge and can answer your questions correctly. When your money matters, you might want to inquire a little further into the prospective agent's experience. Selling a home is an important decision. You might want to know how long they have been in the business? How many transactions they have averaged every year within the last five years. What is their philosophy on marketing? What media do they use and why? Advertising to get you to call is one thing, selling your house may be a completely different program. You also might ask how long it takes on average for a home similar to yours to sell in the market, and how long does a home stay on the market with that agent? What is the average market sale price to list price and what is the agent's average?

Commissions are always negotiable. Most companies are charging about the same commission. It is the cost of doing business. However, how will the agent's company split the commission with other companies. Some companies split the commissions 50% - 50%, others do 60% - 40% with the listing company taking the 60%. The commission split should be discussed with you and you should make the decision on how it is to be split. Offering less enticement to companies or agents with willing buyers, may not always be in your best interest? Even new agents can tell the difference between selling a home that pays their company 3.5% versus 2.8%. You as a seller want your home exposed to the most buyers not anything less. Therefore, it is in your best interest to insist that the listing company pay 3.5% to the selling company. It will eliminate any bias from buyer's agents to show your property. Likewise, less listing commission can result in less service. All companies have office expenses, property taxes, utilities, employee salaries, advertising cost etc. To place your home on the internet, the magazines, newspapers, flyers and other forms of communication takes real money. Then the time must be worth something also. No one can afford to work for free. Having said that, you might negotiate a sliding scale with your listing company based on time on the market. If the home sells in the first few weeks before too much advertising has been spent, you might be able to get a slightly lower listing commission, perhaps 1/2 to 1% less. If the listing agent sells the home themselves, a similar discount. If the home is on the market over a month, the commission should be more and if it is on the market over 45 days, the full 3.5%. If you have a very expensive home, total commissions could be slightly less.

The key is to be competitive with your competition. To have your home marketed correctly in the media that will expose it to the most home buyers. Homes sell for more that sell shortly after listing. There is more excitement and competition to see the new home from buyers at this time. Once you make the decision to sell your home, you are a retailer. You must have the best product, in the best condition with the best terms to sell first for the most money.

For Sale by Owners is a temptation we all face. Greed, to save money, is in each and every one of us. The truth is, only one in three For Sale by Owners is ever sold, no matter how long it is on the market. Of these, only one in three actually closes the first offer they accept. National appraisal statistics show that successful For Sale by Owners average 10.2% less dollars for their home, than comparable homes sold through Real Estate companies. To put it another way, homes sold through professional Real Estate companies yields the seller 3 to 4% more money after all commissions are paid.

What is the difference between an agent and a broker? An agent is a person who has taken the prescribed hours of education and passed the State examination to show minimum competency to sell Real Estate in the State of Iowa or Illinois. They must hang their license with a Broker who is then responsible for their actions. A Broker has taken additional courses and passed the Brokers examination. They may choose to work independently or may decide to associate with a company. If they choose to associate, they hang their license under that company's broker's license. There are many good agents and brokers with lots of experience. Some agent’s prefer not taking the additional courses and examinations because they have no intent in ever being self employed or moving into management.

There are also professional designations that can identify an agent or broker as having taken the time and effort to further their education. About 3% of all agents and brokers are Certified Residential Specialist, about 3% are Accredited Buyers Representatives and 4% are Graduates of the Real Estate Institute. There are several other designations that require additional education and test, like my MRA, which is an appraisal credential. Agents with additional designations have more experience and average more sales than other agents.