So I'm sure by now you’ve heard of the T.V. show called “Love it or List it” right ?
How about doing one called: “List it and Leave it”
As we all know, one very useful tool in a Realtor’s toolbox is the multiple listing service, or the MLS. Any Realtor you use will make certain to put your property up on the multiple listing service (unless you choose to go exclusive). This also makes your home viewable by many online searches and makes it possible for real estate agents as well as home buyers themselves to see your property online. Pretty standard stuff and very simple right?
Unfortunately, I am still blown away by how many listings I've shown clients or view online displaying poor quality photos (some without), lacking floor dimensions, property descriptions as well as inaccurate information. It just seems like there is no work or effort involved and as a professional who takes pride in his job, this has motivated me in writing this blog.
Perhaps many of these Realtors see some success with this formula as they use it over and over again. They may do this out of ignorance or laziness or some other unknown reason but in the end, a Realtor can do far more to sell a your home than simply putting your property on the MLS. There are some that will even go as far as to tell you that all your need to do is price it right and the MLS will take care of the rest. That is just not true.
Simply putting your home on the MLS is not your best bet and trust me, it does rarely fetch you top dollar for your property. The best real estate agents understand this. They don’t get lazy or complacent. They have systems in place that are time tested and continue to work year after year.
AS A SELLER, YOU CAN DO BETTER.
A good Realtor understands how to market a home successfully. He or she will do far more than throw up a sign and a listing and wait for the calls to pour in. This is because a good Realtor is every bit as motivated to sell your home as you are. This is how he or she makes a living. A real estate agent who wants to be recognized as being tops in their field will step outside the box and not just be average. They will use techniques and marketing ideas that other Realtors don’t.
Marketing is as much an art as a science – a combination of positioning your home appropriately, exposing the property through an expansive network and utilizing the power of the internet to funnel prospects towards your home. These are things that take time to develop and lots of practice to get good at. Luck is always a part of the process, but it is much easier to get lucky when you have done all the hard work necessary to seize an advantage.
PUT THAT CELL PHONE AWAY!
One of the common traits of a ‘List and Leave Realtor’ (as I call it) is their total disregard for the importance of good real estate photography. In fact with most lousy real estate agents this is one of the first things another Realtor will notice and it reflects poorly on you. It is vital that you understand that photography is one of the most important things in real estate sales. There is nothing that is more true in real estate sales than the famous saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
From having only a few photos posted or only showing exterior shots, to low resolution cell phone shots, the photography on your home can make or break a sale.
WHERE ARE THE FLOOR PLANS?
The other thing you will notice about bad Realtors is their complete disregard for the importance of good descriptions in the MLS display along with their marketing materials. Most multiple listing services allow a Realtor to post a pretty decent description of any home posted into the system.
Just like photography your descriptions are important because they speak to the buyer about all the great features of your home. An exceptional Realtor takes the time to craft something that will entice a buyer to want to visit your home.
LACK OF GOOD MARKETING MATERIALS.
You will immediately recognize the Realtor who understands great marketing when you see a nice glossy brochure with gorgeous color photography of all the rooms in the home, along with exterior shots of the property including the lot. Virtual or video tour? Absolutely! I can hear some agents snickering now. Who needs to spend extra money on more marketing? Why do I need to do those things when my sign and the MLS work just fine?
COMMUNICATION MAKE GOOD RELATIONSHIPS.
Study after study shows that one of the biggest complaints homeowners have with their real estate agent is a lack of communication.
A good agent will get back to you to keep you in the loop of what is going on. This is common courtesy and should be something every real estate agent does. Feedback helps both a seller and an agent gages any issues and if there are corrections that can be made. Is getting feedback something that happens in every real estate sale? Absolutely not! If you have hired a bad Realtor you will more than likely find this out the hard way.
Online marketing is about far more than throwing up an ad for your home on social media as well. It is about exposure, about getting your home in front of people. Search engines are nice for finding a home within specified parameters, but a Realtor can do more. If he or she has a high quality website that ranks well on major search engines like Google and Bing, your home is more likely to be seen. You can have the greatest looking website going but if nobody can find it doing local real estate searches then it is going to be almost useless.
REALTORS WHO ‘BLOG’.
There are also Realtors who have recognized and taken advantage of how powerful a real estate blog can enhance their business. Savvy Realtors who understand marketing realize the punch a blog can bring to the table. Not only can you be recognized as a local market expert but also an agent who possesses quite a bit of helpful real estate knowledge that buyers and sellers can utilize.
IS YOUR REALTOR THE SOCIAL TYPE?
With social media having become a large part of normal day to day activities it makes sense to have an agent who is tied in and utilizing social channels as another means of broadcasting that your home is for sale. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus and Twitter are visited by thousands of people daily. A web savvy marketer will use the channels to make your home more visible to the world. List and Leave it Realtors would never dream of doing this. It takes too much effort.
BECOME A GOOD INTERVIEWER.
Never hire a Realtor without interviewing him or her first. You want an agent that can sell to people, but you don’t want to be the one getting sold. You need to ask hard questions and get the answers you need before you agree to any sort of business relationship with this person. It is not enough to be charming. You need someone who gets results and uses all available channels for selling your home. One thing that is humorous about real estate agents is that almost every one of them will say that they are #1. What you really need to find out is #1 at what? Selling homes or baking apples pies for their ineffective open houses.
YOUR HOME IS WORTH A MILLION BUCKS!
Don’t fall for the agent that tells you your home is worth far more than what seems possible. There are plenty of Real Estate agents who intentionally tell sellers what they want to hear to get them to sign a contract.
Get an agent that is strong enough to tell you the facts – what your home is really worth and what it will sell for – and one that closes a deal for around that price. The original list price to sale price is one of the most important statistics you can find out from the Realtors you are interviewing.
Make sure the agent has a respectable website. This is 2016! The advantages to this are many and enough years have passed that any good agent will be using an array of web-based marketing to sell your home.
Keep in mind that the Realtor you hire is your partner. Everything they do is a reflection on you and your home. Do you want to be associated with a brand and agent that is well respected locally? The choice is yours. All you have to do is take the time and choose a Realtor who will make a difference in the home sale process. One of the top seller's is clearly picking the wrong real estate agent.
HERE’S A SHORT SUMMARY FOR HIRING A GREAT REAL ESTATE AGENT:
· Look at examples of photography on homes they have currently listed for sale.
· Check to see they have enhanced their listing descriptions to make their clients homes stand out.
· See if the agent is using slide shows or video tours as part of their marketing.
· Find out how the real estate agent will be communicating with you throughout the home sale process.
· Investigate the agent’s websites. Do they provide great information? Can you find them in local searches?
· See if the agent is using a real estate blog to provide additional exposure for your home.
· Is the real estate agent using social media to cast an even wider net for people to find your home?
· Make sure you do an excellent job carefully interviewing multiple Realtors.
Click banner below for my short-list of services included as your listing agent:
If you take the time and do these things the chances of picking a bad Realtor will go down dramatically. Real Estate agents are a dime a dozen. In fact, if you live in Toronto, you have now over 45,000 of us to choose from! So choose wisely.
Any questions about my post - List it and Leave it? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Looking to buy, sell or refinance? Know your options. I can help! Direct line: 416-219-6662.