Real Estate, like any business has its trends and turns. There are so many aspects to how the profession operates, that its impossible for the general public to know the "ins and outs". Thinking back over the last several months and the questions that I am hearing, there are three things that every person should know about a Realtor...
1. I Can Show You Almost Any Property
As a licensed Realtor, I am available to show you any property that is listed with any company. This affords me the opportunity to help you find property that fits your criteria, even if its not listed through my office. Agents work together many times to help you and serve your Real Estate needs.
2. We Do Not Get A Regular Paycheck
In recent days, a client was late showing up to a showing appointment. Upon arriving, the wife apologized profusely for being over 30 minutes late, yet the husband chuckled and said, "He is getting paid to be here so don't feel that bad". While I did not take offense to that necessarily, it did make me wonder what most people thought about how a Realtor makes a living. It is simple, yet not always consistent. When a house sales, the agents involved split the agreed upon commission. Then, those agents also split the commission with their broker. In some cases, the commission is split 4 different ways, and if a referral is involved, it could be 5 ways. A portion of what we make also pays for advertising, fees and taxes. So, when an agent is showing you property, they are not on the clock, because we are not paid hourly, yet only receive commission if the property sells, and then its only at the closing.
3. I Want The Best For My Client
Yes, I want to sell many homes. Yes, I want to be in the Million Dollar Producer Club. NO, I do not want to do this at my customers expense. Real Estate is like other businesses, there are those that are not professional or comes across a little shady, but there are many agents such as myself that would rather chew our own arm off, than do any hard to our customer. We work hard to show you good properties, watch out for potential pitfalls and make sure that deadlines are met. We market your properties, negotiate on your behalf and feel a sense of duty to serve your needs at all costs. I will not show you the most expensive properties only, or march you through my listings only, hoping you will buy mine and not somebody else, because that does not serve you. I am here to help, to serve and to be YOUR Realtor! When my client is satisfied and happy, then I have been successful!
When you are ready to place your home on the market, it can be both exciting and nerve racking, especially if you are going it alone without the help of a Realtor. Many time, people will try to "spruce the place up", or "re decorate", when all that really needs to happen is the opposite. If you are ready to sell your home, then I suggest that you stay away from these 3 things...
1. Add Furniture To Your Home
When trying to sell, you should stage your home in a simple and uncluttered fashion. Adding furniture, especially over sized pieces, can often make a room look small and even more difficult for the potential buyer to see their furniture in the space.
Depending on what your definition of "Re-Decorate" is, could be the difference between a sale and see ya later. A fresh coat of paint is always a good thought, and sometimes a rug here and there, but it is not always necessary to hang more pictures or purchase more lamps, or add greenery to a room. Remember, you want the buyer to see it through their own lens, not looking through your rose colored glasses.
3. Clutter Is OK, Because We Live Here...
You may say to yourself, "I'm not that messy, besides, people will understand that this is our home and a house is supposed to be lived in." Well, you got part of that right! People will understand, but they won't see past it. Even if you think you are not a "hoarder" or too much of a slob, just remember, buyers are not thinking what you are thinking. Tidy up as much as possible. Papers off the counters, appliances put away and that stack of magazines by the recliner, they need to vanish! No matter how much you like Muscle Car Mania and Gardening With Gertrude, they make your space look a bit messy.
The best rule of thumb is, "Make it simple, then simplify it even more"... Keep that in mind, and you will be ready to market your home!
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