What Jim Does
The other day my neighbor asked what’s the difference between good agents and the rest of the pack? I told him that the good, experienced agents bring plenty to the table:
Full service agents take all the risk of selling your house. I spend the time and money to get it sold, not the seller. If it doesn’t sell, I don’t get paid. I asked my neighbor – would you go to work for the same pay scale, knowing that you won’t get paid a penny until the deal is done AND if it doesn’t close, you get paid nothing for your time and investment? I’m putting my money where my mouth is – investing in the opportunity to assist you with your sale. To pull it off, I rely on the following:
- I have to be an expert on staging your house to sell. Your home needs to look spectacular to get top dollar, and most sellers could use help in staging the home.
- I utilize the best marketing techniques available and strive for maximum creativity. You really have to be paying attention to understand what works and what doesn’t.
- I know the neighborhood. Knowing the little nuances of each area will help make a buyer feel more comfortable buying in the midst of the bubble.
- I know the comps. Chances are I’ve seen many more than the sellers or other agents – that’s a big advantage at crunch time when the buyer is holding a low comp over the sellers’ head – I can derail the argument with more accurate information.
- I know the MLS. Experienced agents use the MLS like a carpenter uses a hammer. I can read between the lines and tell you a lot about the property just from looking at the MLS listing. Utilizing the knowledge from these three (3,4,&5) I’m able to craft a powerful case on why somebody should buy the property for the price offered – that’s what a good listing agent should be able to do – build conviction in the value of the property.
- I know the other agents. If you’ve been around a long time and do your share of good business, your reputation is well-known and other agents will want to work with you. That’s a big help in the seller getting what he wants – top dollar and a hassle-free transaction. Plus the veterans know which agents to avoid.
- I’m aggressive in pursuing the buyers for my listings. I cold call, knock doors, hold open houses every weekend, and follow-up with potential buyers until they buy or die.
- I know how to negotiate a win-win. These days, if the buyers don’t feel comfortable with the deal, they’re not buying. It’s critical to achieve enough common ground that all parties feel they got a fair deal to just get to escrow, let alone close the deal. This hasn’t mattered the last few years, buyers just went along for the ride just to buy a place – now they are far more critical and achieving a win-win is mandatory, yet many newer agents have never seen such a thing.
- In trouble with your mortgage holder? It takes a strong agent to hold them off – and one who knows how to package a brokers’ price opinion with a perfect credit application to stop foreclosure – mine are crisp, clear, and thorough. Without them, the banks will continue the foreclosure.
- Coordinating all the details during the escrow period is critical to making sure the deal closes. That by itself is a full-time job – in my case, my wife works a good 30-40 hours per week to ensure a successful and timely closing. And when you hit a snag, the experienced veteran knows how to handle it – and keep progressing towards the finish line.
- Moving – I regularly help locate the next home for the sellers, supply moving tips, get any junk hauled and leave the home clean for the buyers. Today’s buyers won’t accept anything less than a clean and spiffy house at closing, and because people don’t move often, they usually underestimate the time and effort involved to get out. Jim to the rescue.
- I’m available – I answer my own phone. I put in 60+ hours a week, and can be reached by phone easily during waking hours. When a buyer calls the phone number on my sign, I’m the one answering the phone. Having your agent available and on full alert at all times means you won’t miss any opportunities to get your home sold – how many GOOD agents are so dedicated to helping you that they’re available all the time? Not many.
- I’m a broker (since 1988), and run my own shop. That doesn’t make you a good agent, but let’s face it, you have to know your way around this business to do that. It’s my reputation that’s on the line every day, not some large corporation’s.
Fact – 90% of the business is being done by 10% of the agents. Unfortunately that means that a lot of agents are standing around, hoping to get lucky. No wonder the public berates agents, and thinks we’re not valuable to the equation. Let’s face it, 90% of the agents don’t have much experience in selling homes. But the savvy veterans bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, resulting in a higher sales price and a faster, easier transaction because we know how to get it done.