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A Word on Discount Real Estate Companies.

           There are some companies that claim they can save you money when selling your home. Getting the maximum money for your home involves exposing the most buyers to your property through a comprehensive marketing plan. Compare the sale of your home to an auction. Imagine having 100 people at one auction bidding on an item (it could be an antique vase or a water buffalo, it doesn’t matter.). Then imagine 1000 people at a different auction bidding on the same item. At which auction do you think this item will receive the highest bid?

                 Of course, this is a very simplistic comparison, but selling real estate at the highest possible price is simply a numbers game. The more qualified people the property is presented to, the better the chance of getting top dollar. Discount real estate companies offer comparatively little advertising when compared to a full service broker. They may list your property on their web site and nothing more, or they may include limited print advertising (usually for a price).

  By not listing with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), your home will not be exposed to the over 13,000 real estate agents who use the MLS on a daily basis. Your property will also not appear on the most popular web sites that have contracted with the MLS to use their listings –,, MLS Assistant, etc. In short, without having your home listed in the MLS, you would be missing out on over 90% of the home buying market. Can you afford to take the chance that the remaining 10% will offer you the price you want? Sure, you would like to save money on a commission, but will the amount you save be more than what you might lose in the sale price of your home?

 A full service broker earns his/her commission. Finding a buyer who will offer the price you want is just the beginning of the real estate process. In the 10 days after the offer is accepted, the following things occur and must be handled:

  •  Deposit the binder check into an escrow account.

  •  Get a copy of the buyer’s pre-approval letter.

  • Explain the Massachusetts lead paint laws to the buyer and have him/her complete and sign the mandatory Property Transfer Notification Certification.

  • Arrange for the home inspection (approximately 2-3 hours).

  • Set up testing for lead paint and Radon gas if the buyer so desires.

  • Make sure buyer financing application is made.

  • Verify that the home appraisal ordered.

  • Eliminate any concerns that the buyer may have regarding the property.

  •  Negotiate any items that come up during the home inspection.

  • Draw up purchase and sale agreement (P&S) and distributed to the buyer’s and seller’s attorneys for review.

  •  Attorney P&S changes negotiated and incorporated into the final Purchase and Sale Contract

  • All parties sign the P&S.

  • The second deposit from the buyer is received and put in escrow.

  And that is only in the first 10 days!

                 During the subsequent days an agent will handle all the details of the transaction including dealing with the attorneys (not an easy task sometimes), mortgage officer, appraiser, title company and any contractors involved, obtaining a smoke detector certificate, getting a final water and sewer bill, obtaining condo documents (if a condominium), making sure that the buyer meets his/her financing requirements, negotiating any last minute issues, arranging a closing time and place, and being there with you during the closing to help with any questions or situations that may come up. Do you have the time, expertise and patience to take care of all these things? The discount companies will usually leave these items up to you.

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Armstrong Field, Inc
Real Estate
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281 Essex Street, Unit C3
Salem, MA 01970
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