What to expect from a real estate agent when selling a home

Thinking of selling your home? What to expect from a real estate agent when selling a home

As a real estate agent, you have an obligation to your clients to do everything you can to smooth the process of selling their home. You are their advocate, the professional they are turning to for help. Most people want an agent they can not only trust but will do all they can to get the most money for their home in the least amount of time with the fewest headaches along the way.

Because some home sellers know so little about the sales process, it is easy enough to do the bare minimum and get by as an agent, but you will never build your business by doing the least possible. When you do your best – cover all the bases of a smart sales process – you will gain a reputation for great work, and enjoy the referrals that come along with that reputation.

Home sellers reading this article should understand that like every other industry, there are those who are exceptional and others not so much. When selling a home, it is very easy to choose a wrong agent, after all, the odds are stacked against you.

 

How can you increase the chances you will make the right choice in picking a real estate agent? First, you need to understand what it is that real estate agents should be doing for you.

Fair selling price

The most important task that your real estate agent can do for you is help you set a fair and competitive selling price for your home that will increase your odds of a quick sale.

Understanding how to price a home is one of a real estate agent’s most valuable skills.

While some agents will intentionally misrepresent a home’s value to get business, others lack the skill to price a home correctly. Exceptional real estate agents avoid giving in to the desire to say what will make sellers happy just to attract business. Top notch real estate agents will price each home using their training, understanding of the market and comparable sales.

A Comprehensive Marketing Plan

Marketing is one area where your real estate agent should shine. Your agent should be taking great pictures of the property – hiring a professional photographer if necessary. The photography on your home is absolutely one of essential elements in selling homes today.

Your real estate agent should be well versed on how to get the word out using all available marketing channels and include tactics such as their own personal website, their own personal blog, and active social media profiles to spread the word.

If a real estate agent is lacking their own website, their own blog, or is not active on social media websites, you may want to reconsider selecting them to sell your home!

Marketing material should be exceptional, from photographs to videos to the brochures used to market the home. Invest in a quality real estate agent who understands how crucial the marketing is  and you will reap considerable benefits.

Communication is key

The #1 complaint from consumers with towards real estate agents is a lack of proper communication! Selling a home is stressful, and lack of communication from your real estate agent can make it even worse.

There are some clues you can observe before you hire a real estate agent that will give you a good indication of how things will be moving forward. Do they return your calls or emails promptly? All phone calls or emails should be returned within an hour unless you are already with another client.

There is no excuse for poor communication. Staying in touch is something all sellers have a right to expect from their real estate agent.

Large network of business connections

Great professionals align themselves with other great professionals.  When selecting a real estate agent to sell a home, it’s important to find out what service and business connections they offer.  Do they have real estate attorneys to suggest?  Do they have brokers to suggest to potential purchasers?  Do they have movers they can suggest once the house is sold? A real estate agent should be able to provide a list of services and business recommendations without batting an eyelash.

Qualified Buyers

A good real estate agent will make sure that buyers are pre-approved – not just pre-qualified. A pre-qualification in most instances is not worth the paper it is written on. You want buyers who have already submitted all information, including a credit report, and been given the go-ahead for a loan.

Strong Negotiation Skills

The job of a real estate agent who is representing a seller is to get the most money for their clients home in the least amount of time.

The best agents will go out of their way to fight hard for the best terms and conditions for their clients. This, after all, is what they are paid to do. They should know what to say to a buyer’s representative and when to say it.  Real estate agents who advocate for their clients are always striving for the best possible terms for the transaction. A seller’s real estate agent should not send a counter-offer from their client back to the buyer’s representative without any dialogue.

Show up and show out

“To not show up is lazy.” A seller client may or may not expect a real estate agent to attend the home inspection, but they should do it regardless. By being there for the inspection, the agent gets to hear all the feedback from the inspector first-hand.

Your agent can keep track of everything that is said and keep things in perspective should the buyer ask for concessions based on the inspection. Some requests may be reasonable. Others may not. When a seller’s agent is there and can see everything in person, they can protect a seller from unreasonable requests.

Attend the home appraisal

A good real estate agent will attend the home appraisal, so they can answer the questions the appraiser has and make sure they understand the facts about the home. Appraisers may need feedback from someone who knows the house to do their job. Your real estate agent should be there to help clarify any confusion. In many instances, your realtor will be the best qualified to answer an appraiser’s questions.

What to expect from a real estate agent when selling a home

Finalising the deal

Selling a house involves a lot of work. There are so many little details that must be taken care of. As the closing draws near, a top shelf real estate agent will take care of all the loose ends for you.

Final Thoughts

In short, the traits you should be looking for in a real estate agent should be:

  • Honesty above all else. The realtor should put YOUR needs before their own.
  • Professionalism
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong negotiator
  • Creative marketer
  • Exceptional company and personal reputation
  • Experience and proven results

At the end of the day, having an experienced and knowledgeable agent by your side when selling your home is likely to have the best possible outcome for all involved.

Read More

Thinking of Buying a home? What to expect from your Real Estate Agent?

If you are thinking about buying a home, chances are you have questioned whether you need a real estate agency or not. Trying to buy a home without a real estate agent can carry risks and lead to issues that you may not be aware of. There are plenty of good, honest agents out there who focus on what is best for their clients.

A real estate agent can be invaluable when you are trying to buy a home. Each agent is different, which means each may take a slightly different approach to the home buying process. However, there are certain things that every real estate agent should do for you as a buyer.

The following is a list of critical things a real estate agent should perform for home buyers. If you find a potential agent that says he or she won’t do the things on this list, keep looking.

Get you pre-approved

A good real estate agent has unprecedented access to a network of trusted agents, lenders and other professionals involved in the home buying and selling process. Your agent should be able to connect you with a trusted lender who will take you through the pre-approval process so you can get to shopping for your home.

You want to be pre-approved so you know how much you can spend, so if you aren’t already – talk to your real estate agent about getting it done.

Find the Right Property – provide information on location, neighbourhood and local school system

After determining what clients are looking for and what they can afford, the agent will schedule appointments to tour homes that fit the bill. The agent can also explain the ins and outs of various properties and neighbourhoods to help buyers decide which home is right for them by explaining the pros and cons of various options.

Negotiate the offer

One of the biggest perks of having a great real estate agent is their ability to negotiate the best price for your home purchase and that includes the preparation of all necessary forms when making an offer and/or counteroffer. The best negotiators know the value of what they are attempting to buy or sell, which is what makes respected real estate agents so useful. This is where the agent’s experience in negotiating deals can save you money and help you avoid pitfalls. The agent should have in-depth knowledge of the factors that affect the value of a home.

Recommend other professionals

A real estate agent should also be able to refer you to reliable real estate attorneys, home inspectors, movers, and more. And, just like real estate agents, some professionals are better than others.

For instance, your agent should know the best home inspectors in the area and help you choose one that you can depend on to give you the true state of any home you are interested in buying. Additionally, your realtor can also advise you on any additional inspections that may apply to the home you are looking at, including radon, mold, water, lead paint, etc. This can also help expedite each step of the process and move you to a successful sale all the faster.

Attend home inspection

Even the best home inspectors can miss things, and even the most knowledgeable inspectors can fail to accurately convey the information they find to you as a buyer. Your realtor should be at the home inspection to hear exactly what the home inspector finds. Make sure you find out up-front if your agent will be at the inspection. If they say it is not their “policy” to go, insist they be there. How can there be any negotiations if the agent doesn’t REALLY know what the issues are!

Negotiate any home inspection repair requests

If the home inspector’s report or appraisal brings new issues to light, a good real estate agent can advise you on how to proceed, and then act as a buffer between you and the sellers or their agent.

The agent again will be your “negotiator” to make sure any serious problems are dealt with by the seller. This could be in the form of a price reduction, a repair or a seller’s concession at closing. One of the roles of a buyer’s agent is to also let you know when you are asking for unreasonable home inspection requests. There is always a give and take when it comes to home inspections. Buyers need to remember the purpose of a home inspection is not to make a perfect home. Nearly every home has issues large and small. If negotiations become heated or hostile, it’s extremely helpful to have an experienced professional keeping calm and offering productive solutions.

Skilled real estate agents will direct you what to keep your focus on and what to let go.

Communication is the key

Everyone needs to be on the same page for a home purchase to go smoothly. Your real estate agent will be responsible for keeping everyone informed, including the seller’s agent and your attorney.

The agent is best qualified for this duty because he or she knows how to measure the importance of information, and knows who needs what and when to keep the ball rolling.

There are some real estate agents who are lousy communicators. There can be lots of reasons for this from being a part-time agent to just not realizing how important it is to people. Whatever the reason some agents just don’t get it!

Stay around at the end

You only need to make it through the closing to finally get your home. But there are a surprising number of details involved in a closing, all of which need to be wrapped up before you officially become the owner of the home. Your real estate agent should be present at closing to ensure that all your interests are protected.

Final Thoughts

The best real estate agents do a lot for their clients. As a buyer, you should have high expectations from your real estate agent. You are making a huge purchase that could quite possibly the biggest of your life. Make sure you hire an agent you will like enough to consider a friend when all is said and done. On the other side of the coin make sure you are a buyer that a real estate agent enjoys working with. A great relationship is a give and take!

What real estate agents should do for home buyers
By having a top class real estate agent in your corner, you’ve given yourself a huge advantage over other home buyers.

 

Read More

Staging Your House for a Showing

Let’s face it, most people do judge a book by its cover and first impressions are fundamentally important. That’s why one of the biggest factors that will determine whether or not your house sells for its maximum value is how your potential buyers perceive your property.

Through the years of experience in the industry, our team at Prime Realty have seen plenty of homes that sold for under its value because of small placement issues such as mismatched couch cushions, toys scattered on the floors, or crooked photographs just to name a few. These may seem insignificant and petty, but can unconsciously give buyers a bad impression of the property.

On the contrary, we have also seen how a good home setting have helped owners sell their property for over the value. A few minute details can catch the keen eye and make people fall in love with what they see.

As a group of professional realtors, we would like to pass on our experience and knowledge. Here are a few things that may be helpful to you when setting up your property before a viewing:

  1. Get Used to Scrubbing

Spend the Saturday before the open house scrubbing everything until there’s not a single dust speckle in sight. We know that spending an entire Saturday cleaning is probably not on top of your priority list. However, people do believe that a clean house is an indication that you also look after the property and that should they decide to buy it and move in, they will not find any unsightly surprises. Remember that wine stain from Christmas? Now would be a good time to soak it off.

  1. Personal Festive Decorations

While we are on the topic of Christmas, we should probably mention that these kinds of decorations are not great for an open house, especially if we are going into February and your tree is still up and running. The main reasoning behind this is that people would want to visualise how the house will look with their own personal touches. By seeing your Christmas socks hanging above the fire place or your holiday photos hanging on the tree, the house will have too much of your personality and it becomes more difficult for viewer to picture themselves in the same settings. The same rule, of course, goes for Easter, or any other holidays too.

  1. Scent Goes Straight to the Head

Who doesn’t love the decadent aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies or the crisp scent of fresh cut flowers? As your viewers walk into the door, it is impossible for them to see the entire property at a glance, nor will they be able to feel the texture of all of your fittings. They will, however, have a lasting impression of the first scent that they smell. If you want the house to give off a cosy atmosphere, put a few drops of vanilla essence in a small bowl of water and warm it up in the oven over low heat. Similarly, rose essence works great too if you want that floral smell. However, try stay away from the smell of your dinner. No matter how delicious your seafood or French cheese may taste, people might not appreciate the smell.

  1. De-clutter All Surfaces (or at least hide the stuff away for a while)

It is as uncomfortable for you as it is for your viewer to see excessive amounts of your personal belongings scattered all over your dresser or your shelves. While it can become a statement to have an exhibit of your nice watches or your jewellery on display, items such as your private hygiene products, medication or dirty laundry is not something your viewers would want to see. Additionally, there are always one or two creepy stalkers that like to go through the home owner’s personal belongings. Do you really want them to so easily have access to your privacy? We think not, therefore, pack them away!

  1. Practice your Green Finger

A spacious garden with many beautiful floral features is good, but don’t let waist-high grass be one of those features. Tidy up your garden by cutting the lawn, picking up any of your pets’ excrements, and trim the flower features. After all, your viewers are looking for a comforting outdoor area for them to relax over the weekend with possibly a barbeque fired up. It is difficult to imagine this lovely scenario if they are looking at a jungle of unkempt plants.

There are of course plenty of other small home improvement tips that can be applicable for a successful open house. We hope these ones can help you get on the path of achieving a satisfactory sale. Just for interest sake, here are some interesting trivia about home staging your property before a sale:

Loading...

Loading…

  1. Home staging (even if you hire a professional) is surprisingly affordable, especially if the stager uses your own furniture.
  2. According to Elite Agent, a staging investment can yield a 500% return in Australia, which means your house is selling for a much higher price.
  3. Making the property presentable makes it easier for buyers to imagine it as their future home.
  4. In fact, according to Home Staging Resource, over 81% of potential buyer say that they can visualise a life in a home that has been staged.
  5. People are more attracted by warm colours in a lighter hue because it is easier to envision how well their own furniture will fit. That’s a rule that professional stagers live by.
  6. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, staged homes receive their first offers on average in 23 days, whilst upstaged homes were still on the market 143 days later.

Read More

Should I Rent or Buy My Home?

renting or buying a home

Renting or buying a home can depend on a few factors of course. It can be a difficult decision, especially if you don’t have money for a down payment and you cannot qualify for a loan. Rent-to-own situations often have ridiculous terms and outrageous interest, and normally work out much better for the seller than the buyer.

There are definitely some pros to renting. For example:

  1. If your dishwasher or if your heating or cooling doesn’t work you have a landlord who takes care of these things. You don’t have to worry about the high costs of replacing a broken water heater or burst pipe as those things are normally covered by the landlord in the terms of your lease.
  2. You don’t have to commit to living in the same place forever. If you’re not sure which neighbourhood you prefer, renting is a good way of getting a feel for your surroundings and you may have the option of a year lease or less.
  3. When renting you don’t have to worry about paying Land Tax which can be steep. Now, your landlord may work the dues into your rent, but for the most part they are omitted.
  4. In many cases your lawn and garden are completely taken care of by your landlord, so you don’t have to worry about keeping things up if you have a busy lifestyle.

By the same token, there are many benefits to owning your own home as opposed to renting.

  1. Owning your own home gives you equity in property which you can sell for a higher price than you paid, or if you need extra cash you may want to take out a second mortgage.
  2. Owning your own home builds credit, which is essential for being able to purchase things you can’t necessarily pay for all at once.
  3. Owning your home allows to decorate it as you like, whereas renting often comes with several stipulations and limitations on painting, wallpaper, and decor. You came make your house your home.
  4. If you have a family, owning your home gives children the stability of staying in one spot and attending the same school district. Often times if you move around, children are forced to change schools and separate from their friends, which is not usually a positive change.
  5. Owning your own home is definitely cheaper than renting. It is more likely that you would have similar repayments to the rental payment and the rent is not paying for anything but your living quarters from week to week. There is no equity, there is no ownership, and there is no way to get money back from your investment.

If you’re trying to decide whether to rent or buy a property, meet with a real estate agent and go over some of the properties they might suggest. See what they say about your return in investment, and they will be able to help you decide what’s best for you.

Buying a property is always the smartest thing to do if at all possible. A local real estate agent should have a list of properties for sale and properties for rent, and ultimately you have to decide what to do in your unique situation. Best of luck finding a home!

Read More

Real Estate Advisors in Albany, how to choose?

Looking to sell your home? But have no idea which Agency or Advisor to use!

Real Estate Agents are a critical part of the selling process, and can offer unique insights and experience. They also help shoulder some of the stress – helping you focus on what matters most

Here’s 10 helpful tips on finding the best match for you.

  1. Choose a real estate agency that does not have too many listings, you will get lost in that list!
  2. Choose an energetic, enthusiastic and positive person.
  3. During the conversation with them you should feel relaxed and comfortable.
  4. Request they include a marketing plan for the sale of your property.
  5. Call in the evening and see if you get a response, as buyers call at all times.
  6. Experienced in the art of negotiation.
  7. Sense of humour is vital.
  8. Look up the company on the internet and see if their philosophy works for you.
  9. Someone that will advise you, not just tell you what you want to hear!
  10. Look for authenticity, someone who will put you above their pay cheque!

Finding a real estate advisor who will sell your home using a range of marketing tools to get you the best deal possible in a reasonable amount of time, all while charging a fair rate, takes some effort.

You’ll need to feel comfortable with whomever you select when selling or buying a property. You will know almost right away if you have found the right agent. You may feel an immediate connection and can see that this person is smart, efficient, focused, versatile and willing to go the extra mile.

Here are some characteristics of a good real estate advisor:

  • They will be eager to help you find the right home
  • They will do their homework. They will offer to find you the information you need, and get back to you
  • They will follow-up to see if you are interested in viewing more houses
  • They make it easy for you look at the house…if the home-owners remain on the premises, they will distract them while you have a good look around
  • They will keep out of your way, and allow you to set the pace
  • They will listen to your comments and concerns, and address them, if possible

Any agent can take you to a house and open the door for you. You will want to find someone who feels like they are on your ‘team’, and it may take a few appointments to find the right one, but you will have a much more positive experience during what can be a very stressful time.

 

Read More

Buying in Albany

Albany WA is a something of an enigma. It’s a town that will seduce you in many ways. If you looking for a lifestyle that includes sun, sea and space! You have driven down the right high way, Albany Highway is the road to a better life!

There are those who whinge about the weather being cold and wet but who wants to sweat it out in the extreme heat of our Northerly neighbours, when you can experience the moderate cool winds off the ocean on a sweltering summers day.

Living in Albany involves buying or renting property and knowing where and what to do can be challenging. When looking to buy a home I always suggest speaking to a broker or bank to find out how much you can spend. It’s very difficult if you don’t know your budget and rather upsetting when you have your heart set on something and you can’t afford it. Empower yourself and find out what you can afford. Then it’s open season get out there and shop till you drop!

Look at the areas you would like to live in but don’t be closed to new possibilities. If you drive passed a house for sale and hate it on sight, do yourself a favour and view the inside very often looks can be deceiving. Keep an open mind! Engage with a real estate advisor that you can relate to and that you are comfortable with. Do not let your-self be bullied and never accept inferior service.

Always do your homework on the home and if you are concerned get a building inspector to check the structural integrity of the house. Nobody would be upset or insulted if you were to follow this route and complete your due diligence.

Read More

Homes in Albany stand out this Christmas

Driving in the suburbs of Albany Western Australia has more to offer this Christmas than the Main Road in the City itself. Some home owners have got their creative juices flowing and have come up with the most amazing decorative lights that adorn the entire home in some cases!

Albany christmas 2

Seymour Street, Middleton Road and Bluff Road are a few of these homes offering a feast for the eyes and lollies are on offer too. So good to see people getting into the spirit of Christmas.

Please feel free to comment and mention the road where you found a Christmas Sparkle House in Albany this Christmas. We would love to hear from you.

Wishing you lots of Christmas Sparkle

Lots of love: Prime

Read More