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Not long ago, a team member of ours went to a required introductory class put on by the local Board of Realtors after receiving his license. He had been on our team for about a year already, so he assumed he would not learn much from the class. He was wrong. He learned plenty, but what he learned brought mostly disappointment.
The instructor provided expert insight to these young, impressionable minds that would help prepare them to build a substantial inventory of listings by sharing with them the two key items they would need for a listing appointment: paperwork and a camera (but a phone with a camera would do.) You needed to sign them and take pictures during your first trip to save yourself the effort of driving back to the property. If there is clutter, just shove it under the bed or throw it into the shower. No big deal! Throw the property on MLS and watch the offers roll in! You’re a listing agent now!
When he shared this story, we didn’t want to believe it, but we did. We were annoyed that this is the standard set for our industry, yet we were excited that this is the advice our “competition” is receiving. Now, this is not a petition to get you to hire a professional photographer. If you’re reading this, you should know better already. This recommended approach to photography is a symptom of a bigger issue; Agents are not effectively preparing homes for the market.
Perhaps the most important phase of our 7 Secrets is the positioning phase. We want to position each of our listings to sell for top dollar. What we do before the home hits the market makes a massive impact on the outcome at the closing table.
We firmly believe that negotiation is anything that affects the client’s time, money or stress level. Through our lens, that means we are negotiating before anyone even knows that the home is going to hit the market.
The traditional agent thinks negotiation starts when they get an offer. In reality, that buyer on the other side of the deal already knows what they are willing to pay. Odds are they have been researching the neighborhood’s recent solds, the schools, the time of their commute, the amenities in the area and so on and so on. They probably have an idea of what features in a home are important to them. They have done all of this before you knew they existed.
Then they schedule a showing at your property, spending about 12 to 15 minutes in it before they make a six-figure decision. All of that information will help them to establish how they value your listing. You are fighting an uphill battle to get them to boost their personal opinion of value if you wait for that initial phone call to start influencing the sale price in their offer.
Agents who fail to position a property will likely do so for a few reasons; They lack money, work ethic, knowledge, time or all of the above. The easiest to correct is the hurdle of time. Sellers often think the best time to go on the market is immediately. But faster isn’t always better. Expert agents operate on the best timeline, not necessarily the fastest timeline.
There should be significant leg work that happens before a home goes on the market. We are trying to schedule numerous vendors, prepare documents and marketing materials and preemptively expose the home to the market. That doesn’t happen overnight.
We also want to target a specific day of the week to go live. In our market, we go live Thursday so all the automated emails with new listings hit the inbox of interested buyers Friday morning as they make weekend plans for showings. Could we get homes on the market more quickly if we were not committed to Thursday live dates? Yes. Would it be best for our seller? Absolutely not.
We communicate the importance of thorough preparation and ideal timing to our sellers. By showing our commitment to effectively positioning their property, we, in turn, position ourselves as industry experts that they can trust with their investment.
The city of Plano, TX has approved a $1 Billion Redevelopment Plan for the Collin Creek Mall earlier this month. What does that mean for the surrounding houses in the Plano, TX area? Todd answers that in this weeks Dallas Fort Worth Real Estate Q&A Video.
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