REAL ESTATE February 27, 2019

How I Best Represent My Home Sellers

As a real estate agent, I have an obligation to you my client to do everything I can to smooth the process of selling their home. I am your advocate, the professional you are turning to for help. I want to be the agent you can not only trust, but will do all I can to get the most money for your home in the least amount of time with the fewest headaches along the way.

Because some home sellers know so little about the sales process, it is easy enough to do the bare minimum and get by as an agent, but I will never build my business by doing the least possible. I will do my best – cover all the bases of a smart sales process – I will gain a reputation for great work, and enjoy the referrals that come along with that reputation.

Smart home sellers understand there is a big difference from so many of the “post and pray” real estate agents that do not much more than put a sign in the yard, place it in the MLS and pray. You deserve a lot more than this.

My job as a Realtor:

1. Price The Home Correctly.

Pricing a home properly is bar none the most important thing you can do as a Realtor. Exceptional Real Estate agents avoid giving in to the desire to say what will make sellers happy just to attract business. Top notch Real Estate agents will price each home using their training, understanding of the market and comparable sales.

Understanding how to price a home is one of my most valuable skills. I sell homes for close to the original listing price. I have a reputation for pricing homes accurately and not telling you what you want to hear to get a listing. This is one of the lowest things anyone in my profession can do and violates the code of ethics we are supposed to follow.

As a seller, you should be aware that pricing a home too high can cause major issues in the sale. Buyers may avoid it, and if they avoid the home/lot long enough, it will develop a bad reputation. 

Even with a competitive price, buyers will be likely to low-ball you after a period of time. Ultimately you may sell the house for less than what you would have if you had priced it correctly, to begin with. The seller loses out, and the agent’s reputation suffers.

2. Market The Heck Out of The Property.

Marketing is one area where your Real Estate agent should shine. Your agent should be taking great pictures of the property – hiring a professional photographer if necessary. The photography on your home is absolutely one of essential elements in selling homes today. I can tell you first hand how appalling it can be seeing some of the photos real estate agents post of their client’s homes. What is probably even worse is the sellers who never bother to look!

The internet will be where home buyers discover your home. If your homes pictures are lousy, you will lose out on a significant amount of traffic.

Your Real Estate agent should be well versed on how to get the word out using all available marketing channels, not just the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Ideally, your Realtor should have a website that draws traffic and showcases all their properties for sale. They should also be using social media, like Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and other platforms, to spread the word. All of these online options take some time for an agent to develop, but will ultimately strengthen their business and help their client’s homes get sold.

The Real Estate agents marketing material should be top-notch, from photographs to videos to the brochures used to market the home. Investing in a quality Real Estate agent who understands how crucial the marketing is will reap substantial benefits.

3. Communicate Properly.

A seller needs to know what is going on with the sale of their home/land. I will regularly update my customers on the feedback from showings and about anything else that may concern them. Even if there are no offers, keeping in touch lets a seller know that you are doing something – and worth paying for.
I will return your calls or emails promptly.  In my mind, all phone calls or emails should be returned within an hour unless you are already with another client. There is no excuse for poor communication. Staying in touch is something all sellers have a right to expect from me.

4. Make Sure The Buyer is Qualified.

Anybody can say they are interested in buying a house. Not everyone can get pre-approval for a home loan, though. I will make sure that buyers are pre-approved – not just pre-qualified. There is a big difference between mortgage pre-qualification and pre-approval. Pre-qualification does not include an analysis of the buyer’s credit report, verify income, or employment, which will be key factors in whether they can get a mortgage.
A pre-qualification in most instances is not worth the paper it is written on. You want buyers who have already submitted all information, including a credit report, and been given the go-ahead for a loan. As long as nothing changes with their financial situation or their credit, they should be able to get approval and buy your client’s home.

5. Negotiate The Best Terms.

I will go out of my way to fight hard for the best terms and conditions for you me client. This, after all, is what I get paid to do. I will never think about their pocket book but what makes the most sense for you my client. 
I will advocate for my client, I will always strive for the best possible terms for the transaction. Everything in Real Estate contracts is negotiable, when warranted I don’t hesitate to counteroffer with a price that is more favorable to my client. I have the negotiation skills necessary to get the job done right.
If a client wants adjustments to contingency dates or closing times, these should be negotiated appropriately. A good agent will understand the real value of each element to the customer. Pushing to get clients everything they possibly can is what the best of the best do on a regular basis.

6. Attend The Home Inspection to Represent The Seller.

I will attend the home inspection. By being there for the inspection, I get to hear all the feedback from the inspector first-hand. 
I will keep track of everything that is said and keep things in perspective should the buyer ask for concessions based on the inspection. Some requests may be reasonable. Others may not. When I am there and can see everything in person, I can protect a seller from unreasonable requests.
Here is the perfect example: A home inspector says during the inspection that the roof has 3 to 5 years left before it needs to be replaced. The translation after a home inspection from the buyer to the seller is that a new roof is needed immediately. Sometimes what the home inspector says and what is written in his report are two different things.
When I am present, I can see and hear first hand what exactly the issues are. Some buyers will exaggerate everything in the hopes of getting a closing cost concession or the seller making repairs. Home inspections often become the second place of negotiations.

7. Attend The Home Appraisal.

I will attend the home appraisal, so I can answer the questions the appraiser has and make sure they understand the facts about the home. Appraisers need feedback from me the person who knows the house to do their job. I will be there to help clarify any confusion. In many instances, I will be the best qualified to answer an appraiser’s questions.
For example, the appraiser could be looking for all the recent updates, among other things, that have been made in the home. Major updates are certainly something that can influence the value of your home. This something the agent should be there to point out. Updates are the kind of thing that can have a significant bearing on the outcome of the appraisal.

8. Finalize Loose Ends For Closing.

Selling a house involves a lot of work. There are so many little details that must be taken care of, which is one of the big selling points for my services. As the closing draws near, i will  take care of all the loose ends for you. Taking care of the smoke & carbon monoxide detector certificate, final water/sewer readings and any other issues is part of the package I offer . I do more so you don’t have to.
Selling a home can be very stressful, but when you have a top shelf agent in your corner who is taking care of the little details, the burden can be eased just a bit. 

Final Thoughts

In summary, the traits you should be looking for in a real estate agent consist of these attributes:
  • Honesty above all else. I will put YOUR needs before my own.
  • Professionalism. From the dress to manners, I am the extension of you to everyone I encounter in the home sale journey.
  • Excellent communication skills – I will stay in touch with with you.
  • Strong negotiator – I am a tiger, not a pussy cat.
  • Creative marketer – I am not the agent that does the bare minimum. I have a comprehensive marketing plan.
  • Exceptional company and personal reputation – Myself and Engel & Völkers are looked up to as leaders.
  • Experience and proven results – I have the knowledge and expertise to guide you in unforeseen circumstances.