By Tanya Nazariya (Owner of Brilliant Staging & Design)
Hello my lovely followers!
If you have been following my posts you know we have been digging in deep into marketing a home for sale. Before we started this series, I blogged about our slowing market and preparing your home for sale prior to marketing it. If you haven’t done so already- I highly recommend you read the proceeding blogs first. So far in this series we have discussed the importance of staging and photography. Today I would like to discuss what might be the most important part of selling your home- an amazing Real Estate Agent! (In some states the work Agent is replaced with Broker. I will use the two words interchangeably) Your agent is like the glue that holds everything else together. Selling a home is a big, stressful project and the agent is the one who should take the burden off your shoulders and execute the plan.
So… How about them agents? Oh boy! Nowadays everyone is an agent right? You post something about wanting to move on social media and within 30 seconds you have 10 new messages in your inbox from friends who are real estate agents. ? But let me just say this- if you want this process to be less stressful and to sell your home quicker (and possibly for more money), do your research on the agent. An agent can make or break your sale!
A Good Real Estate Agent
I must say that finding a good Real Estate Agent/Broker is the most important step in successfully selling your home. (That’s right! And I’m not even an agent!) I have staged homes that were “For sale by owner” and we got them sold with good staging and photography. But I can guarantee you the process would be faster and less stressful had they let a professional handle it. When I first spoke with one of the owner they didn’t even know what MLS was. They were asking me so many questions that an agent should have been handling. Save yourself the headache and stress and hire a professional.
A good agent will tell you everything you read in my blogs. They should be able to tell you what
the market is doing, and they should encourage you to prepare your home for sale and to hire professionals to help. They should understand the importance of marketing, staging and photography. Your agent should be able to anticipate where problems may occur and how to prevent them. It is also beneficial to hire an agent who works with a team. This means they have other agents, possibly more seasoned agents, to bounce ideas off of and get help when needed.
I have heard horror stories about terrible agents. In the end- if your agent isn’t doing their job- FIRE them! Move on! Find someone better, more savvy and aggressive.
For example: I have a wonderful broker I work with regularly. She took over a listing that spent 171 DOM (Days on Market) under another agent. We then got the home staged and photographed properly by my favorite photographer, relisted it (she did her marketing magic) and it sold in 28 days!! ?? Not to mention it spent 171 DOM during the hottest market! Houses were selling left and right. But this agent failed to do his job and didn’t help the owners prepare and market their home. Our team got the home sold right before Christmas in less than a month!
An agent should do a lot more than just post your home on the MLS and take care of the contracts. They need to aggressively and strategically market your home. I will repeat- Do your research! Ask questions, and be smart.
What does their marketing plan entail? Many great agents will pay for your staging and photography as part of their marketing plan. What kind of experience do they have? What do they specialize in? If you’re selling a multimillion-dollar home: have they ever sold a home as expensive as yours? Your agent should be knowledgeable about the area they will be marketing in. Do they know the statistics of the population in the area? Do they know who your target audience is? Do they know the comps in the area and the historical data of sales in that area? Check out some of their prior listings. How did the homes look? Where they staged and photographed well? The agent should be the person who handles most of the business affairs relating to the sale of your home. They should be able to recommend professionals to help with certain tasks.
Always check the agents track record. They can promise many things, but what does their past say about their work? How fast have their homes sold in the past and for how much? Your agent should have good communication skills and should be a good negotiator. A friend broker of mine said, “ if someone drops their commission at your first request, he or she is not a good negotiator”.
A good agent will put together a timeline and a plan for selling your home; A to-do list with specific ways of executing these tasks. Having an agent is kind of like having a wedding planner. They should handle everyone and everything with minimal feedback from you. And when the time comes to closing, they should be skilled in contracts. Your agent should make sure you are getting a good deal, and know when to accept an offer. He or she will protect you from sneaky contracts and future headaches.
Ask friends and family for suggestions on a good agent, someone with great success stories. And as usual- always interview agents in person. Make sure your personalities don’t clash. Don’t hire a jerk! Buying and selling a home is a stressful time, hire someone who makes you feel at ease and comfortable with the process. Your agent should be tech savvy and understand the modern times and ways of doing things. FYI- This has nothing to do with age. I have met “older” agents who are so on top of the new technology and marketing tools that they blew my knowledge out of the water. It’s mostly about finding an agent who is smart, driven and educated. Agents should be constantly studying the market trends. Find a good agent and your life will be so much easier.
I want to close with this- Have realistic expectations. Agents, stagers and photographers are here to help you sell your home faster. But they aren’t magicians. If your home is outdated and in a bad location, you can’t expect it to sell in a week, and over asking price. Be realistic and do your part preparing your home for sale. Having a good plan and realistic expectations will help make the process less stressful.
I hope you found this blog helpful and informative. If you are planning on listing a home for sale, you will set yourself up for success by following these rules. Selling a home is stressful and sometimes very emotional. It is important to prepare your home and hire the professionals needed to make the experience as smooth and successful as possible. Best of luck on your home selling and buying adventures!
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more tips, tricks and photos @brilliantstaging. If there is any topic in particular you’d like to read about, please don’t hesitate to ask. I take all questions to heart and want to help people understand staging, real estate, and design. The topic we covered today was a big one, if there is any prong that you’d like to know more about, send me an email or a DM.