Most people begin the selling process by looking around on-line sites like Zillow, Realtor.com, or Trulia. This makes sense because these sites are free and easy to access, day or night. They can even be useful because you may get a feel for what other houses nearby are selling for or how many homes are currently for sale in your area. But if you are ready to seriously consider a home sale, you need more- you need a great Realtor.
What Can a Realtor Do That I Can’t?
The information you find on free on-line sites is not often up to date and may be inaccurate too. Agents or agencies have to notify these sites if a home has sold but this often lags far behind the sale. The info provided is also not updated often so what you see may be old and inaccurate on-line estimates of value are often based on incomplete or undocumented sales info or info outside the area an appraiser would consider useful so they are notoriously poor at predicting what a house should – or will – sell for.
A good Realtor will use much more detailed information from industry documented resources. A good Realtor should provide you with a thorough CMA (Competitive Market Analysis). This report provides a true snapshot of the value of your home based on comparative homes (“comps”) active, pending, and sold in the last 6 months. The “Comps” the Realtor should use to value your home should be selected by criteria like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the square footage, and the lot size, but there is much more to consider. Value adjustments are made depending on the school district, the neighborhood, the geographic distance from your property, and the number of days those properties were on the market. Finally, the value estimate from a good CMA will also reflect adjustments made for current updates and upgrades to your home and the potential to add value in the future.
How Can I Find a Really Excellent Realtor?
Realtor.com has a useful “Find a Realtor” feature that allows you to see Ratings for Realtors in your area. We are glad to share our Realtor Rating! Pick some highly rated Realtors and check their websites. A good Realtor provides useful free info (like these posts, actually) that show they are knowledgeable and helpful. On the website you can also see if a Realtor has extra competencies and training (for example, we have ABR and SRES designations and are members of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing and are Fine Homes and Estates Agents through Century 21). These show a desire to provide excellent added services and to be on the cutting edge of market skills. Personal referrals from family and friends are also great starting points, but be sure you get a highly competent Realtor, not just a family friend.
The most important thing you should do, though, is pick up the phone and CALL SOMEONE.
The First Phone Call is Your First Interview
If you call a top notch, busy, successful Realtor, you may or may not reach them immediately, but you should expect a phone call back promptly. If you don’t get one, that Realtor may be too busy to serve you well, or may not value communication as much as you do, or may simply not be your person. Don’t ignore the interest and the initiative to return your call and the energy the Realtor brings to hearing about what you want and need.
You should ask lots of questions – on our website you will find a list of interview questions we expect to be asked and would suggest you ask anyone else. We are also happy to provide our answers to these questions – we believe you will be impressed with our answers versus the responses you get elsewhere! If you find that you trust and like the Realtor, ask for a face to face meeting where they can tour your home and present you with a CMA. At that time, they should also be able to provide you with an Estimated Seller’s Net Profit sheet that describes how much you would net if you sold in their suggested price range. Finally, ask them to provide you with their general marketing and communication plans and ask how much they individualize those plans. Ask to see examples of their previous marketing work and sales, and ask for a few references of past clients who would be willing to talk with you.
You should expect the Realtor to ask YOU some questions during the first phone call too. To provide you with a good CMA and Net Profit sheet, the Realtor will need info about your home and also info about how much you may still owe on the house. These are important in providing you with a useful CMA and Net Sheet.
How WE do Business:
At Watson Concierge Realty Group, we have a basic marketing plan which we are happy to discuss in detail at our in person meeting. Our plan has many fixed items but is also flexible in that we tailor some specific details to fit the preferences of our clients. For example, we highly suggest a sign in the yard, a robust on-line presence for your listing, and Open Houses. But if you are opposed to some of these we adjust our b can agree to adjust our traditional plan to your preferences. We also have a robust communication plan as we believe knowledge is power, but we are glad to communicate in whatever formats your prefer- some like a phone call, others prefer email or text.
Our business model for Real Estate service is based on a Concierge style. As such, our default is to monitor every detail and learn to anticipate your wants and needs. We expect you to be highly satisfied when our transaction is complete. This is our track record and we provide a service level equivalent to these expectations.
What are Your Goals?
This is a crucial first piece of your working relationship. A great Realtor should be focused on understanding your goals as a first priority. We can tell you how we do business, we can provide previous client testimonials, and we can and will stand proudly on our customer satisfaction scores and market data. But at the end of the day, a GOOD REALTOR LISTENS TO YOU!
Here are some of the questions we want to discuss with you if you choose to work with us: How fast do you want to sell? Is there a “need to sell by” date? When can you move? When would you like to move? What is your desired price point? What does the perfect sale look like for you? Are there details beyond price that make a transaction more attractive to you?
All these questions help us know your goals and also provide us with negotiating points beyond simple price. We hope to get you the best price possible for your property but we also want to know what else drives you in your sale.
Do You Work With Everyone Who Calls You?
Interestingly, no. As you are interviewing us, we are also paying attention to you. If you find that we are not a good fit for your plans and goals, we bless you in working with someone else. There may also be times when your goals don’t line up with what we think the market will support and in those times we will be glad to suggest other Realtors to you. We usually find that we can work great with people who interview us- it is always our hope to say yes! But on the rare occasion when we don’t feel we can accomplish what you are looking for well, we will help you find someone else who will.
Questions about choosing a Realtor? Please do get in touch. We would be glad to speak with you further about your Real Estate needs: