By Sallie Paris
My brother Daniel and his wife Dorothy just welcomed their third daughter. The family needs more space, so they listed their home and plan to build. Unfortunately, their first contract fell through and Daniel and Dorothy are worried.
MANY BUYERS AND SELLERS DO NOT GET ALL THEY CAN FROM THEIR REALTOR RELATIONSHIPS, SO I SHARE THE FOLLOWING TIPS:
Carefully choose the agent based on niche expertise.
Daniel’s agent was recommended by a friend. That doesn’t always work out. You’re making a substantial investment. Identify someone who knows the market for the specific type of property you want to buy or sell. I specialize in resort properties on the Gulf. Daniel has a family home on ten acres in a rural setting. We shouldn’t work together. He needs a realtor with an active database of buyers looking for a primary residence in the countryside.
Be realistic and honest with the realtor up front.
In Daniel’s case (three children under three years old and two working parents), some realtor requests might be unreasonable. You want a realtor who gives you good advice but understands your needs. Ask the realtor how he/she will manage open houses and showings so that you can prepare for and deal with the necessary interruptions in a mutually agreeable way.
Listen to the market.
Let the professional guide the process. Sellers should make sure the property is clean and minor maintenance issues are addressed, but not automatically jump into expensive renovation projects. The realtor is obligated to gather and share feedback (from showings, colleagues, and industry data). For example, for specific properties staging can be inexpensive and effective, while for others it’s unnecessary. Listen to your realtor.
Know that adjustments are sometimes needed.
Daniel and Dorothy have had a ton of showings, which tells me their property is appropriately priced but perhaps a tad high. It is the responsibility of the realtor to keep clients informed so that issues like price reductions are not surprises. Plus, any conversation about price should be accompanied by data. When I submit offers, I attach substantial supportive figures so that the listing agent and buyers know I interpreted the market and am submitting a fair offer. Ours is a data-intensive industry and it’s crucial that realtors and clients clearly communicate from the first conversation to the closing table. Daniel and Dorothy will hopefully soon sell the property at a good price and build a home suitable for my precious nieces.
Sallie Paris uses broad market knowledge and a high level of service to assist clients in all aspects of real estate purchases—from investment properties to beach homes to assimilating into local culture. Sallie says, “Although I’ve lived here for years, I still feel like I’m on vacation every day. My goal is to help other families find perfect properties so that they can grow to love the Emerald Coast just as I do.” Contact Sallie at 850.213.3478 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Search available properties at www.coastalluxury.com.