Over the past few years, I have been primarily a buyer's agent meaning that I focused on working with buyers instead of sellers. Within the past year, I have decided to focus more on helping sellers due to a few different reasons.
1. Being from the area originally, I know the area well and understand the market making it very easy for me to adapt to working with sellers.
2. Being primarily a buyer's agent, I know what buyers look for when making home purchases so I know what to have sellers do to their homes to maximize showings and thus, bringing a qualified buyer quicker.
3. I realized that with the large pool of buyers that I work with and come into contact with, I could probably sell a lot of the homes that I have for sale to buyers I already have ready to purchase. (And I have been doing this)
4. From my experience with buyers, I know where most of the buyers in this area come from which in turn, helps me market any home I have for sale better and the homes I market are in front of the most eyes possible. That's the key to selling a house. Make sure you have it in front of as many eyes as you possibly can.
When I first started working with sellers, I kept getting asked this one question on almost every appointment. "Why would I put my home for sale through your company when I can put it for sale with this company over here with a name everyone knows and who has more agents working for them?" I soon realized that many sellers don't understand how this business works. Most agents that I know of are all independent contractors. Yes they have to hang their license with a company, but they operate individually. What this means is that the sale of your home is dependent on the individual work of that agent, not the company the agent works for. A real estate office may have 50 agents working for them but that does not mean those 50 agents are trying to sell your home.
Another way to prove this point: When you were looking to purchase whatever home you are thinking about selling, did you buy the home because of the company that had the home for sale or did you buy the home because you were able to find it online or in an ad, and liked the home? Chances are you didn't buy the home because ABC Realty Company had it for sale, and you probably didn't even know what company had it for sale when you found it. You liked the layout, upgrades, location, etc. and you made the purchase.
The reason I have explained my experience above is for one reason. I want to educate sellers about how real estate sales work so they are not taken advantage of, and can make the best choice when choosing an agent to sell their home. I'm not saying you shouldn't go with a big company to sell your home, I'm saying what matters is the agent you choose, NOT the company they work for. I know the reason you came to this article is probably because you are thinking about selling your home and were hoping this article could alleviate the pressure of figuring out which agent you should choose. So below are the things you should look for in an agent and questions you should ask before choosing the agent.
Qualities You Should Look For In Your Agent
1. Customer Service: This job is more about customer service than about selling. If you feel the agent you are meeting with is more worried about just getting the home sold than serving your personal needs, they are probably not the right agent for you. Yes, you want to sell your home, but you want to make sure you have an agent that will act in your best interest, and assist you throughout the transaction and be readily available when you need them or have questions. You don't want an agent that will meet with you once and pawn you off to their assistant once you are their client.
2. Honest Pricing: This quality is of huge importance if you want your home sold. If you are asking $200,000 for your home and an agent comes in and provides proof that your home may not be worth that much and gives you a number and reason why that should be the number, don't shy away from this agent. Shy away from the agent that comes in and tells you everything you want to hear just to get the contract signed. Instead of saying, well ABC company told me I can get $200,000 for the home, ask the agent who was honest with you if you can at least try to start around $200,000 and see if you get any bites, Then you can adjust from there. Chances are the agent that told you "Yea, we can get you $200,000 no problem" isn't being honest and is just trying to build inventory. You'll be getting a call every now and then from them trying to get you to drop the price some until they sell it. They don't want that contract to expire so they will hound you to drop it to where they can sell it. I can't stress the importance of picking the honest agent. In the long run you will have much less hassle and they are usually easier to work with in all aspects.
3. Marketing: This is the most important quality because how an agent markets your home determines how quickly it sells, and maximizes the amount of money you get for your home. A good agent should be able to list to you the sites they use to market, how they go about their marketing and what areas they focus their marketing in. I can't go into too much depth on this without giving away my marketing techniques. But you are free to contact me directly and I can explain this in more detail. But your agent must be a master of internet marketing or not enough eyes will see your home, thus putting you at the mercy of an agent with limited marketing ability. Times have changed, newspaper ads and flyers aren't the best way to get eyes on your home anymore.
Questions To Ask Agents You Interview
1. What do you use to take your pictures?
-This seems like a weird question to ask right off bat, but I promise you this is huge. You won't believe how many buyers I have worked with that I've sent homes to and they call me back and say, "Hey Jonathan, I got these list of homes but half of them I can't tell if I like them or not because the pictures are blurry or it's really dark in the house." Guess what, they never end up looking at the homes with pictures that aren't high quality. YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS OUT ON SHOWINGS BECAUSE SOMEONE WAS TURNED OFF BY YOUR HOME ONLINE! The owner of my company was a professional photographer before entering real estate so we have high definition Nikon cameras with expensive flashes that will light a home up and take immaculate high definition photos. Don't get this confused with an agent that uses photoshop. You do not need photoshop to take high quality photos and photoshop can be very misleading. You want people to be able to see the great details of your home, but you don't want them to see something that looks great and it not be the same in person.
2. How do you market my home to the most buyers?
-This is also very important because you can take great pictures all day, but if nobody sees them does it really matter? Please ask all agents exactly what they do to market your home. This is the only way it will sell. If anyone could just sell a home by putting out a sign and throwing it on Zillow, Realtors wouldn't have jobs. There is a marketing plan that every agent should have when selling a home. Agents should be doing paid marketing not just using free sites. That gets some eyes on your home but not enough.
3. Do I deal with you directly throughout the transaction?
-This question isn't important to some people. I know most of my clients like that they have my direct line to reach me whenever they have questions or need anything. There are agents out there that will sign paperwork with you and you won't hear from them again. They should be giving you updates periodically and giving you feedback on the showings on your home. Based on the feedback, you and your agent can make a game plan on how to proceed to get your home sold. Don't be pawned off to some assistant who knows nothing about your home. Deal with agents who want to earn their paycheck and work with you throughout the process of selling your home and are there to answer questions you may have.
4. Why should I sell my home with you?
-This is probably the most important question to ask. If an agent can't tell you why they feel they are the best person to sell your house, are they the best person to sell your house? All of the other questions listed above and the qualities to look for in an agent are the answers to this question. If the agent you are interviewing meets the criteria listed above, they probably are the best agent to sell your home. But to give you an example, I will now tell you why I feel I am the best agent to sell anyone's home!
Why I Am The Best Agent To Sell Your Home
The main reason I feel I am the best agent to sell your home is for one, I am a buyer's agent. Most people say well, I have been meeting with seller agents why would a buyer agent be the best person to sell my home. Well what are you looking for, a buyer right? If you have an agent who has worked with buyers consistently, that probably means at any given time, they probably have someone looking in the price range of your home. Guess who's home they are showing to their buyers first when that buyer is looking in the price range of your home? YOURS! For one, you make more money if you sell your own home so why not show it to your buyers just in case. It just makes sense. So picking an agent that specializes in working with sellers isn't necessarily your best route. If you have an agent that has walked through homes with buyers, chances are that agent knows exactly what turns buyers off from homes and can keep that from happening to you. And believe me I've heard every reason why someone didn't like a certain home.
I also believe I am the best agent to sell anyone's home because I am from Horry County originally. I have lived in the North Myrtle Beach/Little River area my whole life. I went to North Myrtle Beach High School and Coastal Carolina University. I'm about as local as you can get and know the whole county like the back of my hand. Believe me this helps when marketing your home to a potential buyer. I focus on customer service, not how much money I will make or how many homes I can have for sale at any given time. If an agent tells you that they or their office have 30-40 homes for sale right now, you should ask them why so many are for sale and not under contract or sold. It's about quality over quantity. I want to sell homes and make my clients happy. Sure I want to make money as much as anyone else, but not at the sacrifice of my clients feeling like they were taken advantage of or are not happy.
Lastly, I feel that my marketing plan to find buyers is the best and when it comes to marketing a home for sale, not many people compete with me. Ask me where and how I market my homes. To top it off, I don't rob people on commission rates. I structure my commission much differently than other agents and my company gives me free reign to negotiate my commission with any seller, which is something a lot of agents don't have the power to do.
This is an example of what you should look for in an agent. If you are looking to sell your home, please give me a call. I won't take much of your time and can explain how I operate and why I am the best agent for you. More importantly, if you don't use Wave Beach Realty to sell your home, I hope this article at least helps you find the best agent for you and that you are comfortable and satisfied with the agent you end up using. Thanks for reading and check back for more informative articles in the future!