So, as you begin the new year, you, or someone you know, may have already made the decision to sell your/their home. I recommend that you begin the process early. In fact, the sooner, the better. One of the first things to do is to identify a real estate agent, preferably a REALTOR®, as they are held to a higher Code of Ethics standard.
When it comes to choosing the right agent to sell your home, avoid the “Post & Pray” agents who are known within the industry as the type of agent who will simply put up a sign in your front yard, post a few ads, and pray for a buyer to come along.
How do you pick the right agent? First of all, ask your family, friends and neighbors if they know a good agent. After obtaining their recommendations, review that agents business practices. And, please, please, please, don’t select an agent based upon the reviews on their website or social media. Amazingly enough, reviews are easily purchased from services selling reviews. This is one of those instances where the phrase “the internet says it, therefore it must be true” does not apply.
Seasoned, experienced and professionalism go a long way in this business. Avoid the part-time, social (they are just in the business to sell their friends house), and unprofessional agents, if at all possible. I will say that I know many part time agents who are better than some agents with 20+ years of experience. They may be part-time due to their family obligations. Just make sure that their situation does not affect the sale of your house.
Pick an agent who will go the extra mile for YOU.
Here are 5 things that are signs that you have selected a good agent:
They Excel in Communications
Most agents will provide you with regular updates and feedback, so you will always know what is going on with the sale of your property. Choose an agent who communicates in the manner in which you like to be communicated with. Some agents don’t communicate at all. Know which style you like and choose accordingly.
I am an over-communicator. I do have one client who only wants to hear if an offer is coming. I will adjust my communication style to meet your needs.
They Will Price Your Property Correctly
It’s easy – very easy – to tell a seller what they want to hear and price a property too high, but in the long run it can only cause harm. If a property is priced too high, buyers avoid it, and if they avoid it for too long, it soon gets a bad reputation as an unsalable property. (This is not necessarily true of luxury homes which can stay on the market longer as the buyer pool is much smaller).
I use my extensive knowledge of the Tri-City area (Alamo Heights, Olmos Park and Terrell Hills) property market and make sure that the selling price of your home is accurate and in keeping with similar properties. And, pricing is difficult in this area due to the wide variety of homes.
I am willing to give you hard truths, even if it is not what you want to hear.
They Will Market Your Property – Properly!
Alamo Heights ISD homes is a unique property market, with homes ranging from $75 per square foot to over $1,000 per square foot. This creates a large market gap, meaning that different price ranges needed to be marketed to differently. Getting the word out about great real estate opportunities is a challenge, and sellers need an agent well-versed in the ins and outs of local marketing. My professionally optimized website draws traffic and showcases all my properties for sale.
Over 87% of buyers find the property they want to buy by searching the internet. Therefore, the photographs are worth a thousand words. Further, BAD photographs can severely limit interest. I pride myself on hiring one of the most respected professional photographers in our area which costs approximately $350- $500+ per session, depending upon the size of the home. Many high end brokerages in the area are using services which use less seasoned photographers and cost about $85 per home. I believe in providing you with the best photos of your property; photography which show your property off in its greatest and most desirable qualities.
I also make extensive use of digital marketing such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms to draw attention to your property.
They Make Sure the Buyer is Qualified
If you have a luxury home, this is especially important. A Buyer’s offer on a home doesn’t necessarily mean they’re financially able to buy it.
Is the buyer pre-qualified or pre-approved? Pre-qualification does not include an analysis of the buyer’s credit report, nor does it verify income or employment. I recommend that sellers view pre-approved buyers more favorably. This buyer knows what they want, have taken the steps necessary to get their affairs in order. In other words, they are really READY TO BUY!
If a buyer is simply pre-qualified, the seller runs the risk of having the transaction fall through due to circumstances which would have been discovered during the pre-approval process.
Cash doesn’t mean squat unless you have a Proof of Funds verification. Cash is an interesting transaction. Buyers who offer cash often times believe that CASH IS KING and that they don’t have to show the POF to the listing agent; that they are the king, and that you as the peasant must bow down to them. Be careful, especially if the funds are foreign funds. A cash transaction can be misleading and lull a seller into complacency. Buyers who actually have the cash understand the risks you, the Seller, are taking. A truly qualified Buyer will gladly provide you with their POF. It is BUSINESS 101. I ask those hard questions of the Buyer’s Agent.
Paperwork, Paperwork, and Details
Selling a property in Alamo Heights involves a lot of work. There are many little details that must be taken care of before a deal can close. Once you’ve accepted an offer for your house and are ready to sign, I take care of all of the paperwork, details and follow up required by title company, the lender (if the property financed), collect condo fees, maintenance and utility receipts, easing the last-minute stresses of closing and making sure the sale of your property goes as smoothly as possible.
I understand nuances. For more information about how I can help you sell your Alamo Heights ISD home, condo or property, contact me at 210.413.2085 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you the best in 2017!