When choosing the agent that will sell your home, here are a few thoughts on how they should “be” working for you.
If you are working with an agent that is hard to reach, shows up late for appointments, or doesn’t show up at all, that is a problem. This is the first sign that your Real Estate agent is likely unreliable and doesn’t have your best interest in mind when he doesn’t return calls or emails, shows up late to showings, misses appointments, and doesn’t make you a priority. While Real Estate agents are indeed busy, failing to keep commitments and being unreliable is a big red flag. I usually respond to clients texts, emails and calls within 8 hours, and sometimes sooner during the business day. Additionally, I have responded to client’s texts at midnight and I am available as much as possible (barring sleep, of course).
Buying or Selling homes can be a tough business. Financing falls through, inspections go south, the other agent is not available (see #1) and many other problems can cause the process to become rocky. When working with a client, I am focused on their goals, regardless of how the transaction is progressing, and keeping a professional demeanor at all times is how I operate. As they say, “You are responsible for how you act, regardless of how you feel”, and I use that maxim to ensure that my actions always are aligned with my clients’ goals.
Be an Expert in Your Local Market
Often, I run into agents that are doing transactions all over the area, but they tell me that they are “focused on this area”. How big is that area and how well can you truly know it?
For my entire life, I have lived in Northern Virginia, half of that time in Fairfax County, the other half in Loudoun. Today, I focus my rental business in Fairfax (and very narrowly) and my sales business in Loudoun. If you look at my site, I have built “farms” of information for a few local areas, and I have become an expert on those areas in Loudoun because I help people buy and sell there most often.
Be Detail Oriented
“The devil is in the details” when it comes to buying or selling a home. Over the last couple years, I have been around some incredibly successful real estate teams, and have added their processes to my stable of information, which I think benefits my clients. In the end, your agent should be bringing those processes to your listing or your purchase agreement to make sure that the transaction stays on track.
Be Consumer Focused with Marketing
When preparing for listing opportunities where a client hasn’t sold their home with another agent, I am shocked to see how often that their home had terrible (and too few) pictures. When marketing a home, you should always use a professional photographer and stage the homes so that when they are seen on all the major real estate websites, the home is presented in the best light. This is because the real estate business has become so “online centric” that 95% of buyers look online at homes and contact the listing agent on the homes they are most interested in. When the pictures don’t look good, they never contact the agent. You only have one chance to make a good impression, and taking a picture with low light, and terrible contrast will not stand out from others. Here’s a couple examples:
In my case I always get a minimum of 30 pictures, and when called for, build a professional website with those pictures to manage the lead process and ensure that I am “telling the story about my client’s house”, instead of relying on other agents where they could likely lead a buyer to another home.
Spring is just around the corner! If you are thinking about Selling Your Home in Western Loudoun and are interested in its value, I can help! Check out our home valuation tool and then contact me to get your home sold quickly for the right price!
If you are interested in more tips about selling your home, read our series:
Thinking About Selling Your Loudoun Home in 2016?
Home Sale: Someone is Coming to See Your House…Lights, Camera, Action!
Thinking About Selling Your Home? Watch this Staging Your Home Video!
Taking the Right Photos To Sell Your Home
Open House Tips