Finding a rockstar real estate agent that can get you the best price for your home or a great deal on your next purchase is key. Not all agents, however, are created equal. The key traits of a five-star real estate agent like those at Finlay Brewer give them the edge they need to get the best possible deals for their clients.
The Ability to Plan an “Event”
If you have ever attended a wedding or other large-scale event, you know that there is an entire team that has to work together to make the event run smoothly. In the world of real estate, there are many players, all working together to ensure that you get the home of your dreams (or sell yours at the best price).
Home inspectors, appraisers, attorneys, mortgage brokers, property managers, appraisers, buyers, and sellers are all involved in the process, and the person that coordinates everything is the real estate agent. Like a conductor is a great orchestra, the real estate agent directs everyone to work together and create a beautiful result.
They Never Stop Learning
The best agents love to learn and are always reading, researching, and educating themselves. They look for opportunities to get more certifications, they go to industry events and they keep themselves in “the know.” They invest in themselves and their business, following the advice of more successful agents, attending seminars, and reading books on sales, marketing, and advertising. They go above and beyond, learning more than what is required of them in order to give you the best service.
They understand the difference in demand for pre-war brownstones versus Victorian homes. They follow pop culture and know which events and trends are driving consumer buying. They know which areas are being gentrified and what that means for sellers. They understand how to stage a home to make it as attractive as possible for potential buyers.
Knowledge of the Area
A great real estate agent will know the area in which they work. They will know the ratings of the local schools, the location of the local YMCA, and the best restaurants nearby. They know which homes have the best access to local highways, are the closest to cultural institutions, and have the best reputation for safety.
While your local agent doesn’t necessarily have to live in the neighborhood, they should know it quite well. Crime stats, the best nightlife, directions to the airport—-you name it, they know it.
In addition to knowledge of the area, the real estate agent is knowledgeable about the market in general. This is especially true for the major cities with suburban cities that rival the size of most State capitals. The real estate market in Phoenix, Arizona is different than the homes and condos for sale in Scottsdale. The more niche the agent’s expertise, the better their services will be.
They know when prices are rising and falling, they know what factors will affect the final price of your home. Is there a company building a shopping mall nearby?
Did a recent flood lower the overall home prices in the area? Is there an influx of new residents to the area that will create demand? Your real estate agent will be aware of these things and use this knowledge to help sell your home.
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Great Marketing Skills
The most effective agents have access to marketing knowledge and materials that help them to sell your home to the right buyer quickly. They understand digital marketing, search engine optimization, and local search. They use email marketing to send out beautiful newsletters that feature their properties for sale.
They also have relationships with photographers who can make your home shine through in photos. They understand how to network, sell, and promote your property.
They have the backing of their company and have access to a wide array of resources that they can use to sell your home. From access to co-op dollars, ad placements and online advertising accounts, and printed materials, the top agents use their skills and their company’s resources to sell your home.
Problem Solving Skills
Attention to detail is critical in this business. The best real estate agents know how to think like potential buyers and anticipate problems before they start. Five-star agents will deal with buyers who want everything for nothing and insist on pressuring the seller into letting their home go for a rock bottom price. Local market conditions may fluctuate suddenly, making it harder to sell your home.
A top-notch real estate agent will know how to handle these issues and still get you a good price for your home. What happens when an agent arrives and the buyer is a no-show? Good agents can hop on a call and get another potential buyer to stop by so that your time is not wasted.
The best problem solvers can anticipate problems, act fast, and focus on solutions quickly.
They Are Available
The best real estate agents keep you in the loop throughout the process. They tell you when new buyers are interested in seeing your home, they let you know what the market is doing, they tell you about other recently sold homes in the neighborhood.
They let you know about feedback from potential buyers, return your calls promptly and keep you in on updates. Some agents return calls during a certain block of time, like between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., while others take calls at any time. Whatever their schedule may be, the best agents communicate well and make your time a priority.
They Are Great at Negotiating
There will be times that your agent has to go to bat for you with the seller. The seller may be asking for a long list of concessions or attempting to offer an outrageously low bid for your home. This is where your real estate agent will work their negotiating magic.
They will use their knowledge of your home to get you the best possible price, reminding your potential buyers of the benefits of the home, the neighborhood, and the state of the market. They will remind your buyers that there are other bids on the table and they need to act fast if they want the opportunity to purchase your home.
They Have Personality
The more likable your real estate agent, the easier it will be to work with them. You will likely be working with them for weeks or even months, so it pays to find an agent with whom you can enjoy a good rapport. Your agent will have to work with a number of people during the process—the buyer’s agent, the home inspector, the photographer, the mortgage broker, and the home stager, so it pays to find someone who has a good personality and is friendly and open.
From the ability to negotiate, a firm grasp of marketing principles, the backing of a strong team, and above-average communication skills, the traits of the best real estate agents will be essential in getting the best price for your home.