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“Free Market Evaluation”? What’s the catch?

You’ve seen the phrase posted on bus benches and on bus advertisements and on the Realtor flyers you receive in your mailbox.  You’re curious about the free market evaluation and what your home is worth but you’ve never called the Realtor and asked them for this “Free Market or Home Evaluation” because you think that there’s some sort of catch?  It’s too good to be true.  It must be some trap, like those free trips to Las Vegas phone calls that require some sort of purchase or like those 30 day Free trials where companies try to prey on those who are too busy or lazy to call and cancel.

The truth is, Realtors want to help home owners.  They want to meet more people and build their brand and they can achieve this by offering free services to people.  One of them is a “Free Market Evaluation”.  It doesn’t take long and it helps Realtors meet potential sellers or even potential buyers who are looking to buy in a particular neighborhood.  What is a Free Home or Market Evaluation?  Well, that’s a subjective question.  To some Realtors, it could be as simple as providing the seller with what their home is worth and some evidence to show why it’s worth that much.  To other Realtors, it could consist of a powerpoint presentation, detailing the statistics in a seller’s neighborhood, from the sold listings, to the market trends, to the new listings, etc…

What is the ideal situation?  Realtors do the home/market evaluation for the home owner, home owner wants to sell their home and chooses this Realtor because he/she has offered to provide a free service.

Worst case situation?  Realtors provide the free home/market evaluation, home owner receives some free education or consultation as the Realtor may provide some other feedback to the home owner about their home, etc… and the home owner decides not to sell their home.  But even in the worst case scenario, the Realtor will likely have developed a new contact to add into their database whom they can send e-newsletters and such to them.  Also, the home owner now knows a Realtor whom they can contact and ask questions if they ever have any real estate related questions and get free consultation anytime they want.

It sounds like a win-win situation to me.  So, is there a catch?  Well, are Realtors trying to sell you something?  Yes, they’re trying to sell themselves to you, but in the end, Realtors aren’t here to force you to buy or sell.  They’re here to help the public.  We don’t get offended if you ask us questions and then decide to choose another Realtor to buy and sell with.  (Well, most of us don’t get offended)  To conclude, the next time a Realtor offers a free home or market evaluation, don’t be afraid to give him/her a chance to help you.

So how about that free market evaluation for your home?

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