In the current Buyers' Market, it's imperative that you choose a Realtor that will do absolutely everything it takes to sell your home. What time-tested techniques do I use to sell my listings?
Sounds simple, huh? However, talk to someone who has had an agent that turned into a "ghost" once they listed your home. They'll tell you that this was their #1 (and most frustrating) problem they had with their agent. I have invested to make sure I'm a fully mobile/available agent. Test it out. Call, text, or e-mail me anytime between 8 AM & 8 PM (except for church on Sunday) and see if you don't get a virtually immediate response.
I challenge you to find another agent in Georgia that builds a completely customized webpage from scratch for each of their listings. This has separated me from much of my competition since my real estate career began. Technology, and all the benefits it can provide, has always been an integral component of my marketing efforts.
Each website I build contains:
How will buyers find your webpage, you might ask? Simple - it's your address! For example, if you live at 987 Main Street, I'll acquire the web domain/web address of www.987MainStreet.com. Then, I'll link the page I build from scratch that has all the info/pictures/narrated video of your home to that web domain. I'll have a custom sign made to put on the "For Sale" sign at your home that has the www.987MainStreet.com (or whatever your address is) and all your flyers will list that web address so that buyers can easily see your home online. Also, I will add that web address to your listing on the premium real estate websites like Realtor.com, AJCHomeFinder.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com, etc.
You won't believe how many agents won't purchase or construct a virtual tour for your home! Agents will tell you they will "do everything they can to sell your house" until it comes time for them to invest money in a virtual tour or narrated video tour of your home. Virtual tours are the #1 things buyers look for! Each one of my listings gets a virtual tour... all at my cost... guaranteed!
Again...sounds simple, but talk to someone who had an agent that put flyers in the flyer box (that is, if they had a flyer box at all) when they listed the house, but then they never brought anymore flyers to keep the flyer box full and people drove up to get a flyer...only to find none in the box. In practical terms, flyers (especially color flyers) cost money to print. Make sure you don't select an agent that will print you 25 flyers when they list your house and then (especially if it doesn't sell in the 1st month or so) never print any more or start bringing you black & white flyers!
full capacity of photos, virtual tour, property disclosure, etc. Ever looked at a house for sale on-line, but there wasn't even a single picture of the house? Or only 1 picture? Our 2 local MLS services allow 12 and 16 photos, respectively and links to a narrated videos/virtual tours! One of the MLS services also allows links to items such as termite letters/property disclosures/plats/etc. If you want your house to stand out... if you want your house to SELL, you need maximum exposure! What do most buyers do if a listing comes up with no pictures, even if there's a description of the home? They click to the next listing (looking for pictures)...
In addition to narrated video/virtual tour links, Realtor.com allows a maximum of 25 if you're a showcase agent (and yes, I am). Realtor.com reports that once a buyer has performed a search for homes and the results have been displayed, the most pressed button on their website is "Sort by number of photos." That means that because I pay to be a Showcase Agent and get to add 25 photos of your listing, your listing will always be at the top of the search results so that buyers see your house first! This is EXTREMELY important since there are so many houses currently for sale. You don't want your home on the 10th page of the search results! AJCHomeFinder.com allows 20 photos if you're a showcase agent (and yes, I am). TheRealEstateBook.com allows 20 photos if you're a showcase agent (and yes, I am). Zillow allows 20 photos if you're a showcase agent (and yes, I am). I could go on, but it may be easier for you to just see it for yourself.
Many agents do not spend money on print advertising anymore (especially since the market has been tougher for sellers). I still advertise each of my listings in the FMLS Metro Residence Guide and The Real Estate Book (available at local stores such as restaraunts and grocery stores). The National Assocation of Realtors shows that nearly 90% of all buyers search for their homes on the internet and virtually no one uses those magazines to search for homes. Why do I still invest money to advertise in these magazines? Simple - I want to do everything I possibly can to sell your house.
What is this, you ask? The funny (well, it's not funny if your agent doesn't do it) thing is that many of my fellow agents will ask the same thing... Our MLS systems allow us to search the MLS for other real estate agents that have saved a search for homes that matches the criteria of your house (location, size, price range, home characteristics, etc.). The MLS will provide a list of all the agents in the entire MLS service that have saved a search which matches your home. I, then, can call those agents and make them aware of your home! I can even e-mail those agents a flyer or link to your home's webpage so that they can see it and forward it to the buyer they represent who is looking for a home like yours! I estimate that less than 5% of all agents in the state actually do this (additionally, I would venture to say that less than 15% of all agents even know that this is a capability of our MLS service!).
When an agent shows your house to their buyer, I am e-mailed all their contact information (phone number, e-mail address, company, what day/time they showed it, etc.). I am then able to e-mail them a feedback form with specific questions about your home. When they reply, you get a copy of their response so that you have quick, accurate feedback on the condition of your home.
It's the #1 item on my daily To-Do List. For those of you who "get" this, I don't need to explain it. For those of you who don't, don't knock it until you've tried it.
Why do I take the time to put all this in writing? I don't mind being accountable for my work. I want you to know what you're getting if you use me to sell your home. I don't want to talk negatively about other agents, but make sure you know what you're getting when you select an agent to list your home! You're paying them good money to do a very, very important and difficult job! Did you know that if you've hired an agent to list your home and you're not happy with their effort or results, all you have to do is notify their broker (boss) in writing that you'd like to be released from the listing contract you signed with them. It's a law of the Georgia Real Estate Commission - as a matter of fact, it's written into the listing agreement that you sign with every agent in the state (by the way, read that agreement carefully and make sure they don't throw something in there that says that you have to pay them money if you opt of of the listing agreement - some agents are actually putting that in their contracts now). Few agents will tell you information like this, but I want you to know that if you're not happy for any reason about my effort/results, you're more than welcome to terminate the listing with me. I welcome accountability. The evidence is in the results!