8 Things “Amazing” Real Estate Agents Do
All real estate agents are not created equal.
Some, whether in the business for years or just months, consistently go “above and beyond” for their clients.
Here are 8 things that an “amazing” real estate agent does for her clients (when interviewing agents, take note as to whether they talk about these important value-ad services):
1. Explain the homebuying and homeselling process (so you fully understand what to expect every step of the way). An amazing real estate agent takes the time to explain the buying and selling process, so you fully understand what to expect. If you’re a homebuyer, for example, she will explain that once your offer is accepted, you’ll have an opportunity to have the home inspected by an inspector of their choice. If a defect or anything concerning is found, negotiations will take place to repair or replace whatever is problematic. If you’re a homeseller, your agent will explain, for example, what to expect during the negotiation process once an offer is submitted to purchase your home. She will ideally have a handout for you that clearly lays out every step along the way to closing.
2. Find great homes for buyers before they hit the market (which could make the difference between finding “the one” or missing out in today's hot market). Dedicated real estate agents are connected. Connected with other dedicated real estate agents. Connected and “in the know” in the communities they serve. As such, an amazing agent often learns of properties that are coming on the market before they hit the MLS. That means you’ll find out about hot properties before everyone else (which could make the difference between getting your dream home or missing out, yet again).
3. Provide an accurate home valuation for sellers (& keep you up-to-date on the market). An amazing real estate agent can provide a current home valuation for any home at any time (not just when you’re about to list your home for sale). This valuation is typically a range of anticipated fair market value, based upon a thorough review of comparable recently-sold homes. It’s a good idea to request a home valuation every couple of years, if not annually. (Don’t trust online valuations, such as Zillow, because their valuations are based upon algorithms which may be spot on for some and as far off as several tens of thousands of dollars for others.) Nothing beats an in-depth valuation report from a local real estate professional who can explain nuances in value (including why a home may have sold for more than similar homes elsewhere). The homeowners who stay up to date on the value of their home often become the most profitable home sellers.
4. Recommend styling or staging your home (to ensure sellers get top dollar). An amazing agent knows that properties that are clean, light and de-cluttered sell faster and for more money. She has a design sensibility that allows her to recommend floor plan layouts for each room of her clients’ homes, making it easier for homebuyers picture themselves living there.
5. Help buyers prioritize items on their “dream home” wish list (to find the “perfect” new place). Believe it or not, buying a home always requires some compromise, even when your budget exceeds $1 million. An amazing real estate agent knows her local market, and the different types of homes & amenities available, and can help you prioritize your wish list. Knowing which of your wish list items are “must haves” versus “like to haves” is helpful to find your perfect new place!
6. Hook you up with awesome contractors (whether moving in or preparing your home for sale). Amazing real estate agents have a team of go-to contractors to refer to their clients – whether painters, handymen, electricians, plumbers or general contractors. When you’re selling a home, that can mean the difference between getting your home ready for sale within days/weeks or months. Hitting the market when it’s “hot” can make a big difference in your bottom line.
7. Negotiates the best price and other important terms While the agreement of sale varies state by state, they all are multi-page documents with many important terms. Some of these include: price, financing, closing date, inclusions and exclusions and several deadlines leading up to settlement. An amazing real estate agent knows all contracts related to a home purchase or sale and can guide you through each term. She is an excellent negotiator and staunch advocate for her clients and their best interests.
8. Markets your home, both online and offline (to ensure a quick & smooth sale) An amazing real estate agent is marketing savvy AND knows technology. Indeed, given that over 85% of homebuyers begin their home search online, great agents know how to maximize exposure for their sellers’ homes on the Internet (including the websites where your listing will appear). She’ll be sure to have professional photos taken and create compelling marketing pieces to get your home seen offline as well.