Choosing The Right Agent
While we always hope to earn your business, I can’t stress enough the importance of Hiring the Right Agent. I used to be in charge of reviewing all files for compliance. I was shocked to find that 90% of agents left money on the table that should have gone to their buyer or seller. This is simply unacceptable. A home is the biggest purchase most people will ever make. It is also the cornerstone of most people’s wealth building. So I have composed a list of qualities for a truly exceptional agent so you know what to look for.
Qualities Of An Exceptional Agent:
- Years of Service: It’s a strong agent who has gone through a rough/bad market as well as a good one. This gives the agent maneuverability around options, programs available and the contract. The fact that the agent has made it through the rough times says a lot about her skills.
- Must work Full Time: An agent simply can’t stay on top of things working part time. They need to be among other agents during business hours to listen to and share experiences to find out what and how another agent maneuvered their customer into a better position. In the event a situation comes up, an exceptional agent needs to know multiple avenues on how to advise their client to get out of a situation without it costing their customer money. it simply can’t be learned part-time due to the layers of information and expertise of the person who’s giving the scenario. Every situation is different.
- Must Love & Be Passionate about Real Estate: Whenever you have a profession where you can make a lot of money and only spend a week in a class or online environment to get started, you’re bound to have some greedy agents where their only goal is to make money without any regard to your pocket or family situation. They will push you into making offers that make their job easier or give them a bigger commission. Agents with passion, seek to make their customers happy regardless of the commission out of ethics.
- Must Be a Good Listener: Buyers and Sellers say a lot without even knowing it. A good agent listens to what the customer wants and needs, listens for potential issues or obstacles in their customer’s goals and listens to protect their customers from making any mistakes.
- Must Have Excellent Communication skills especially if you don’t: Agents must feel comfortable to speak freely with their customers. There is so much to tell you and so many ways that can cost them unnecessary money. Communication of what obstacles and pitfalls is simply, for me, the professional standard.
- Must Keep up with Market News/Training: The market can switch quickly, trends change, and prices can fluctuate. When it’s a Seller’s Market, sellers can get great prices on their homes when selling if the agent knows what they are doing. When it is a Buyer’s market, a good agent must know this as well and take action to adapt to market changes thereby effectively leading their customers.
List Your Home
Price Your Property Right
It is critical the right price is placed on the property. Anybody selling a product obviously desires to get the most money possible for that product. Placing an excessively high price on a property often proves to be counteractive to this cause. Before you set your price you should go over all the area sales and comparables in that area. Have your agent prepare this for you and get a copy to look over yourself. A high listing price will often cause prospective buyers to expect more than what you have to offer. As a result, overpriced properties have a tendency to take an unusual amount of time to sell, and they end up being sold at a lower price.
Statistics tell us that sellers end up paying 20% lower than market when selling For Sale By Owner. This is due mostly because they don’t know the tips and tricks we use to get the deal to closing or get around an appraisal or to lessen the repairs a seller has to make. We are highly qualified agents at JaxFLHomesLocal.com that have been through several markets to learn the ins and outs of getting our customers what they want.
Our Strategy is to listen to our customer’s needs and wants and create a strategy to get to that goal using our expertise.
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Pitfalls to Avoid
We have already discussed Hiring The Right Agent in the article above. Your agent must effectively communicate with you. They must have an assertive personality with a strong ability to negotiate. Period! There are agents out there that get into the business for the money but are shy, hard to communicate with or worse: too nice to negotiate a good deal for you so they just agree with whatever the other agent says. I see this a lot of the time when I’m negotiating but in all fairness, I’m a tough negotiator. I’m what’s known as a triple threat.
These listings are called FSBO or For Sale By Owner. I applaud those who want to try it on their own, but to do it Right and get Top Dollar takes skill. There are over 100 hands that touch a home sale from title, inspectors, buyers, appraisers…etc. Each part has their own rules and regulations that you must know how to navigate around. You have to navigate the type of financing and what is required for each type among other hurdles. Simply put, not hiring any agent Can and Will cost you. It’s not just about negotiating the price like some people think.
The cleaner your home is, the easier it is for a buyer to see themselves living there. If you still have clutter, put it all in the smallest room, preferably a closet. You must make your home as neutral as possible. Help the buyer see themselves living in your home.
There’s an art to pricing your home. People think that Realtors or sellers just take a guess and slap a price on their home. In reality, they should look at their neighbor’s home, look at what other homes are for sale and how their home measures up to the neighborhood’s competition. Pricing your home is so much more complicated than just slapping on a price. If your home is unique or has unique features, this makes it even harder. The Case Study below is a great example of what NOT to do.
Using the same case study from above…. They hired an inexperienced agent who agreed to take a 1% commission on their ridiculously overpriced home. The agent has to earn a living and most of the time needs to pay their broker 30-60% of their commission and then there are fees paid to each brokerage. How much marketing do you think their agent was able to do? Answer: Not Much if any!
If you don’t pay your agent at least 2% commission, the marketing doesn’t get done because there’s simply no money for it. If the home is over $700k, I could see a small reduction in commission but luxury properties take a higher level of marketing which costs significantly more. You could hire the best in the business but if you don’t pay for quality, you won’t get it!
A home at 162 Bedstone Dr. Fruit Cove, FL 32259 listed on 3/04/2022, during one of the hottest markets and one of the hottest areas (Top 3rd growth area in the country and A+ School district). The sellers listed their home at $675k ($155k more than the value) because the market was hot and they thought northerners would pay more to move down to Florida. They dropped it little by little until now they’ve dropped down to $520k, which is exactly what it should be priced at before. Now they aren’t getting any showings and we’re technically in a recession. Their home is beautiful and there’s nothing wrong with it. They let the listing expire and will most likely end up taking less than what they could’ve gotten. I predict they’ll end up with at least $20k less than what they would’ve gotten 6 months ago. They also may have been able to get their closing costs paid for or even had a bidding war break out which would have likely resulted in a much higher sale price. Now buyers may wonder what is wrong with the house with the length of time the house has been on the market. This raises concerns for a buyer, which is a classic reason why you should never overprice your home.
For Sale By Owner
A seller who chooses to sell their home by themselves is risky but can come with a high reward. It’s not for the faint of heart but there are options. If you’re willing to do the work, it can be done but you must do the work or else your profit will suffer. The chart below can help you decide if you’re up to the task. If you can perform all of those tasks yourself, then you have half of the pie. For the other half you’ll need someone in the business. An exceptional agent is best of course! There are pieces to navigate. For instance, each type of loan has different stipulations and rules. Another example is that it’s not always wise to give the lender certain paperwork that you don’t have to provide. Mistakes like this could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. This is a legal contract that has a lot of twists and turns. My suggestion is to hire an experienced agent like me. Below you can see some of the tasks we do with each sale to get our clients TOP dollar!
|Listing Agent Fee (Buyer Agent Separate)||$495||2.00%||2.50%|
|Multiple Listing Search System||X||X||X|
|Comparative Market Analysis||X||X|
|Professional Home Valuation||X||X|
|Broad Web Listing (126 sites)||X||X|
|Unlimited Open Houses||X||X|
|30 Minute Consultation||X||X|
|Light Home Staging||X||X|
|Property Marketing and Syndication||X||X|
|Professional Marketing Photography||X||X|
|Drafted Listing Description||X||X|
|Unlimited Updating of All Web Outlets||X||X|
|Aerial Photography of Property||X|
|Just Listed Postcards||X|
|Moderate Home Staging||X|
|Full Time Home Representation||X|
|Managing All Aspects of Showings||X|
|Handling All Contract Negotiations||X|
|Review of Buyer's Eligibility||X|
|Full Review & Negotiations of All Inspections||X|
|Coordinate Closing Process||X|
|Contract Review for Unnecessary Fees||X|