As consumers, we all desire to be good stewards of our finances. As a mom, I am always looking for ways to save money. Today’s market provides for many options for consumers. There’s a huge difference between sales peoples- No two agents are the same! Education, experience, and service are the benchmarks that separate the mediocre from the exceptional real estate agents.
Recently I have noticed several ads from a flat fee broker, touting that he is “saving his clients thousands versus a x% commission.” The truth is all commissions are negotiable. There is no such thing as a “standard commission” for real estate agents. Beware that a promise of flat fee/discounts may include up front non-refundable fees called “marketing fee”, “advertising fee”, and “administration fee.” And think of money you may be lose due to the lack of skill and negotiation expertise. If you can’t decide between an agent who charges 1 or 2 percent less than another, think about how you would feel if you had to reduce your sales price, by say five, or eight, or twelve percent, to get the house sold.
So, what kind of real estate agent and service plan is best? Consider the following questions.
What’s the market in your area right now?
A seller’s market occurs when the numbers of buyers exceeds the available inventory of homes for sale. In a sellers market, homes sell the minute they hit the multiple listing service. A great presentation with photos, savvy marketing, targeted expose to the right buyers and open houses make all the different in seller’s market! Will your agent be able to negotiate a sale with terms favorable to you?
A buyer’s market occurs when inventory exceeds the supply of buyers. Home sales are may be slow. Many homes fail to sell in this type of market. This is where the expertise and extra work of a full-time, full service agent pays off. Listings that sell for top price are typically those exposed to the most buyers, which are priced well, marketed well and show well.
What kind of service level do you expect?
A full service real estate agent works real estate full-time; The full service agent will be accessible and available to show homes, answer calls, respond quickly to all inquiries. Most limited service agents are part-time agents; their schedules will not correspond with that of their customers, buyers or seller.
Buyers are particularly demanding in their desire to view homes on their schedule. Every missed showing is a missed sale opportunity. Many real estate responsibilities such as title companies, probate courts, tax records offices have set business hours— a part-time/limited service agent will not be able to see to those details.
The real question should be — Can a part time or limited service agent adequately serve your needs? Will your agent have the time it takes to effectively negotiate a sale that’s in your best interest?
What kind of photos you want of your home?
I cringe when I see new listings hit MLS without a photograph because I know that agents and buyers are passing them over without a second thought. The Owensboro MLS allows up to 45 photos per listing. The quality and number of additional photographs is controlled solely by the listing agent.
All my listings have superb additional photographs, taken on professional level camera equipment. I spend considerable time sorting through photos to select those with the most light, the best angles, sharpest contrast & color. Photos are cropped and resized to accentuate positive attributes. Every photo I enter into MLS is accompanied by a full-length enticing description.
In what ways will you promote my home?
Full-service agents tend to project quality, and that means four-color flyers and four-color direct mail pieces. Full-service marketing is first class.
Our local Owensboro market shows a continued need for a variety of marketing media. My properties are featured in print thru Sunday featured display ads, thru the “Real Estate Inside Out” magazine. Plus comprehensive exposure online thru social media and listing syndication to a variety of websites , including realtor.com, zillow, trulia, and literally hundreds more. We pay for update feeds, refreshed evry 15 minutes, to ensure the most up-to-date information is available.
Full-service agents typically spend more on overhead than their competitors; by refusing to compromise service, they tend to charge more.
Do you host Open Houses, and how often?
Homes that are right for an open house require an experienced Realtor’s finesse. This means working the buyers who come through by pointing out impressive features of the home without making the buyer feel oppressed or hounded, and that in itself is an art. It requires the service of an experienced sales person. Full-service agents counsel sellers. They find out what made the seller decide to buy the home and how that moment happened. Then, they employ that knowledge at open houses. Many flat fee and discount brokers refuse to hold homes open.
What’s your record on negotiations?
Real estate is an extremely competitive business, and there are many agents fighting for the same listings. A full-service agent who wins the listing is probably a good negotiator, a person you want on your side during offer negotiations. Think about it. Agents who can persuade you to pay what they feel is reasonable, will probably persuade a buyer to pay your price. Ultimately, that means more money for you.
As a professional real estate agent, my services are designed to help you make money, resulting in the highest sale price possible for your home, thereby protecting your equity.
Sometimes full-service agents lose listings because the seller was promised a higher price based on hot air and a lower commission. It’s these listings that often show up in MLS, months later with reduced prices. The amount of the price reductions, not surprisingly, tend to exceed the difference in commissions between the dueling agencies! In these scenarios, sellers received fewer services and ended up losing money on the sale as well.
If you can’t decide between an agent who charges 1 or 2 percent less than another, think about how you would feel if you had to reduce your sales price, by say five, or eight, or twelve percent, to get the house sold. Ask the agents to show you their last 24 months of price reductions and compare them.
This post was originally published on February 13, 2013 by Angela Clark on the following blog: http://activerain.com/blogsview/3624513/getting-the-most-for-your-money–real-estate-services