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How to Pick a REALTOR

With all the REALTORS running around these days it’s hard for a consumer to decide which one is best….and who all these companies are. Used to be we knew who the major players were in the real estate market:

1. RE/MAX: known for top producing agents that paid a fee for their office space and got 100 percent of their commissions.

2. Coldwell Banker: Good Training for their agents and have a good reputation.

3. Century 21: Good training for their agents and have a good reputation.

4. Sotherby Realtors: every major city had at least one office and the agents in those offices tended to sell the higher priced properties.

Now we have almost 14,000 agents in the San Antonio area attached to companies we’ve never even heard of. And the latest? The new MLM agent….your Realtor might not be just selling real estate…it’s like AVON….the more agents they recruit, the more money they make. Do you want an agent that sells houses or an agent that recruits other agents?

So…how do you pick your real estate agent when their are 14,000 of them and almost as many companies?

Ask these questions:

1. Are you fulltime? Do you work nights and weekends?

I promise you….about 10,000 of these agents aren’t available 100 percent of the time to manage you or your house. When you have an offer come in….do you want to wait until Monday morning to find out about it? In today’s busy market…that buyer may get anxious and have moved on if they wrote the offer on your house on Friday night and had to wait until Monday to find out if the offer was accepted. If you’re the buyer…do you want to wait 3 days to find out if your offer was accepted? If they work at a fulltime job during the week….how can they negotiate the offer that comes in before their shift starts? I’ve met REALTORS that are also UBER drivers….do you think that REALTOR can negotiate while driving to the airport with people in the backseat? And….do you want the people in the backseat knowing about your personal business?

2. How many people are on your team?

If they are on a “team” you get them right now…and then another person takes over for inspections, and then a third person might take over for the closing process…..do you really want to work with someone you don’t know on the most important purchase of your life or the largest sale of your life? Be sure to ask about the transfer process and confirm they are still available 100 percent of the time for ALL your questions.

3. Tell me about your office…..this might be a really great question. If the office just opened up and has 2 people in it or if the office has been in business for 25 years….I can promise you that the office that has been in business for 25 years has probably done a lot of great things to stay in business that long. How does their office operate? An office that recruits for a percentage of stocks might not be the right fit for you if your house sale isn’t as important as the next recruiting session or training of their agents.

4. How long have you been in the business? With 30,000 sales a year in San Antonio and almost 14,000 agents…..the only agents that have been in the business for 10 years or more are agents that sold more than 2 houses a year. Currently 5,000 agents wash out and leave real estate within their first 3 years….and that’s been happening for over a century in San Antonio.

Make sure who you choose to represent you is one of the agents that has been around a while…in an office that has been around a while who job is to sell real estate…..lots of real estate!

The odds are in your favor for a favorable closing when you stack the odds in YOUR favor!

Pocket Listing

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I had the opportunity to visit with an old friend who shared with me her most recent real estate transaction/experience. She needed to help her daughter sell her daughter’s condo in Colorado. None of the Realtors she knew responded to her emails requesting they contact her…..I didn’t press to find out how many Realtors she emailed or if she called any of them…….but she shared that her next step was to complain to another friend about how none of the Realtors wanted to help her sell her daughters condo because none of them responded to her emails (shame on them)……..so the friend recommended a Realtor to help.
The Realtor referred to her was young, innovative, aggressive and had an idea that she had never heard of…..he would sell the condo for only 3.5%! He told her to think of ALL the money she would save by only paying 3.5%! He also told her that if he sold it himself….he was only going to take THREE percent! AMAZINGLY…..he sold it himself in just a few months…..so “THEY SAVED TONS OF MONEY by only paying 3 PERCENT”!
What this “innovative, aggressive and young” agent did to sell her daughter’s condo wasn’t anything new….but I didn’t burst her bubble by explaining why. She is a friend and thinks she got a fantastic deal. It’s called a “pocket listing”.
MANY years ago….before the internet…..no one had a chance to know when a new house or condo went on the market unless the agent that listed the property shared the information with others in their office. When a property doesn’t go into the multiple listing service I always wonder….if buyers from all over the world knew about this property….what would it sell for? Would it sell for more if more people knew about it or just the handful of people that found out? Who was the “young, aggressive, innovative agent” really representing? His paycheck or the sellers bottom line?
The ONLY times I recommend a “pocket listing” ;
Celebrity owners…..lots of real estate agents wont be able to resist showing their friends and family homes of the rich and famous……..selling your home does not mean part time agents or new, inexperienced agents should be allowed to waste your time and mine.
Your home is considered a “luxury” home……again, part time agents or new, inexperienced agents might enjoy showing friends and family a home that they might never get to see in their lifetime and wasting your time and mine.

My out of state friends daughter was NOT a celebrity nor was her condo considered a luxury property…..It will probably take a few lawsuits to occur before sellers that tried this “innovative and aggressive new idea” realize they might have sold in less time and at a higher price if they had put the property in the MLS system and let the world know about it….nothing drives up price better than having millions of buyers view your photos and wonder if another buyer might also be considering buying your home….but until then….PLEASE don’t suggest that this is a “new idea”…..we quit doing things that way when we began putting homes on the internet with photos. And if you are a celebrity or have a home that would be considered a “luxury” home…you can count on me to keep your information private and get it sold quickly and for top dollar.

Virtual Staging

Photos are everything……since we are all looking online before we go out to see a house we might consider purchasing.

Lots of buyers can’t vision how or where to place their furniture…..and some sellers don’t want the drama or time involved in actually adding furniture to their empty homes they hope will sell quickly.

Virtual staging allows buyers to see where they will place their furniture and gives them ideas on how to decorate for their purchase.

I LOVE the before and after….what are your thoughts?

2017 Average Sales Price

Last year the average sales price was $249,000 for homes sold/listed with a  Realtor.

The average price was $210,000 for homes sold by an owner without a Realtor.

The average price was $151,900 if the buyer and seller knew each other and didn’t have a Realtor.

Let’s hope that the $151,900 folks at least were related.

 

Information for this blog is from Inside Sales Predictability 2.17.2018 Michael Reese.

 

 

 

San Antonio Home Sales for January

Everyone is always talking about how great the real estate market is in San Antonio…..but is it really the “hot” market they are saying it is?

This January 1760 homes sold….versus 1687 homes in January 2017.  The days on market for a home in January was 67 days….last January it was 62 days.

Some homes do “fly” off the market….so if you like a house, don’t wait for someone else to put their offer in.   67 days really isn’t very long for a house to get a SOLD sign and interest rates are starting to creep up.  If you’re thinking about a move….you should consider updating that prequalification letter and start your search before everyone else realizes that the house they could have bought last year is now out of their price range because of rising interest rates.

We’d love to help you sell your home or find your new one.

Give us a call at 210-273-6161 or email us at Lisaharder@live.com.

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