Selling a home? Get the most out of it


It's hard to find a down side to the Houston housing picture, but if you are selling your home you may want to know about one trick that could cost you.

You list your home, you get a full price offer within hours and take the deal. So what's wrong with that?

"Your listing needs to be exposed to the market. I think the sellers need to have the opportunity to have the potential buyers that are out there see what's available," said Challie Ralph, the chair-elect of the Houston Association of Realtors.

Ralph says most Realtors do just that, but in some cases, homes are being sold before the property has a chance to be exposed to the market.

"Out of these six patio homes, one of them did sell before it even came on the market," Houston Realtor Tim Surratt said.

Surratt says the practice of pocket listings can work to the sellers benefit if they don't want to wait or want to have potential buyers going through the home.

"Someone who buys a house prior to it coming on the market knows they are going to have to pay more to get it or the seller is going to say I am just going to wait and put it on the open market," Surratt said.

However, if a home in a hot selling area where bidding wars are breaking out and the home is not being exposed to the market, it could keep sellers from getting more than the asking price.

"Many times sellers are saying I won't consider an offer or accept an offer until after the first open house is done, which is typically that fist weekend," Ralph said.

With home inventory approaching just three months in our area, sellers are getting top dollar, but officials with HAR say that happens when the home has chance to be seen before its sold.

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