|Advice for Finding Your “Five-Star” Realtor
As a home stager whose goal it has been to coach and support my home sellers to a successfully staged home and home sale; I have also worked with their Realtors or real estate licensees in either a direct, or indirect, relationship. From the perspective of a successful home stager, I can say that there are a handful of those real estate professionals I would recommend to my ‘realtor-less’ clients. Why? Because I know a “client centered” business when I see one (I operate one of my own), and secondly – I have seen the residual and financial impacts on home sellers whose real estate representatives were more concerned about their own time and success, or too distracted with the number of residential properties that they were contracting to sell, than those of each home seller they committed to.
Have High Expectations
You will only get what you ask for, so set high expectations for your Five-Star Realtor. This type of Realtor is used to clients with high expectations. They won’t be afraid to commit. And home sellers with high expectations of their Realtor will need to expect the same of themselves. Use the Internet and do online research to learn what top notch Realtors are doing in today’s real estate market to so you are able to have meaningful discussions with your Realtor candidates. And though it may be helpful to seek out opinions of family and friends; you know your family and friends so take it with a little skepticism and a grain of salt.
Expect to Get What You Pay For
If you want a top caliber Realtor to help you sell your property but only want to pay 3% commission, you will not attract your Five-Star Realtor. For a Five-Star Realtor, you will have to pay the typical commission for your real estate area. And because I hear over and over again about those realtors that make so much money; hear this -it is not as much as you would like to gossip about.
Envision the commission fee as a pie. The seller’s Realtor must slice this pie into 4 equal pieces. One slice goes to the buyer’s Realtor; another slice to the seller’s brokerage and the last slice to the buyer’s brokerage. In other words, your Five-Star Realtor will not get rich off of your commission fee so be mindful of how you approach or respond to your Five-Star Realtor, now that you have been enlightened.
Trust Your Gut
If you feel your Realtor is not hearing your concerns, responding to your anxieties, helping you to assess and minimize all of your risks, getting back to you right away, using “assistants” to respond to your calls, not protecting your financial gains and losses by the recommendations they make, thoroughly vetting any sale offers and home buyers that come your way to ensure an offer is well matched for your financial situation and sale timeline, pursuing the buyer’s realtor and lender on a daily basis to ensure that all mortgage loan requirements and timelines are met for loan approval on time, does not find alternatives to help negotiate the best sale for you, seems more interested in their commission and payment than your best deal, and who is very comfortable using fear based rational to recommend your home sale prices or reductions – then listen to your gut; it is telling you to do something different. Immediately release yourself from your current Realtor contract and get on with finding your Five-Star Realtor. It’s too costly to you in the end to ignore your gut instinct. Costly in more ways than you can imagine.
I allowed myself to be swayed from trusting my gut instinct. The real estate market in Alaska was beginning to take a down turn. What this meant to many Realtors was that they should press their home sellers to get a deal in place (a less than ideal offer) and simply take it on the chin in order to sell a high-valued property before the market became flooded with similar properties. Taking it on the chin for my home sale included 13 weeks of one nightmare after the next, a significant price reduction (which you cannot increase once you decrease), delays in hiring packers and movers and shipping vans, extended storage unit fees, double mortgage payments, additional round trip airline tickets between properties, lost time on the real estate market, huge amounts of stress, and excessive anger that came from feeling no control over our home sale. At some point survival mode was not survival at all.
Embrace Failure & Re-calibrate
As soon as I respected by gut instinct, I got my Five-Star Realtor. Within a week our home was back on the real estate listings. An offer was received on day 2; then another within 3 weeks – the one that we accepted; after two counter offers and a near failure once we were in agreement.
The knowledge, experience, integrity and skill of my Five-Star Realtor made THE difference. Along with her sage advice and experienced insight, our Five-Star Realtor also helped us stick to “our” game plan when we began to panic and doubt our good judgement. Stress overload and carryover fears often will resurface and an experienced Realtor will anticipate this. Our Five-Star Realtor remained level headed and savvy, she made sure we felt important, valued and listened to. She earned our trust and confidence while building trust and good will with our buyers and their realtor, and at every turn she took measures to reduce our risks while resolving issues that popped up during the critical negotiating period.
But, the most amazing attribute of my Five-Star Realtor was her constant positive affirmations that all will end well – and it did. These were the moments when she revealed her professionalism and her “client-centered” commitment to us and our success. You owe it to yourself to find your Five-Star Realtor, too.
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