Laudable Listing Agents (Part 1 of 2)
Laudable Listing Agents:
Advice on choosing the right one
Part 1 of 2
Finding a good real estate agent is 80% of the home selling experience. It is essential if you want to have a painless experience and it is not a difficult task to find excellent real estate agents if you know where (and how) to look. With a little bit of focused effort on your part, you can find the best agents for your home selling needs.
We’ve all heard [horror] stories about deals collapsing just before the finish line, leaving all parties frustrated and oftentimes with a fiscal bruise or two. Below, we discuss how to avoid such an outcome by hiring the right agents/agencies to sell your villa, tips to achieve this, and and why it matters.
Finding a listing-agent
*Cast a wide net. Take the time to interview a few (if not several) agents! After all, this is one of your biggest investments, and you don’t want to have just ‘any-and-everybody’ out there marketing your property for you. It’s especially wise not to sacrifice quality for quantity, here.
*Allow for time to find an agent with whom you have a good connection, as you will likely be spending a significant amount of time with them in the weeks to come.
*Always ask friends who have recently sold their villa if they would recommend their agent to you and if they were satisfied with their services.
*Meet them in the flesh. Just because the agent worked well with your friend or family member does not mean they will mesh well with you and your personality, or that they are necessarily the best candidate to sell your home. Determine which agents are the best fit for your needs by meeting them first. I believe it’s imperative to meet any agent that you’re considering face-to-face before entrusting them with such a huge responsibility.
*Ask around. Real estate is not an industry in which, ‘even bad publicity can be good’. In fact, just the opposite is true, so keep your eyes and ears open both before and after the interview.
Do your own research.
Be wary of the agent who tells you everything you want to hear and tries to do what we call “buy the listing” by telling you they can sell your home for an amount that seems too good to be true.
If your villa sits on the market and gets no activity because it’s over-priced, it will hurt your chances for a top-dollar sale when you do finally find the right buyer, and you may actually lose money. In our market here in Bali, typically the highest and best offers come within the first two months of publishing your listing. If your property has been on the market for 2-3 months with little or no activity, the market is telling you that your villa is over-priced. You can avoid this costly mistake by doing your research.
Ask for a current comparative market analysis.
The listing agent should show up to the listing appointment prepared with a comparative market analysis showing data of similar, active, pending and sold homes directly in your neighborhood and/or close to you. The market analysis will help determine a good starting point for the sale price of your home. Only the most experienced and well-organized agents would be capable of putting together a detailed analysis, because the information required for an accurate market analysis in Bali is not a matter of public record as it is in many other markets around the world. The agent would have to rely on his/her years of experience (and that of his/her agency, colleagues and co-workers) to assemble a portfolio of past successes and current market activity.
Alternatively, a well-trained and fully prepared agent will be able to provide you with an in-depth Replacement Cost Evaluation if a useful comparative market analysis is out of reach. This model of establishing the market price of your villa is somewhat subjective and requires an experienced agent to not only present the values, but to justify them with an understanding of past performances and likely trends for the future.
Choose an agent who is marketing-platform-savvy.
An experienced listing agent will also be fully prepared to tell/show you active examples of their marketing materials; how they plan on marketing your villa to the world, and how to get it sold for top-dollar as quickly as possible.
The more ways for the market to see or hear about your villa and with the least amount of friction, the better! Some people are “so over” regular print and would never buy a tangible newspaper or even pick up a free one, while some love the rustle and the crunch of newsprint pages in their hands (I, myself fall into the latter camp). Several buyers these days search villas from a smartphone, some search from a desktop computer, some love “junk-mail newsletters” and many hit delete on these without even a click. It is in your best interest as a seller to make sure the agent(s) you hire will do everything in their power to well-represent your villa in the market by using all of the selling tools available to them, be they via print, online, social media or word-of-mouth.
Print Marketing is not dead, but we believe that it needs to be very, very specific. The days of real estate agencies generating quality leads by running full-page adverts using your Vendor Financing to promote their brand are over for sure. Well-timed, well-placed and well-crafted print campaigns are still significantly effective for creating interest in your property.
Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, FB Groups, landing pages etc.) can be effective IF the message is intelligently designed to engage the user, not just flood them with information. Remember: telling is not selling.
Word of Mouth (via agents’ office and network) can prove a massive benefit to you, depending on how many agents are in your listing agent’s office, as well as with how many they already work closely, in the industry.
With most home searches starting online today, it is to your advantage to work with agents who are effectively using as many of these marketing methods as possible. The more eyes on your home, the better your chances of selling at the highest price in the shortest amount of time.
The right listing agent is out there and waiting to shake your discerning hand. By interviewing several before making a decision, the best agent to suit your needs will surface: someone with whom you connect well, is highly reputable, and carries with them the experience to back it up in all of the aforementioned ways.