HIRING THE RIGHT AGENT
In today’s market, hiring the right agent is the single most important thing you can do to sell your home!
Today’s agents need to be more experienced, more Internet savvy, more efficient, more professional, and most of all, more honest than ever before. Let’s elaborate on all of these characteristics and their impact on selling a home in today’s market.
Whether the market is up or down, we cannot stress enough how experience impacts the sale of your home. This is not unique to real estate, the more successful and the more transactions someone is involved in, the more experience they have. We see this every day when an offer comes in on one of our real estate listings and our experience tells us to dissect not only the offer but the mortgage pre-approval letter as well.
The amount someone is financing, the contingency dates, the size of the down payment all play into the quality of the offer. Unfortunately, this business is “trial by fire” and we have already learned what works and what doesn’t. With thousands of transactions under our belts, there is simply no situation we have not encountered and been able to successfully work through.
The list of issues that can come up are too many to list but here are some examples: home inspections, appraisals, uncooperative tenants, estate sales, building department violations, disputes over property lines, mortgages not discharged, buyers trying to pull out of deal, flood insurance, zoning discrepancies, failed septics, short sales, foreclosures, commitment dates, mold, inexperienced agents, the list goes on and on.
Selling a couple of homes a year or even a month isn’t enough experience these days to stay on top of the growing list of issues. We have found that an entire team needs to be involved in every transaction for a home to successfully close, something one single agent can no longer handle.
In our Marketing Your Home section we explain in detail how important the Internet will play in the sale of your home. Once again there was a time when simply holding an open house or placing an ad in the Boston Globe was sufficient exposure to market a home. Today, any top agent will tell you, the majority of their marketing dollars should be placed online to provide the right exposure for your home.
Internet marketing does not mean just placing your home on MLS. It means having contracts with all of the top real estate sites like Realtor.com, Boston.com, Zillow.com, and even Trulia.com. Since accessing the Internet is free many sellers think that so is advertising on it when in truth, it costs a good chunk of money to correctly list your home on these sites.
For an experienced agent, this is not an option and the marketing dollars invested to sell your home will be recouped when your home sells. Unfortunately, most agents are unwilling and many times unable to invest the amount of money needed for this type of exposure. For the truly elite brokerages, they have a dedicated online marketing person who spends all day posting, re-posting, and blogging about each listing on every real estate site available.
In any industry, being as efficient as possible is going to allow for a better experience and increase the likelihood of success. Real estate is no different and requires systems and staff to ensure a successful sale. As highlighted in our About Us section, an entire team handling the transaction allows for all parties involved in the sale to be coordinated with and updated more, so that showings, inspections, dates, and any and all issues are closed out!
Efficiency also refers to how quickly calls and emails about your home get addressed. Buyers and buyer agents are needier than ever and they want answers. If an agent is a “one person show” like 99% of agents these days, when they are showing a home or in another appointment, they are away from client files and most of the time unavailable.
This doesn’t happen to a true real estate team where systems are centralized to allow for phone and email coverage 7 days a week. Not to mention, agent access for after hours. For a buyer and buyer’s agents to get a live person who can answer their questions immediately is priceless in securing offers. True efficiency means multiple staff members which costs money, which is why most agents continue to operate less efficiently.
To us, professionalism means treating clients and all parties involved in the transaction with respect and empathy at the highest level. What client doesn’t want a true professional when dealing with the largest financial decision of their entire lives. Obviously, it’s a rhetorical question but with social media at an all-time high, it seems a personal touch is a lost art.
There is a place for texting and emailing but many clients still need a real person to talk to over the phone and this is something a true professional agent always makes time for. Professionalism is not just when dealing with clients, it is also critical when dealing with buyers and buyer’s agents. There are countless situations where things can get heated in a transaction and always keeping emotions in check and respecting the other parties is not optional. We can’t have buyers get turned off by an unprofessional comment or lackluster response.
Our mission statement printed on the first page of every employee handbook says it best:
“Lamacchia Realty’s mission is to inspire our agents and employees to reach their fullest potential by providing industry-leading coaching, training, and technology. These innovative methods empower us to provide clients an honest, transparent and unrivaled experience when buying or selling a home.”
You would think telling the truth is something that everyone does, unfortunately, we all know that is not the case. In real estate, honesty starts at the first meeting with the client explaining what works in marketing and what price will get the home sold. Some agents are just scared to tell a seller the truth, especially around pricing, because they feel they will lose the listing.
We feel the opposite. If an honest price is not acceptable then the seller is not ready to sell. No industry is flawless, the real estate industry has attracted its fair share of “riff raff.” Unscrupulous behavior should never be tolerated in this industry. Being honest and ethical should be the cornerstones of every agent and can never be compromised.
Please remember, you cannot have just one of these characteristics or even up to three or four, every single one of these must be possessed by the agent that is going to sell your home. Otherwise, the odds are against you and you most likely will not succeed in selling your home because you have hired the wrong agent!