More Than Just Real Estate Listings

A real estate agent needs to do more than just place and follow property listings. The real estate market is a competitive one. Thanks to the recent boom in house prices in Toronto and most of Southern Ontario, there is more competition to sell and rent homes than ever before.

As a property agent how do you stand out from the crowd? As a potential home buyer, how do you choose the right real estate agent?

For agents, the answer is quite simple, but the process is quite involved. Simply put, property agents need to offer more than just listings. Thanks to MLS an other real estate listings websites, anyone with Internet access can now go online and find detailed real estate listings for any area they’re interested in. In order to succeed as an agent, you need to stand out.

But how?

An excellent way to do so is to offer additional services to your clients. Rather than just providing listings and details about the property, you can help your clients by assisting them with related services. For example, if someone is buying a new home, they will likely need financing. If you’re able to form strong business relationships with mortgage brokers and other financial institutions you’ll be able to help your clients secure financing.

Many clients will also be interested in getting home inspections completed on their new properties. Knowing a good home inspector and helping your clients through the home inspection process will make you stand out from the pack and give you much higher customer satisfaction! The same can be said for home renovations: being able to refer your clients to skilled contractors will make the process that much easier for everyone involved!

Rather than just offer clients real estate listings and help them through the offer process, think of related services that you can assist with as well. Building strong business relationships with complementary business won’t just help your clients, but it will also help increase the number of referrals coming your way!

For home buyers, the search for a property agent and then the search for the right property can be a difficult – and sometimes overwhelming – task. If you’re looking to buy a home, you’ve probably spent countless hours analyzing real estate listings, hoping to spot the right place!

However, for most people, finding the property isn’t the last step! As mentioned earlier, you’ll also need to focus on financing, inspections, renovations and more! Having an agent that can help you through these tasks is a definite benefit!

Whether you’re buying a home or an agent listing a home, you know that real estate listings are just the first step in the process. A smooth transition from examining real estate listings to actually buying and renovating a property is paramount!

Real Estate Listing Agent – Top 7 Questions to Ask Your Prospective Listing Agent

So you’re a home owner who has decided, like about 90% of all home sellers, to hire a listing agent to help you sell your home. How do you choose from the hundreds or perhaps thousands of REALTORS® in your area? Here are some of the most important questions to ask your prospective Real Estate Listing Agent:

How long have you been in the business?

Reason for asking: With the lure of ‘quick and easy money’ (believe me, its NOT), every one with a few spare dollars and some extra time has decided to get into real estate. The joke is that in some States, liquor stores will accept, as forms of identification, your drivers license or your real estate license. I sometimes compare Listing Agents to Restaurants: Out of every 10 that start up, only 1 is still around after 2 years. Answer to look for: Minimum of 4 years experience.

Is this your full-time occupation?

Reason for asking: In many jurisdictions, it is NOT a requirement that a Listing Agent practice his craft full-time. While some places, such as my native Winnipeg, DO require that real estate be our ONLY profession, there are many places where your Real Estate Listing Agent could work on your file during the day, and then serve your meals at the local restaurant at night. Answer to look for: YES! Don’t list with a real estate listing agent who might have to choose between showing your home and picking up an extra shift at the local Piggly-Wiggly for some fast cash.

Where do you advertise my home?

Reason for asking: Nearly every Listing Agent uses the MLS®. Its a powerful way of getting your house noticed by buyers and other agents. But its not the ONLY way. Recent studies show that between 80% to 87% of home buyers start their search on the internet. so the answer you should be looking for includes not only the MLS®, but extensive internet presence.

Do you have a website?

Reason for asking: This goes hand-in-hand with the previous question. With such a high percentage of people looking on the internet, your Real Estate Listing Agent should have an effective website. I’m constantly amazed at how many agents don’t even have a simple site, let along a professionally managed, search engine optimized site. Answer to look for here is a definite YES, with some explanation of how effective the site is, Google ranking, Alexa ranking etc

If something goes wrong, who will I be dealing with?

Reason for asking: Many a Real Estate Listing Agent runs a ‘team’, and the only time you’ll actually be dealing with him is during your initial interview. And trust me…something WILL go wrong. Perhaps as little as spelling mistakes or poor picture quality in your listing, or it could be more significant such as the wrong price shown in the listing. Or perhaps you’ll just have some questions about feedback from the last showing. In all likelyhood, you will want to talk to someone about your listing, so make sure that you know who you’re going to be dealing with. the preferred answer here: “If any issues come up, you call ME directly anytime. You’re NOT going to be talking with my secretary, my assistant or my butler…. here is my cell number, it goes directly to ME”.

How many homes do you sell in a year?

Reason for asking: goes to experience. Find you how many homes the average real estate listing agent in your town or city sells and then compare. Answer to look for: Average is ok, but more experience is better. On the opposite end of the scale, if your prospective listing agent always carries in excess of 15 or 20 listings, how much time will he or she have to work on your home? Look for a nice balance.

How can I reach you?

Reason for asking: Chances are you will need to talk with your real estate listing agent, to ask him questions or to get updates. Make sure he or she has a cell phone, pager, e-mail and any number of ways for you to contact them.

Houston Real Estate Listings

Recently, the demand for housing in Houston has sharply risen and it is being predicted that this rise would be sustained in the coming years. However, this does not mean that anyone who wants to sell his or her home in Houston can expect to do so in a matter of days after putting up a for sale sign on the yard. This is because just like other places, selling homes in Houston can also become very challenging. In addition, the large number of people who want to cash in on their real estate investments that they have made in Houston has resulted to competition among sellers. As a result, people in Houston who want to sell their homes should take the necessary steps that can help them make their homes more attractive to buyers. One example of which is to maximize the benefits that people can get out of real estate listings.

Getting the most out of real estate listings

Statistics show that more than 50% of homes that are put on real estate listings do not sell during their initial listing period. However, this does not mean that people should abandon using real estate listings to help them sell their property because there are certain things that sellers get out of real estate listings they can not get if they list their own properties. One of these includes using other forms of real estate listings, which include the large number of real estate listings that are posted on the Internet, which can provide sellers access to a wider market. As often as possible, sellers should pick the listings that encourage them to upload the photos of their property and the more pictures they can upload, the better. Moreover, sellers should also try to pick Internet listings that provide them with a separate web address for their property. As for more traditional forms of real estate listings, sellers should also employ the same strategies they would when using Internet listings, which includes providing pictures of their property to give buyers a better idea about the property.

Selling property in Houston also involves using the same strategies that are sued in other areas. One of these includes using both online and offline real estate listings, which can give sellers access to a wider market. However, in suing these listings, there are a number of steps they need to take, which includes using listings that encourage sellers to put the pictures of the property they are selling, that can help them make their property more attractive to buyers.