Nancy and Tom Kabat Shared This Article Find the Best Agent to Sell Your House

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By: G. M. Filisko

Published: March 11, 2010

Ask detailed questions about their experience and skills to help you find the right agent for your home sale.

1. How long have you been selling homes?

Mastering real estate requires on-the-job experience. The more experience agents have, the more likely they’ll be able to handle any curveballs thrown during your home sale.

2. What designations do you hold?

Designations like GRI (Graduate REALTOR® Institute) and CRS® (Certified Residential Specialist), which require that agents complete additional real estate training, show they’re constantly learning. Ask if agents have designations and, if not, why not?

3. How many homes did you sell last year?

Agents may tout their company’s success. An equally important question is how many homes they’ve personally sold in the past year; it’s an indicator of how active and aggressive they are.

4. How many days on average did it take you to sell homes?

Ask agents to show you this data along with stats from their local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) so you can see how many days, on average, their listings were on the market compared to the average for all properties in the MLS.

5. How close were the asking and sales prices of the homes you sold?

Sometimes sellers choose their agent because the agent’s suggested listing price is higher than those suggested by other agents. A better factor is the difference between listing prices and the amount homes actually sold for. That can help you judge agents’ skill at accurately pricing homes and marketing to the right buyers. It can also help you weed out agents trying to dazzle you with a lofty sales price just to get your listing.

6. How will you market my home?

The days of agents putting a For Sale sign in the yard and hoping for the best are long gone. Look for an agent who does aggressive and innovative marketing, especially on the Internet.

7. Will you represent me exclusively?

In most states, agents can represent the seller, the buyer, or both in a home sale. If your agent will also represent buyers, understand and consent to that dual representation.

8. How will you keep me informed?

If you want weekly updates by email, don’t choose an agent who plans to contact you only if there’s an offer.

9. Can you provide references?

Ask to talk to the last three customers the agent assisted. Call and ask if they’d work with the agent again and if the agent did anything that didn’t sit well with them.

10. Are you a REALTOR®?

Ask whether agents are REALTORS®, which means they’re members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR). NAR has been an advocate of agent professionalism and a champion of homeownership rights for more than a century.

Other web resources

More on choosing an agent

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who’s worked with many real estate agents in the past 20 years. A frequent contributor to many national publications including, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.


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Welles Bowen Welcomes Lyn Casye O’Shea

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Office: 419-698-5370
Cell: 419-450-5068
Fax: 419 754-1408
VM: 419-698-8506

Professional and Personal Qualifications

    • Toledo Board of Realtors®
  • Ohio Association of Realtors®
  • National Association of Realtors®
  • Member of The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™
  • Member of the Multiple Listing Service
  • Representing Buyers and Sellers
  • Graduate of The University of Toledo-B.A. Communication
  • Member of Toledo Broadcast Media since 1985
  • Lifelong Greater Toledo Resident

    My Pledge To You…

    In keeping with Welles Bowen’s “Tradition of Excellence” I pledge to partner with you to accomplish your unique real estate goals. I’ll put my marketing expertise and extensive personal, community, and corporate connections, from 25+ years in the local broadcasting industry, to work for you. I’ll be dilegent and communicative in my efforts to ensure that you are 100% satisfied with your buying and selling transaction(s). Call me for a free consultation!


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    Welcome Deana Deen to Welles Bowen

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    Office: 419-891-0888
    Cell: 419-283-8504
    Fax: 419 891-1092
    VM: 419-897-2700 x214

    Professional and Personal Qualifications

      • Toledo Board of Realtors®
    • Ohio Association of Realtors®
    • National Association of Realtors®
    • Member of The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™
    • Member of the Multiple Listing Service
    • Specializing in Residential Real Estate Sales


    My Pledge To You…

    I pride myself with providing my clients with the utmost attention to their real estate needs. From selling your home to finding your dream home, I promise to assist my clients from start to finish!


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    Welles Bowen Welcome New Agent Nathan Kerber

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    Professional and Personal Qualifications

    • Toledo Board of Realtors®
    • Ohio Association of Realtors®
    • National Association of Realtors®
    • Member of The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™
    • Member of the Multiple Listing Service
    • Full-time Realtor providing professional dedication and commitment to seeing you achieve your goals
    • Masters of Business Administration (Bowling Green State University)
    • Bachelor Degree (University of Toledo)
    • Proven Experience in Home Design & Renovations
    • Investment Property Management Experience
    • Perrysburg Resident
    • Blessed John XXIII Parisher
    • Member, Toledo Area Metroparks, Toledo Zoo, and Imagination Station


    My Pledge To You…

    Do you need a Professional Team working for you? Whether you are searching for your first home, looking to upgrade/downsize, or diving into investment properties, the Kerber Team will bring professional experience, dedication, knowledge, skilled negotiating, and full time commitment to meet your Real Estate needs.


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    Welles Bowen Welcomes Carol Botek

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    Office: 419-782-8216
    Cell: 419-439-3498
    Fax: 419 782-0989
    VM: 419439-3498

    Professional and Personal Qualifications

    • Toledo Board of Realtors®
    • Ohio Association of Realtors®
    • National Association of Realtors®
    • Member of The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™
    • Member of the Multiple Listing Service
    • Graduate of the University of Toledo


    My Pledge To You…

    I will act on your behalf to see that you get the best price and terms on your Real Estate transaction. I will maintain constant contact with you so that you are well informed throughout the transaction. I promise you excellent service with a written guarantee!

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    Here’s the Latest Article found for you by Brian Carroll

    6 Reasons to Reduce Your Home Price

    By: G. M. Filisko Published: March 19, 2010

    While you’d like to get the best price for your home, consider our six reasons to reduce your home price.

    These six signs may be telling you it’s time to lower your price.

    1. You’re drawing few lookers

    You get the most interest in your home right after you put it on the market because buyers want to catch a great new home before anybody else takes it. If your real estate agent reports there have been fewer buyers calling about and asking to tour your home than there have been for other homes in your area, that may be a sign buyers think it’s overpriced and are waiting for the price to fall before viewing it.

    2. You’re drawing lots of lookers but have no offers

    If you’ve had 30 sets of potential buyers come through your home and not a single one has made an offer, something is off. What are other agents telling your agent about your home? An overly high price may be discouraging buyers from making an offer.

    3. Your home’s been on the market longer than similar homes

    Ask your real estate agent about the average number of days it takes to sell a home in your market. If the answer is 30 and you’re pushing 45, your price may be affecting buyer interest. When a home sits on the market, buyers can begin to wonder if there’s something wrong with it, which can delay a sale even further. At least consider lowering your asking price.

    4. You have a deadline

    If you’ve got to sell soon because of a job transfer or you’ve already purchased another home, it may be necessary to generate buyer interest by dropping your price so your home is a little lower priced than comparable homes in your area. Remember: It’s not how much money you need that determines the sale price of your home, it’s how much money a buyer is willing to spend.

    5. You can’t make upgrades

    Maybe you’re plum out of cash and don’t have the funds to put fresh paint on the walls, clean the carpets, and add curb appeal. But the feedback your agent is reporting from buyers is that your home isn’t as well-appointed as similarly priced homes. When your home has been on the market longer than comparable homes in better condition, it’s time to accept that buyers expect to pay less for a home that doesn’t show as well as others.

    6. The competition has changed

    If weeks go by with no offers, continue to check out the competition. What have comparable homes sold for and what’s still on the market? What new listings have been added since you listed your home for sale? If comparable home sales or new listings show your price is too steep, consider a price reduction.

    More from HouseLogic

    How to ready your home for sale at little cost

    How to review offers on your home

    Other web resources

    More on setting the right price

    G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who made strategic price reductions that led to the sale of a Wisconsin property. A frequent contributor to many national publications including, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

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    Office: 419-891-0888
    Cell: 419-266-8706
    Fax: 419 891-1092
    VM: Use cell

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    Kay McArdle’s Toledo Real Estate Looking More Positive in 2013!

    The real estate market in Toledo, Ohio may be looking more positive in 2013 than in other areas of the country. The National Association of Realtors’ chief economist Lawrence Yun predicted recently that home values could rise 15% and number of homes sold 20% this year. And he said the Toledo area should be leading the numbers because it has been a bit behind in the general national recovery.

    Some other developments that point towards a healtier market are…

    Local City of Toledo and suburban areas housing inventory is down making for more competition, multiple offers, quicker sales and putting some upward pressure on prices. We’re especially seeing some shortages of high end homes in Sylvania and Perrysburg.

    We are finally seeing more 1st time buyers enter the market creating the snowball effect of helping current home owners move to other more desired homes.

    Federal regulators have reached yet another agreement with 10 large banks who wronged homeowners in the foreclosure process and will make modest payments to those people. How much help this will have for the housing market is debateable. But, $5.2 million of that settlement will be available for banks to do loan modifications for people at risk of foreclosure and keeping families in their homes will certainly help the housing market.

    New rules by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take effect in 2014 are going to require that lenders only make loans that borrowers can afford. Banks and Mortgage Brokers will have to verify and inspect borrowers financial records (odd that hasn’t been regular practice) and lend only an amount that keeps the borrowers’ total debt including credit cards, student debt and car payments to 43% of their total income. And finally “interest only” loans and “no doc” loans are being banned.

    There was an extension of the Mortgage Cancellation Relief through January 1, 2014 as part of the fiscal cliff deal just reached. This has to do with the amount forgiven by mortgage holders in short sales not being taxed as income to the poor people losing their homes. It is good for the housing market because short sale homes are generally in better condition and sell for more than foreclosed homes.

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    Office: 419-535-0011
    Cell: 419-654-0059
    Fax: 419 535-7571
    VM: 419-539-2700 ext. 102

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    Deanna Miller’s Suggested Reading

    How to Use Comparable Sales to Price Your Home

    By: Carl Vogel Published: August 5, 2010

    Before you put your home up for sale, use the right comparable sales to find the perfect price.

    Knowing how much homes similar to yours, called comparable sales (or in real estate lingo, comps), sold for gives you the best idea of the current estimated value of your home. The trick is finding sales that closely match yours.

    What makes a good comparable sale?

    Your best comparable sale is the same model as your house in the same subdivision—and it closed escrow last week. If you can’t find that, here are other factors that count:

    Location: The closer to your house the better, but don’t just use any comparable sale within a mile radius. A good comparable sale is a house in your neighborhood, your subdivision, on the same type of street as your house, and in your school district.

    Home type: Try to find comparable sales that are like your home in style, construction material, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, basement (having one and whether it’s finished), finishes, and yard size.

    Amenities and upgrades: Is the kitchen new? Does the comparable sale house have full A/C? Is there crown molding, a deck, or a pool? Does your community have the same amenities (pool, workout room, walking trails, etc.) and homeowners association fees?

    Date of sale: You may want to use a comparable sale from two years ago when the market was high, but that won’t fly. Most buyers use government-guaranteed mortgages, and those lending programs say comparable sales can be no older than 90 days.

    Sales sweeteners: Did the comparable-sale sellers give the buyers downpayment assistance, closing costs, or a free television? You have to reduce the value of any comparable sale to account for any deal sweeteners.

    Agents can help adjust price based on insider insights

    Even if you live in a subdivision, your home will always be different from your neighbors’. Evaluating those differences—like the fact that your home has one more bedroom than the comparables or a basement office—is one of the ways real estate agents add value.

    An active agent has been inside a lot of homes in your neighborhood and knows all sorts of details about comparable sales. She has read the comments the selling agent put into the MLS, seen the ugly wallpaper, and heard what other REALTORS®, lenders, closing agents, and appraisers said about the comparable sale.

    More ways to pick a home listing price

    If you’re still having trouble picking out a listing price for your home, look at the current competition. Ask your real estate agent to be honest about your home and the other homes on the market (and then listen to her without taking the criticism personally).

    Next, put your comparable sales into two piles: more expensive and less expensive. What makes your home more valuable than the cheaper comparable sales and less valuable than the pricier comparable sales?

    Are foreclosures and short sales comparables?

    If one or more of your comparable sales was a foreclosed home or a short sale (a home that sold for less money than the owners owed on the mortgage), ask your real estate agent how to treat those comps.

    A foreclosed home is usually in poor condition because owners who can’t pay their mortgage can’t afford to pay for upkeep. Your home is in great shape, so the foreclosure should be priced lower than your home.

    Short sales are typically in good condition, although they are still distressed sales. The owners usually have to sell because they’re divorcing, or their employer is moving them to Kansas.

    How much short sales are discounted from their market value varies among local markets. The average short-sale home in Omaha in recent years was discounted by 8.5%, according to a University of Nebraska at Omaha study. In suburban Washington, D.C., sellers typically discount short-sale homes by 3% to 5% to get them quickly sold, real estate agents report. In other markets, sellers price short sales the same as other homes in the neighborhood.

    So you have to rely on your REALTOR’s® knowledge of the local market to use a short sale as a comparable sale.

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    Other web resources

    What’s the Value of a View? Research from Texas Christian University

    Carl Vogel, a freelance writer and former editor of The Neighborhood Works magazine, lives in a home in Chicago that is not typical of those nearby, so he appreciates a savvy comp.

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    Laura McIntyre Presents Open House Timeline: Countdown to a Successful Sale

    Article From By: Dona DeZube Published: May 06, 2011

    An inviting open house can put your home on buyers’ short lists.

    Get ready for your open house-stress-free-by starting early and breaking down your to-do list into manageable chunks. Use this timeline of 35 tips and your house will stand out from the competition on open house day.

    Four weeks before the open house

    Ask your parents to babysit the kids the weekend of the open house. Then book a reservation for your pet with the dog sitter or at the kennel. Having everyone out of the house on the day of will help you keep your home tidy and smelling fresh ( Plus, no dogs and no kids equal more time for last-minute prep.

    Line up a contractor to take care of maintence issues your REALTOR® has asked you to fix, like leaking faucets (, sagging gutters (, or dings in the walls (

    De-clutter every room (even if you already de-cluttered once before). Don’t hide your stuff in the closet-buyers will open doors to size up closet space. Store your off-season clothes, sports equipment, and toys somewhere else.

    Book carpet cleaners for a few days before the open house and a house cleaning service for the day before. Otherwise, make sure to leave time to do these things yourself a couple of days before.

    Three weeks before the open house

    Buy fluffy white towels to create a spa-like feel in the bathrooms.

    Buy a front door mat to give a good first impression.

    Designate a shoebox for each bathroom to stow away personal items the day of the open house.

    Two weeks before the open house

    Clean the light fixtures, ceiling fans, light switches, and around door knobs. A spic-and-span house ( makes buyers feel like they can move right in.

    Power-wash the house (, deck (, sidewalk, and driveway.

    One week before the open house

    Make sure potential buyers can get up close and personal with your furnace, air-conditioning unit (, and appliances ( They’ll want to read any maintenance and manufacturer’s stickers to see how old everything is.

    Clean the inside of appliances and de-clutter kitchen cabinets and drawers and the pantry. Buyers will open cabinet doors and drawers. If yours are stuffed to the gills, buyers will think your kitchen lacks enough storage space.

    Put out the new door mat to break it in. It’ll look nice, but not too obviously new for the open house.

    Week of the open house

    Buy ready-made cookie dough and disposable aluminum cookie sheets so you don’t have to take time for clean up after baking (you can recycle the pans after use). Nothing says “home” like the smell of freshly baked cookies.

    Buy a bag of apples or lemons to display in a pretty bowl.

    Let your REALTOR® know if you’re running low on sales brochures explaining the features of your house.

    Clean the windows ( to let in the most light possible.

    Mow the lawn two days before the open house. Mowing the morning of the open house can peeve house hunters with allergies.

    Day before the open house

    Make sure your REALTOR® puts up plenty of open-house signs pointing in the right direction and located where drivers will see them. If she can’t get to it on the Friday before a Sunday open house, offer to do it yourself.

    Put away yard clutter like hoses, toys, or pet water bowls.

    Lay fresh logs in the fireplace.

    Day of the open house

    Put checkbooks, kids’ piggybanks, jewelry, prescription drugs, bank statements, and other valuables in the trunk of your car, at a neighbor’s house, or in your safe. It’s rare, but thefts do happen at open houses.

    Set the dining room table for a special-occasion dinner. In the backyard, uncover the barbeque and set the patio table for a picnic to show buyers how elegantly and simply they can entertain once they move in.

    Check any play equipment for spider webs or insect invasions. A kid screaming about spiders won’t endear buyers to your home.

    Clean the fingerprints off the storm door. First impressions count.

    Put up Post-It notes around the house to highlight great features like tilt-in windows or a recently updated appliance.

    Remove shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, and other personal items from the bathtub, shower, and sinks in all the bathrooms. Store them in a shoebox under the sink. Removing personal items makes it easier for buyers to see themselves living in your house.

    Stow away all kitchen countertop appliances.

    One hour before the open house

    Bake the ready-to-bake cookies you bought earlier this week. Put them on a nice platter for your open house guests to eat with a note that says: “Help yourself!”

    Hang the new towels in the bathrooms.

    Put your bowl of apples or lemons on the kitchen table or bar counter.

    Pick up and put away any throw rugs, like the bath mats. They’re a trip hazard.

    15 minutes before the open house

    Open all the curtains and blinds and turn on the lights in the house. Buyers like bright homes.

    Light fireplace logs (if it’s winter).

    Didn’t get those cookies baked? Brew a pot of coffee to make the house smell inviting.

    During the open house

    Get out of the house and let your REALTOR® sell it! Potential buyers will be uncomfortable discussing your home if you’re loitering during the open house. Take advantage of your child- and pet-free hours by treating yourself to something you enjoy-a few extra hours at the gym, a trip to the bookstore, or a manicure.

    More from HouseLogic

    7 Tips for Staging Your Home (

    Seasonal Maintenance (

    10 Steps to a Perfect Exterior Paint Job (


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    Office: 419-891-0888
    Cell: 419-265-7000
    Fax: 419 891-1092
    VM: 419-897-2700 ext. 268

    Dona DeZube has been writing about real estate for over two decades. She lives a suburban Baltimore 1970s rancher on a 3-acre lot shared with possums, raccoons, foxes, a herd of deer, and her blue-tick hound.

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    Featured Agent Lori Paton

    About Lori Paton

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    Office: 419-535-0011
    Cell: 419-340-5166
    Fax: 419 535-7571
    VM: 419-539-2700 ext.155

    Professional and Personal Qualifications

    • Professional Designations, ABR
    • Toledo Board of Realtors
    • Member of The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™
    • B. Math, University of Waterloo, Canada
    • B. Ed., University of Toronto, Canada
    • Member of Toledo Museum of Art
    • Member of Toledo Symphony League
    • Member of Country Garden Club, Perrysburg


    Serving you in…

    Toledo, Sylvania, Ottawa Hills, Maumee, Perrysburg. My proven integrity and professional acumen allow me to provide the most professional real estate possible.

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