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Step 1 to Selling Your Home: Find a Realtor

Many home owners start the selling process by looking at sites such as, Zillow, Redfin or Trulia to see what similar properties have recently sold for in their neighborhood in an effort to determine the current value of their home.  That’s fine and understandable, but keep in mind:

  1. The sites aren’t 100% accurate as listings which were never listed in the MLS such as pocket listings or For Sale By Owners will be missing.
  2. The information on the online sites is often out of date or not accurate as every Realtor has to manually change their listing from Active to Sold. Unfortunately, most Realtors are not good about updating this information regularly.  Therefore, a property might show that it’s still Active on Zillow, even though it sold 9 months prior.
  3. When professional appraisers conduct an appraisal they only take into account homes that have sold in a particular neighborhood within the last 90-180 days. It’s not possible to sort the data by date on the online sites so it’s difficult to only look for properties which have sold within this time frame.
  4. Many properties don’t list the square footage so it’s hard to know if you’re comparing similarly sized homes, which makes a big difference when determining value.
  5.  Therefore, step 1 to buying a home should be to interview Realtors to represent you and ask them to provide you with a CMA (comparable market analysis).

Find a Realtor

How do you find a good Realtor? Hopefully you’ll contact me at 717.963.0016 or so we can see if we would be a good fit.  Remember, not all Realtors are right for all people. You need to find someone who is not only great at his or her job, but someone you like and trust as you’re putting a big piece of your financial future in their hands.  Ask friends and family for referrals. Contact those Realtors and set up initial phone screenings with them.  Notice how quickly each Realtor responds to your initial phone call or email.  The Realtor should get back to you within 24 hours; if not, that’s a bad sign.  This business moves fast and deals can be lost if your Realtor doesn’t respond quickly on your behalf to showing requests, offers, inspection negotiations, etc.

Initial Phone Screening

During the initial phone screening, find out if the Realtor knows your neighborhood and if they’ve ever helped a client buy or sell property in your neighborhood.  Ask about their experience.  If your gut reaction says this person might be a good fit, ask them to do a CMA on your home and set up a time to meet with them in person.  Be prepared for the Realtor to ask questions about your home, how much you owe on your mortgage and if any repairs are needed as they need this information to do an accurate CMA.

Meet In Person and Review the CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)

When you meet with the Realtor in person, ask them our Interview questions for hiring a Realtor (click here). Go over the CMA.  Ask them not only what they think your home is worth, but what the average days on market (i.e. the number of days from when your home goes on the market until you have an accepted contract) is in your area. If the Realtor doesn’t know this, move on.  Ask them what they charge, how much the closing costs will be, and what approximately you’ll net if you sell your homer for X price. Most importantly, be honest with each Realtor. If you need to sell your home for a certain amount of money or in a certain time frame, tell them.  Only when Realtors have a complete picture can they came up with the best strategy to fit your situation.  Lastly, trust your gut.

Sign the paperwork

Once you’ve picked a Realtor, expect to sign a listing agreement (click here for an example of a listing agreement and disclosures) authorizing that Realtor to represent you.  That starts the ball rolling to get your home on the market.

Ready to schedule your seller consultation?  Call 717.963.0016 or email

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Gina Casner

In 2016, I began my tenure in real estate as a licensed Executive Assistant for a leading real estate training coach and subsequently for high-producing real estate teams. I very quickly fell in love with real estate and by 2019, I transitioned into personally helping clients turn their dreams into keys. After dozens of transactions, I have been dubbed the “unicorn hunter,” finding out-of-the-box solutions for clients looking for a home with unique requirements. In addition to managing my real estate practice, I am involved in providing community education on responsible home ownership through my exclusive Path to Home Ownership workshop series. I also am the founder of Chronically Strong, an organization that promotes mental health awareness and suicide prevention in our local communities. I take a holistic and individualized approach to real estate. Buying or selling a home in Central PA can be complex, sophisticated and often a deeply personal endeavor. Your experience should mimic the high level of customer service all of my clients have, while being very specific to your own individual needs. I work with a team of experts to provide a full, complete experience that only a cohesive team can consistently provide. Working with us, you will be given personal attention in every aspect of your home buying and selling experience with the professionalism and consistency of a thoughtful business model. And yes, superior results will follow! On a personal note, I attribute my success not only to my passion for helping clients execute on their next “big move”, but also to my knowledge regarding the psychology of buying and selling. My clientele works in diverse industries with an emphasis on technology, finance, medicine, law, and business. My real estate practice has grown successfully and consistently thanks to the repeat business of happy clients and their introductions to friends, family and neighbors. This track record is only possible because we deliver both results AND an enjoyable experience. Growing up, my family moved frequently all across the continental U.S., but you will hear me say that I am from California because that is the longest place that I lived during my formative years. Moving became a way of life for my family and each place I lived became a part of my story. It taught me that our home truly is the foundation of everything in our lives, and it is this belief that compels me to work hard for my clients when they are buying or selling their home. In many ways, our home becomes a part of our identity, an identity and memory that should be honored. I have been accused of being tenacious and super honest. I like to win (for my clients) but do so with a calm demeanor and a smile. I live in a raised ranch home in Lower Paxton Township with my main squeeze, my teenage son, and our very spoiled dog, Ginger. I have mad faith, and truly believe that each and every one of us is capable of great things. I graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelors’ in Sociology. There is a running joke in my family that every day I go to real estate school because every day my clients teach me something new. I continually invest time, money and thought into the latest sales, marketing and negotiation techniques. Why? Because I believe that you deserve to have the best working for you. I want to live life on my own terms, and am committed to helping you do the same. Would you like to work together? Please reach out. I look forward to hearing from you! Gina

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