By Keith Kyle
While this post is about realtors in Redondo Beach, it really applies to any city and any market. Simply put there are good realtors, average realtors, and bad realtors. The irony is that the commission is the same for almost all realtors (in Redondo Beach the standard commission is 2.5% to both the buyer’s and seller’s agents)….
So why would anyone hire a listing agent that wasn’t good?
That’s a great question without an easy answer. Buying or selling a home is often the most important financial decision someone will make in their lives, and putting that in the hands of someone for any reason other than them being the best and willing to put in the most effort just doesn’t make sense.
So what is the difference?
As with anything in life or any profession, there are good realtors, bad realtors and most are somewhere in the middle. We’re lucky here in the South Bay as many agents are not only full time professionals, but very good at what they do. A good realtor is a local expert, uses the latest technology for their clients, is a good negotiator and communicator, someone that will go beyond the normal services offered and first and foremost, one that puts the clients needs ahead of their own.
A good realtor…..
- Knows the market and gives the very best pricing advice (even when it’s not exactly what the seller wants to hear…it our jobs to be the experts.
- Helps the seller understand how best to prepare the home for sale (again often not exactly what the seller always wants to hear as it often involves cleaning things up, removing family photos, redecorating a bit and all in a home that is often “perfect” in the sellers eyes.
- Offers staging advice or even actual staging (see some of the past staging we’ve offered for free)
- Uses a professional photographer
- Uses the latest technology including custom videos, property websites, virtual tours, and social media to ensure the greatest exposure for the home
- Actively networks with other agents to know the market above and beyond simply knowing what’s on the MLS
- Offers guidance on timing, negotiations, and preps the client on the entire process BEFORE it happens.
- Steers the escrow process to be least stressful on the seller and towards a successful close.
- Communicates throughout the process. Realtors may know what is supposed to happen and when, but the client is relying on the agent to make sure that they understand the process and know where things are at in the process.
A bad realtor…..
- Doesn’t know the competition or the very latest price information (such as trying to find the actual sales prices of homes in escrow) and relies on very basic information (or worse yet the valuation that appears on Zillow and similar sites)
- Doesn’t offer guidance on getting the home ready and how to get the most impact and interest when it hits the market.
- Simply puts out a for sale sign and prints some flyers and that’s the entire marketing plan
- Takes pictures themselves and often on their phone. Often these agents won’t do any more than take a few exterior photos as it’s “too much work” to get the inside cleaned up a bit for photos.
- Offers little to no advice on the offer process, negotiations, and the various details that will come up during escrow. They’re often caught off guard when a problem arises instead of planning for it.
- Puts their needs ahead of the sellers which can mean them “steering” the process to their own buyer or not giving the home proper exposure so they can try and find a buyer and take both sides of the commission.