Myth of The Neighborhood Expert: How to Choose The Right Realtor®

    Home sellers have a lot of options when choosing a Central Florida Realtor® these days. There are more than 13,000 licensed Realtors® in our area and while it’s nice to have options, it’s also a good idea to have a clear, objective, set of criteria when choosing someone to market and sell your home. We’re always grateful when a homeowner calls us first with an opportunity to interview for this job, but it’s not uncommon for our team to be called in to market and sell a home after a seller has had a bad experience with another agent. Usually that agent was a “neighborhood expert” who happens to live in the area, have an office close by, and maybe they send out a postcard once a month to the same 100 houses. Unfortunately, location doesn’t equal qualification and neighborhood experts often have tunnel vision, missing signs of what’s happening in the broader market and lacking the skills to navigate all but the simplest sales transactions. Instead of choosing a Realtor® based off proximity, here are some questions to ask that will help you find the right agent to sell your home.

    1. How Do They Communicate?

    Throughout the process of selling a home, there’s a lot of feedback going back and forth between buyers, buyer’s agents, and the listing agent. Furthermore, lenders, title reps and other brokers usually have opinions and thoughts about homes as soon as they hit the market. When a buyer tours a home, a seller should know the answers to questions like “What did they think about price?” “What was the homes best feature?” “What did you like least about the home?” “What price would you buy the home for today?” etc. When an agent previews a property, a seller should know what that agent would do to enhance presentation, what that agent recommends on pricing and if that agent intends to show the home to his/her buyers. Sellers also need to see objective data, collected over time, to create a trend so they can make informed decisions about staging, pricing, improvements, etc. Without an efficient and consistent plan in place to communicate this information constantly, seller’s are left in the dark, having to guess what the market is telling them and having to make decisions blindly about how to achieve their goal of selling their home.

    At Your Florida House Team, we use a system called Brivity to keep our sellers informed about the selling process 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We log all property showings, all buyer feedback, we post ad performance data, and send links to our marketing. We do all this in an effort to put the seller in control of their home sale. We believe that our clients deserve to know exactly what we do for the fee that we charge and this process helps create a collaborative environment where decisions are made together. 

    2. Do They Have A Track Record of Selling to a Diverse Client Base Across a Broad Region?

    Homebuyers today are unlikely to narrow their options to a specific neighborhood or area. In Orlando for instance, we know that buyers looking in Maitland are usually considering College Park or Delaney Park too. Conway buyers are also considering Lake Nona and Windermere, and Lake Mary buyers are shopping in Winter Park and Sanford. In order to effectively market a home and attract buyers, Realtors® need to know what’s happening all over Central Floria and how that home will stack up compared to options outside their primary market. Realtors® who don’t sell homes all over Central Florida can have a difficult time explaining the nuanced benefits of one neighborhood versus another to a prospective buyer. While Winter Garden has a thriving downtown that rivals Park Ave, Winter Park residents enjoy shorter commute times and less toll roads. Lake Nona has modern homes with major industry and state-of-the-art infrastructure but Windermere has more architectural diversity and residents feel a deeper sense of community. Buyers want to see and compare different areas before they’re confident in buying a home so choose a Realtor® who can speak from experience about all of Central Florida.

    Our team has been fortunate to help home buyers and sellers as far north as Leesburg and Eustis, as far west as Clermont and Groveland, as far east as Satellite Beach and as far south as Conway and Belle Isle. We have the experience to know what’s happening with today’s appraisals, inspections, and lenders throughout Central Florida  and we can readily anticipate the challenges your buyers will face while working towards purchasing your home.

    3. Do They Have A Marketing Plan to Reach Buyer’s Where They’re Shopping Today?

    The techniques, tools and best practices of effective marketing are changing at an alarming rate. Many real estate agents are still advertising in Homes & Land magazine while only 2% of buyers report finding the home they purchased from print marketing. Real Estate agents are sharing their listings with consumers through Zillow® links without realizing that any showing requests will be sold off to their competitors. Many traditional “neighborhood experts” have antiquated social media presences while 43% of home buyers reported finding the home they purchased online last year. 

    At Your Florida House Team we’ve partnered with the real estate industry leader to manage Google® pay per click marketing. We’ve consulted with top performing direct-marketers on creating high converting social ads and landing pages, and we regularly mastermind with marketing professionals who manage multi-million dollar ad budgets to determine what’s working best to reach consumers.

    Ready to List Your Home With An Expert?

    We understand that selling your home is an important financial decision and also an important personal decision with a large impact on families and relationships. We want to be the first call you make when you begin interviewing agents for the job of selling your home. If you’ve had a bad experience in the past then we want to work with you to help you achieve your goal of selling your home for the most amount of money, in the least amount of time and with the least amount of hassle. Visit our Free Home Valuation Tool to receive an instant estimate of your homes value and to start the conversation about how we can help you sell your home.

     

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