When someone calls about buying a home, there are always many questions, as there should be, but sometimes I am asked about everything but real estate. Recently I have been asked about how to change a detrimental credit score, how to handle somebody's in laws, and my favorite question, "How much can you loan me on that house?" I do not fault anyone for asking most questions because the Realtor's role is sometimes fuzzy at best for the first time home buyer. Although I am not a banker (but I was at one time), a counselor (but I am an ordained minister) or a credit specialist, I am always glad to point people in the right direction for answers to their questions, and am learning that in Real Estate, there are some things that I SHOULD do for my customer, and try very hard to accomplish.
5 Things YOUR Realtor Should Do...
1. COMMUNICATE Clearly
I am naturally a people person, and have spoken to crowds of thousands of people at a time, however this does not make me a great communicator. A Realtor deals with many details, and should always clarify as many of those details with every person involved. When is the closing? What else is needed? Did you call the inspector? Are you sure? When do you expect that to be completed? Any question, from anybody always deserves clarification. Once the Realtor is clear, then he or she should communicate to the client, other agent, lender, etc. Over communication is not a bad thing.
2. Call Regularly
It seems that this would go hand in hand with communication, but it is a bit different. In today's culture, its easy to send a text message or email and say, "Hey, I have talked to my client", but never underestimate the power of personal interaction with either face to face or a phone call. Even if one of my listing customers has not had any showings lately, I still try to call and touch base to see how they are doing and give them an update on the market itself. For some clients, they may prefer non verbal communication, but those type people are few and far between. How long has it been since you have spoken to your Realtor? We are all very busy, but there is no excuse to a 2 minute call to say hello!
3. Market To Move
Everyday, there is something new to learn, and I am far from knowing all that there is to know, especially in the Real Estate world. One thing I do know, is that selling homes and helping you purchase a home is a business, and in business, marketing skills are essential. After reading several articles by professionals who have been in the business for years, I believe that I concur with them... "Listing the property in "The Homes Book" alone is not marketing." Again, I am still learning, but it is a no brainer that to help my clients sell their home, there should be no stone left unturned when looking for ways to place the clients property in front of as many potential buyers as possible. Technology has come a long way with social media, external web sites and more. Did you know that 42% of buyer use their smart phone to view property? Also ask, Who are we marketing to? What are we saying with the verbage? If the headline only reads "House For Sale", with very little detail or pictures, then your listing might need a facelift. One thing that I do is look at some of the top Realtors in other markets and states to see how they do it...If they are doing it well, I want to know how I can do it better, so I can serve my customer better!
4. Know It All...Or At Least Some Of It.
Nobody likes a "know it all", until they actually ask a question, and expect the "know it all" to have the answer. A Realtor may not have any idea about the latest fashion, (although the ones that I know are usually dressed professionally and smart) and they might not have a clue where to get good take out, but a good Realtor is always learning and growing in their field and trade. I try to ask the more seasoned agents lots of questions about the business and read about the latest trends in home sales and markets. Good Realtors will know their market, and will know what is hot and what is not. They will know what the financial markets are looking like or be able to give you contact information of the people who do. Realtors will know the ethical and legal boundaries and stay within them to help serve you with the best service. They will also be able to take the "Real Estate lingo" and break it down into plain ole' English... The bottom line is this... A great Realtor may not always have the answer when initially asked, but will always work hard to find the answer promptly, and has a good network around them, that is trained and ready to supply counsel and assistance. I don't think I would call myself a "Great" Realtor, although I am working hard to be one, but I do have a GREAT network of people around me who are smarter, brighter and more seasoned than me, and help me be so much better than I could ever be on my own.
To Everything, There Is A Season
Seasons come and go, and many times, we are already looking forward to the next season, not long after the current one arrives. Most people will say, "I can't wait for summer, and then there will be no snow." Then when that dreaded heatwave hits and we are suffering in 100 degree sweltering temperatures, we begin to look forward to fall. Those ready to sell their home are more than likely looking forward to spring. It's a known fact that when the weather begins to break, and temperatures begin to rise, that those of us who feel trapped inside our homes because of the winter warden, begin to break out of our cell and begin to look for new opportunities. One of those opportunities could be purchasing a home.
At the present time, the market is looking very hopeful as the number of first time homebuyers has risen consistently in the last couple of months. This fact along is great news for those ready to list and sell their home. However, waiting until those Spring loving, house hunting, home buyers begin to start taking long Sunday afternoon drives to pin point the perfect home, may be in vain. The flowers are not in bloom yet, and buyers are already out looking. Looking over my list of present customers, it is obvious that the number of buyers looking, could for the first time in a while, be disproportionately high against the number of homes on the market.
What does it all mean?
What does this mean for you? If you are ready to sell a home, NOW is the time to place it on the market. Let it "settle in", and allow other agents to become familiar with it. After a short while, IF the property is priced right, you could find yourself at the negotiating table with a couple or individual who has looked and looked for the perfect house until one day, out of nowhere, their agent saw that your home was now listed, and guess what...they loved it! With less homes, your property has the potential to really stick out and become a top 3 on somebody's list, so take advantage and prepare your home to list! If you wait till Spring, you may just become one of those "run of the mill" spring listings, and be lost in the shuffle.
Don't wait for everyone else to flood the market. Take top placement, and be counted as those who had foresight and planned ahead. Buyers are looking, and they could be looking for your home. But if you wait on the season to change, then it might be too late.
Everywhere I go, I am consistently being asked, "what is the benefit of using a Realtor"? There are some people out there, who believe that the only way that they benefit from selling their home, or finding a home, is by doing it themselves. You may be one of those people, and no hard feelings if that is the case, but my question in return is "why would you pass up using a professional on the largest financial investment that you own?" The better way to answer the original question is to answer some of the other questions I get asked consistently, and more specifically the question, why should I be your realtor?
Q: When I hire a realtor, doesn't that just cut into my profit?
A: Your profit depends on what you can sell your home for, over and above what you owe, along with your expenses and any other debt on the property. With this in mind, you certainly want to get top dollar for your home. Statistics tell us that in 2013, the average sales price for a home that was listed as a "For Sale By Owner or "FSBO", was $174,900. However the average sales price of a home listed with a Realtor was $215,000. That is a difference of $40,100! If you don't have a Realtor on your side, you could be missing out on a higher profit margin, and potential buyers. The truth is, there is a basic commission for agents, but you are paying for a specific skill set, marketing, leg work and representation, that when its all said and done is more than worth it.
Q: Can one of those real estate web sites do the same thing you can for less money?
A: My "Mama" always says that "You get what you pay for", and real estate is no exception. When using a web based company to sell your home, or to look for a new home, be sure to check the figures that they provide. Many times the numbers that they use are estimates, and sometimes even wrong. These web sites do not know the local or regional market, and can not offer the personal contact and comfort of a local agent like me, who knows the area and other local customers that could be looking for a home like yours. The web site will not be able to market your property like I will, or provide a professional photographer to show the beautiful aspects of your home through pictures. Oh, and what about when you are in the middle of cooking dinner, with a sick child trying to rest and the house is a mess, and suddenly the door bell rings. "Hello, we were our driving around and saw your house is for sale. Would you mind if we came in and looked around?"...The web site is not going to field your showings and set up appointments. So to answer that question, no. As a professional Realtor, I am much more capable of offering better service, better marketing and the personable touch to sell your home, than any web site.
Q: So what else do you do besides put my house picture in that "homes book" and wait on a phone call?
A: Technology has come such a long way from the days of listing a house, placing a picture in a book, a sign in the yard and a prayer for a phone call about it. When you list with myself, you not only get me, but the entire Sallie Davidson team! Our office is known for working together to make sure our clients are well represented. I will personally work hard to market your home through paid services and target marketing such as Facebook, Twitter, Adwerx, and other avenues. I also speak weekly with local community leaders, regional real estate professionals, and business owners, making sure that your property is placed in front of as many potential buyers as possible. I utilize apps, text technology and web sites that reach other real estate agents searching for homes just like yours all over this side of the state. I am constantly creating and developing videos, print media and social media pieces that feature your home. My broker, Sallie Davidson also provides our very own Youtube channel, and classy web site to help potential buyers find your property from anywhere. We are also the only agency in the area to be a part of the prestigious Leading Real Estate Companies Of The World. We network with other independents, to help those relocating to London find homes just like yours.
Q: I can never get an agent to return my calls, so why should you be any different?
A: Most agents are very busy taking care of their clients. Agents will spend lots of time trying to make sure every detail is taken care of, and helping you find the right house while dealing with other clients as well. When you call, there will be times that I may not answer, as I may be dealing with another customer as well, or spending quality time with my family. However, a prompt response is assured, and answers to your questions is my goal. Communication is key to selling your home, or finding your new home, and you can rest assured that I will be in contact with you as much as possible.
So before finding yourself wading through legal issues, contracts and un qualified buyers, not to mention all of the other time consuming duties that you don't have time for, give me a call and allow me to list your home. If what "Mama" says is true about getting what you pay for, then listing your home on your own will more than likely not pay off, and we both know that "Mama" is always right! - Daniel
Like everyone else who lives in Kentucky, I am proud to be a part of our local and regional community. The business community and social community. I am proud of our local schools who raise the bar and invest in the next generations. I am proud of the local churches and non profits that work together to care for those less fortunate. I am proud of the local businesses that budget each year to contribute to educational and social programs that benefit everyone. I am proud of the heritage of growing up in Appalachia, where family means something, and helping your neighbor is a way of life, not just a slogan.
For me, being a Realtor is about more than just selling houses, it's about marketing my community to people looking at moving and settling in here. Serving my friends and neighbors as well as they purchase and sell their largest asset and investment. I firmly believe that without community members supporting each other, I am out of a job that I love, and would be looking for a new line of work. Without community, there would be many who could not succeed in business, education, family and life.
On this blog, you will read from time to time about happenings and successes of our local community, our schools, students, leaders and people that make this a tremendous place to live, work, worship and play. If you are from another town, county or state, let me invite you to take a peek and check out Southeast and Central Kentucky, and be the first to say WELCOME! If you are a "local", then I challenge you to rediscover the beauty and excitement that is in your back yard, and find ways to invest in and engage this wonderful place that we call home!