Why should I pick you to sell my home? What makes you different?
Updated in Nov 2018, there are 1,368,530 Real Estate Agents who are members of NAR and are designated REALTORⓇ’s. Compare this to the number as of December 31, 2013, when there were 1,042,231 nationwide licensed Real Estate Agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors, up from May 2013 numbers of 997,148 members*. You’ll find the most Real Estate Agents located within Florida and California and the fewest within Alaska and North Dakota. So, no matter you live, you likely have plenty to select from. So out of all of these Real Estate Agents, you’re probably asking: “Why should I pick you to sell my home?” “What makes you different?” Great questions! Pick a Real Estate Agent for these reasons:
Experience rules – What is the Real Estate Agent’s track record?
Knowing how long the Agent has been in business and how many homes they have sold is important for you to know. What are their ratios of List price to Sold price? This will tell you about their accuracy on pricing a home and whether they were able to instill in their customers the importance of pricing a home correctly at the onset.Pricing, of course, is likely one of the most important aspects of being able to sell a home and requires a Real Estate Agents experience, however, pricing is not the only factor in which experience benefits from. All of the criteria presented below will shine brightly when an Agent has wisdom which can only come from the experience they’ve gained through repeated home sales. Sure, everyone has to start at the beginning and within time they’ll gain the required experience that can set oneself apart from others, yet not everyone goes the length to seek out an experienced Real Estate Agent, as you have sought out, so those that don’t, the inexperienced will gain the learning they hunger for in order to have success and to be able to be hired by the likes of you!
Highly effective in Communication – How will the Real Estate Agent communicate with you and others?
Nothing is worse than the Real Estate Agent securing your listing and then you never hear from him or her again. Okay, perhaps that’s an extreme statement, yet you likely do expect some type of regularity in communicating with them and you shouldn’t have to hunt them down, nor wait and wait for a return call with them being as slow as molasses. Your expectations are probably that you want to hear from them, as soon as possible, or within the hour of your calling and by all means, worse case scenario, at least, by the same day. Your method of communication can be expressed up front according to what suits you best; is it by phone, by email or by text or any of them? The way I would look at it, would be, if I’m contacted by phone, I’ll return a phone call, if I’m contacted by email then I’ll return via email and so forth.
Not only is communication important to you, as a Home Seller, but also, how well does the Real Estate Agent communicate with other parties to the transaction; the Buyer’s Agent, Title Company, Mortgage Officer, Attorneys, Appraisers, Inspectors, etc. All these connected parties will also expect prompt attention. Favorable outcomes always entail everyone working cohesively together. Remembering too, that you can catch more flies with sugar and honey than with vinegar.
Is your Real Estate Agent, technologically advanced? Advancement in technology is all around us, in fact, I say we’re nearing the age of the Jetsons all the time! Advancement in technology makes the ability to communicate that much easier. Your Agent must have the tools necessary to be reached when they’re at the office or away from the office. You want to be able to reach them when you need them and not have to wait until they get back to the office.
Possess impressive negotiation skills – Does your Real Estate Agent have experience in negotiations, as home selling involves many stages of negotiations?
In selling homes, there will be negotiations. They begin the minute the home is listed for sale with Buyer interest immediately peaked as the inquiries begin pouring into the Agent by phone and email. The Agent must be equipped to handle negotiations that will benefit you as you sell your home. When a Buyer submits an offer that is too low, when a Buyer requests assistance with closing costs, when a Buyer’s inspection prompts the Buyer to ask for repairs and/or credits and any request by Buyer that results in less money to the Seller, will require the ability of the Agent to negotiate on your behalf. Losing money and not closing isn’t part of your plan, as you sell your home, I’m convinced.
Knows the importance of a home’s presentation – How will the Real Estate Agent present your home?
A home’s presentation will affect your home selling price. The better the presentation, the better the Buyers’ offering price can be. It is that simple. Recommendations from your Agent should be based upon their knowledge of the Real Estate market regarding what is selling and what Buyers are demanding. With that knowledge in hand, and after touring your home, the Agent should be able to make valuable recommendations to you regarding what is an asset and what is a negative within your home. Hopefully, the negative can be repaired and/or updated. And if you’ve maintained your home all along, you’ll likely be that much further ahead of the game, as a maintained home speaks volumes to a new Buyer. Will it be a recommended change of paint color, a new furniture arrangement, new updates to the Kitchen to change out appliances, fixtures, counters or cabinets? Or perhaps it’s your bathrooms that could use a facelift. The recommendations are endless and they could be inexpensive or costly; it will all depend upon your budget. What if you don’t have a budget? Then you’d employ a bit of elbow grease to get your home, shimmering clean and neat, as this is always a must do, first step.
Okay, the hard stuff has been accomplished. Now your home is ready to be photographed. The home will be set up just right to highlight all its features with all the lights turned on (remember to have all of your light bulbs replaced). Many photos will be taken and only the best will be selected; nothing dark and dingy, no toilet seat lids in the upward position and no small photos that require a magnifying glass to view. Did you know that Buyers will skip over homes that are presented with only a few photos or poor photos? And worse yet, many Sellers have no idea of the poor presentation when they’re trying to sell their home.
Video tours of a home are also part of its presentation.
Accomplished in marketing to make sure homes are being viewed – How will your home be marketed?
You’ve made the proper preparations to get your hope ready to be presented to the Buying world, yet all the preparation in the world is futile if your home is not seen by Buyers. In today’s Real Estate Market, online Internet exposure is how your home is able to reach Buyers searching for homes when 90% of these Buyers are searching for their homes to purchase over the internet. Did you read that?! 90% of Buyers search for their home over the Internet – that’s huge! What is the Agent’s marketing plan? You would never want to miss out on this type of exposure. Top notch marketing enables you to reach a broad segment of Buyers both nationally and internationally. An Agent skilled in marketing should be able to reveal their vast online exposure, showcasing their efforts across many websites and/or blogs to include the ever present Social Media platforms. Social Media is no longer a pastime, but rather a way of promoting business and must be part of any Real Estate Agent’s business marketing plan. Start by googling the Real Estate Agents name; it should be clear that their plan includes their own Internet exposure, as their name should pop out amongst the pages on the web. If they’re going to market your home, they’d better be proficient at marketing themselves.
Knows their Real Estate Market like the back of their hand – Does the Real Estate Agent demonstrate local Real Estate Market know how?
The Real Estate Industry has fluctuated greatly over the years. What causes these fluctuations? What are the trends? Are selling prices rising, declining or are they stable? How are neighborhoods selling? What are the inventory levels? What are the Absorption Rates? How long are homes on the market before they’re sold? How do interest rates affect home sales? All these factors mold a local Real Estate Market and an Agent needs to stay in the know. Knowing the answer to all of these questions will affect a home’s selling price and how it’s positioned to sell along with its marketing efforts. Local, state and national laws to include tax and insurance changes can make a difference to your local Real Estate industry also. Is your Agent staying educated on these changes?
Complete understanding of how to price homes to sell– How will the Real Estate Agent price your home?
This is ultimately the most important decision that you will realize when selling your home; how you price your home for sale. Your Agent should be able to present to you, the why, behind the price being selected. The Agent should have a pricing strategy that is revealed after a complete review and understanding of the local Real Estate market and its recent sales, pending sales and active sales, then how your home will be placed amongst the homes actively for sale. Pricing a home above market value and then reducing the price again and again, isn’t a sign of knowing how to price a home, nor a recommended price strategy, as this can simply reveal an Agents desire to “buy” a Listing where they agree to accept a Listing (almost at any price because they just want the Listing) when a homeowner wants to sell their home for a higher price than what their home is actually worth. This method results in chasing the market with further price reductions to get to the home’s real value that can result in a lower sales price than had the home been priced correctly to begin with. Stigmatization can also follow suit, as Buyers wonder why the home hasn’t sold already; there must be something wrong with it. How many of these Listings will actually ever sell or will they simple expire to never be sold until the homeowner tries again at a later date? Listing a home is not selling a home. You should expect a home listed for sale to be sold and to actually make it to the closing table.
You should be advised that pricing a home for sale is not determined by listening to your neighbor nor your family and friends. Neither is it about your emotional attachment to your home, which so many home Sellers face with great difficulty.
Trustworthiness – Can you trust your Real Estate Agent?
You’ve got to be able to trust the Agent you choose. They should conduct themselves with a set of principles that reveal integrity, hard work, zeal and determination. A decision to sell a home can be one of the most important decisions that you can ever make. Having trust in another can instill you with the feeling of calm and peacefulness in knowing that you picked the right Real Estate Agent. It’s imperative that you’re able to put your trust in a Real Estate Agent to get the job done; selling your home. Trust your inherent instincts when you meet with the Agent. Read their customer reviews. Customer reviews can be one of the best places where a Real Estate Agents trustworthiness is revealed. In addition, the reviews can often reveal all of the characteristics outlined above as customers will reveal much of this in their testimonials.
Making the right choice and not a choice you’ll regret, can be easy if you stick to the guidelines above.
Far too many Home Sellers can be discouraged when they make the wrong choice. Do your homework and improve your chances on making the right choice. Pick ‘em right the first time around! You’ll be glad you did.
When seeking out a Real Estate Agent, you’ll want to pick the right Agent no matter where you live.
To add to the discussion on making a smart Real Estate Agent selection, I asked my friend and expert, Framingham Mass Realtor, Bill Gassett, to share his insight on this topic and he shared his thoughts below looking to make a smart Realtor selection. In his state of Massachusetts there are 19,913 Real Estate Agents which aren’t anywhere near the number of Agents here in my state of Florida at 121,764 Agents, yet it nevertheless presents a lot of Agents to select from.
Here is Bill’s advice from Framingham, MA:
“When trying to make the best decision on selecting a Realtor to represent your interests while selling your home it is wise that you speak to multiple agents. Far too many home sellers assume that every real estate agent does the same activities to sell homes. This thinking is so far off base and one of the reasons so many homeowners end up making poor choices and feeling completely disappointed in the home selling process.
When you interview multiple agents you are able to see how some agents are different than others. For example does the agent provide exceptional photography? In real estate great photography is critical to your success. Does the agent use video tours to provide another medium of showing off your home? Buyers love this type of marketing as it can really give them a flavor for the property. Does the agent have a well designed and optimized website? I tell sellers all the time that you can have the most beautiful website in the world but if it does not appear in competitive local searches it is useless.
While these are important things to reach buyers and ultimately increase the chances of a sale happening sooner rather than later, there are also other consideration in choosing a great Realtor including their communication skills. Do they return your calls or emails promptly? Do they have a smart phone so they actually see your message right away. You want to make sure you are working with a real estate agent that has some sense of using today’s up to date technology.”
Lastly you should check into some general statistics about the agent. Do they sell a fair number of homes in your area? Do they price homes appropriately? In other words how accurate are they from the suggested initial list price to what the home ends up selling at? You want an agent who is honest not someone who gives you a pie in the sky number in hopes of you signing a listing contract. How long does it take that agent to sell homes (Average days on market).” These are the type of statistics you should inquire about and ask the agent to provide at your interview.
Look for an agent who excels at pricing properly and the days on market will follow suite. Remember you are hiring the Realtor for a business transaction not a popularity contest. While you may love “Sally the Realtors” personality more “Paul the Producer”, selling Real Estate is about picking an agent who has an impeccable track record of success.”
In summary, hiring the wrong Real Estate Agent can send off all kinds of warning lights, unless you follow the guidelines above. You can avoid having to experience any warning lights that signal a home not being sold by paying close attention to the guidelines I’ve presented.
When you find the above noted traits in a Real Estate Agent, hire them! If you’re in need of a Real Estate Agent in Southeast Florida, go ahead and call, email or text me, as I have these traits ready to put to work for you! Or if you’re not here in Southeast Florida and are looking for a trusted, skilled Real Estate Agent, just call me and I can refer you to one of my associates. Now let’s get your home sold!
Written by Lynn Pineda, Real Estate Agent, with Keller Williams Realty. Serving customers in Broward and Palm Beach counties from Coral Springs, Boca Raton to Miramar.
*Source National Association of Realtors
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