Sellers: Interview Your Prospective REALTORS®
So, Thursday and Friday morning my husband and I were posting across various social media channels to let everyone know about our Grand Open House this afternoon in Houston, Texas for our latest listing. One particular Facebook group that allows you to publish open house posts had a home that caught my eye.
This home was in our general market area and priced around $1 million dollars. What grabbed my attention was that there was a direct link for the listing to the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) and the cover photo with the link was, well, how do I say this diplomatically...sub-par. (For those of you that are out of our market area, HAR is our local MLS.)
Curiosity got the better of me and I clicked to see the rest of the photos. It was a stunning home indeed, but the photos did not do it justice. There were fuzzy photos, crooked photos, and dimly lit photos. The way I look at it, we are allowed to upload 32 photos to our MLS which gives us 32 separate marketing opportunities to impress and "wow" the buyers who are scrolling through. I'm scratching my head in disbelief as to 1) how the seller is ok with this, and 2) how did the agent get hired to sell this listing that averages $1 million dollars without providing satisfactory performance expectations on something as basic as professional photos?
The truth is, I will probably never know, or understand. Perhaps there were circumstances that created the need to throw up some quick photos and there was not time to schedule a professional photographer. Perhaps they talked the agent into dropping their commission on the sale and the agent was forced to cut corners on marketing. Regardless of the details, high quality photos sell a home, and especially when you have a house in that price point, buyers expect to be romanced.
As my father used to tell me when I was a little girl, "if you are going to do something, do it right the first time and give it all you've got." To be honest, this was dad's nicest way of phrasing his opinion on the topic of one's effort, as his alternative phrases were strikingly more blunt. The point being; people put their homes on the market to sell them. No one that I have ever met lists their home out of boredom or for sport. An agent's good name and reputation are always on the line and at the end of the day, each and every real estate agent out there should be earning their paycheck. Note the term "earning" implies hard work, effort, and the attempt to exceed their client's expectations for every facet of the time-line within the seller's contract.
So, to everyone out there thinking of hiring an agent (which I do recommend) and putting your home on the market, pick your top few choices in agents and schedule an appointment for an interview. Ask questions about the marketing plan they are going to implement. Will professional photos be taken? Will all 32 spaces for photos be used on the MLS system? Will social media be utilized in spreading the word about their home for sale? Will the agent be able to list the home globally, on international MLS networks? Are professional brochures or booklets going to be printed? These are just a few questions that you may want to ask to ensure that you are hiring the right REALTOR® for the job.
Now if you are an agent reading this post and are fortunate enough to have wonderful clients like ours that took the time and effort to write us a review like the one pictured above, you will know without a doubt that you exceeded your clients' expectations and earned your wages. That being said, as REALTORS® we should make it a point to never become complacent with our own performance and always strive to go above and beyond for every client throughout our contracts and careers. Each and every one of us as real estate agents can always find room for improvement. Your clients are sure to recognize it when you are standing "Above the Crowd!®".
~ Sherry McNabb