Maybe you’re tired of the layout of your current home… of the neighborhood you live in… the length of your commute… or even some of the little things about your home that you would change if you had the time or the inclination.
Even though you’re tired of living where you do, you aren’t likely to escalate things to the ultimate extreme of sprinkling gas all over the floor of your place, then dropping a lit match on your way out of the door.
Since you’re one of the smartest people you know—after all, you’re not torching your old place, right?—you’ve chosen to take the high road: to buy a new home.
One of the most important things to do when buying a new home, is to make sure the real estate agent you work with is qualified, skilled, and is the one person you can count on to help you find the home of your dreams.
To help you along the way, I’ve put together a list of 7 questions anyone who wants to help you find the perfect home must be able to correctly answer. And because real estate isn’t a multiple choice test, all of the answers are below.
You might be wondering who I am… and exactly what qualifies me to critique prospective real estate agents.
My name is Ray Rice.
I work with my wife, Joy, and the rest of the Luxe Homes Team to help homeowners just like you to buy and sell homes.
Collectively, we have more than 112 years of experience.
We’ve seen the best of the best real estate agents, as well as some we wish had less responsibility in their everyday lives—especially their work lives.
So keep reading...find out if your real estate agent deserves the chance to help you find your dream home.
1. Do you have lots of verified reviews or are you a legend in your own mind?
Some of the most powerful indicators of the quality of the service provided by a real estate agent is not what the real estate agent says about themselves. What others have to say speaks louder and more forcefully than anything a real estate agent can come up with.
There is a problem that pervades the real estate industry: bogus reviews. Even though it is unethical and illegal, real estate agents desperate to improve their image and get new clients by any means necessary, have been known to get creative in making up stories about clients that they have supposedly served, then adding those fake reviews to their websites.
I believe in complete transparency in real estate reviews. This is why the official policy of the Luxe Homes Team is to accept only verified reviews through third party real estate websites like Zillow. By going this route, we empower clients to honestly tell the world about their experience with the Luxe Homes Team.
In just the last year alone, clients have left over 100 reviews on our Zillow profile page available by clicking here. Our reviews are overwhelmingly positive, honest, direct, and—real.
I don’t want to be a legend in my own mind. I’d rather earn your respect and admiration; then let you shout from the rooftops what you think about working with all of us here at the Luxe Homes Team… by leaving an honest review on our Zillow profile.
2. Do you sell luxury homes or do you focus on homes at the lower end of the price spectrum?
Luxury homes are unlike other homes on the market. This is true of price, build quality, features and amenities, and a thousand other variables. A real estate agent can’t wake up one day, roll out of bed, and decide that they’re going to sell luxury homes. It just doesn’t work this way. It takes a specific set of skills and attributes to successfully sell luxury homes, not to mention specialized training.
If you’re in the market for a luxury home, you need to understand the 3 main categories of luxury real estate agents as well as where your real estate stands in the luxury real estate food chain:
Luxury Dreamer—Someone who dreams about selling luxury homes—one day—once they figure out how it is done
Luxury Schemer—A real estate agent who sells homes at just about any price point, and has been lucky enough to list or sell the occasional luxury property
Luxury Dealer—Someone with intimate knowledge of luxury homes, has received specialized training in giving white glove treatment to their clients (or has extensive knowledge of all of the intricacies of buying and selling luxury properties), and actively lists and sells luxury real estate
All of us at the Luxe Homes Team (“luxe” is French for luxury) have taken the time to immerse ourselves in the luxury real estate market. We know which neighborhoods are in demand. We know the value of these properties. And we can have honest, direct conversations about the amenities you care about the most.
In short, we’re ready, willing, and able to help you with your luxury home search by giving you next level client service.
3. Have you done a lot of real estate transactions or will I be a huge part of your on the job training program?
Imagine you’ve been told that you need quadruple bypass heart surgery. Will you trust your health—your life—to an inexperienced (but energetic) heart surgeon? Or the grizzled veteran with hundreds of successful surgeries under their belt? I don’t know about you, but the last person I want touching my ticker is someone who needs a nurse to hold up a how-to guide while they’re operating… or worse, keeps an experienced surgeon on speed to walk them through every step of the process. My ticker deserves the best that money can buy.
The decision about which real estate agent should help you with the purchase of your new home should be taken nearly as seriously as your choice of heart surgeons. I think this comparison is spot on. If you’ll only buy 2 or 3 homes in your lifetime, shouldn’t you have an experienced, qualified, competent, real estate agent in your corner? The Luxe Homes Team, which I own and manage with my wife, has countless real estate transactions under our belts. We completed 93 real estate transactions in 2015 alone.
One of real estate’s dirty little secrets is that it takes hundreds of real estate transactions to feel comfortable in handling any real estate challenge that can come along. Real estate is kind of like knife throwing: you hope you live long enough to learn what you’re doing, and that nobody gets hurt along the way. If you do, others marvel at your skills.
Not only has the Luxe Homes Team survived, we’ve thrived… meeting and exceeding client expectations by keeping a laser focus on the tiniest details… which enables us to meet challenges head-on and close deals for the people we serve.
Any real estate agent who wants to earn your business should be able to say the same. If they can’t, you owe it to yourself to keep looking for the right real estate agent.
4. Do you have a foolproof plan that can help me to find a home even when inventory is tight?
Nearly anyone with a pulse can sell real estate when there is plenty of inventory. The magic of computerized home searches can prop up inferior real estate agents by making them look more skilled than they are… until their trusty computer comes up empty.
Now that inventory is tight, MLS (multiple listing service) computer searches are exposing the fact that the Emperor—in this case, unskilled real estate agent—has no clothes. You deserve a real estate agent who has systems in place to find homes in any market conditions, no matter what.
Yes, this area normally has quite a few homes for sale at any given time. If you aren’t picky about the neighborhood in which you’ll live, the amenities your new home should have, or the price you’ll pay for your home, finding a home should be a no brainer.
We’ve been through several different market cycles with the Luxe Homes Team. Even when inventory is low, we refuse to yield to what a computer tells us about inventory availability. This is why we decided to take matters into our own hands. We search high and low for inventory, turning over rocks, shaking trees, and generally doing everything we can to give you options for homes to buy, regardless of how many before us have tried and failed to find your dream home.
Even though we can’t wave a wand and produce hundreds of listings in a tight market, we do have systems in place that consistently help us to work our magic for our clients:
• Continually work on a network of connections that give us insight into properties that may be coming on the market soon
• Stay active in community organizations that put us in touch with high net worth individuals who may be looking to sell
• Utilize a marketing funnel we developed which actively seeks real estate listings through a variety of advertising channels
• Strive to always have listings that are about to come on the market, which can give our client’s an inside track on new listings just before they hit the market
• Have the ability to instantly send a message to more than 640 area agents letting them know the specifics of the kind of home you need, which often results in replies from agents with pocket listings too fresh to appear in the MLS database
• Go door to door within neighborhoods that meet your need and ask homeowners if they would be willing to sell (which proves that we’ll literally go to the ends of the Earth to find you a home)
• Employ a team of talented telemarketers to call the owners of homes with features you want, in neighborhoods you’d like to live in, to open a conversation about possibly selling their home to you
We’re hard-wired to give clients as many options as possible when they are searching for a home. It takes work and attention to detail, but I’m proud of our track record of helping people find the home of their dreams.
5. Have you committed yourself to real estate on a full-time basis or does another job compete for your attention?
I know that what I’m going to say here might be a little controversial. There’s a difference between part-time and full-time real estate agents.
Not everyone has the experience, the skills, or the talent to make real estate their full-time career. And I know some folks prefer learning the real estate ropes on a part-time basis without leaving behind the security of a regular paycheck.
Real estate agents have legal, ethical and moral fiduciary responsibilities to their clients—and for good reason. Your real estate purchase is a huge financial investment. I happen to believe that real estate agents who don’t make real estate their full-time careers are putting their clients at a severe disadvantage. Yes—their clients. Because selling real estate is all about the people you’re supposed to be serving, regardless of the size of the transaction.
Unless your real estate agent has taken the big plunge and is working in real estate on a full-time basis, they just aren’t yet ready to give their best efforts to their clients.
Every member of the Luxe Homes Team is working here on a full-time basis. We do not hire part-time or inexperienced real estate agents.
You deserve to have a real estate agent who can be available to meet with you to view properties, negotiate sales, and close transactions with reasonable notice… not before going to their part-time job stocking shelves in your favorite big box store. There is nothing wrong with someone being willing to do whatever it takes to support their family. I just happen to think that the best course of action for professional real estate agents is to make themselves available to their clients… and to always, always give their best effort… not what is left over after their other job.
6. Are you a skilled, well-trained, tough negotiator?
There’s a pretty well-known car commercial that aired during the Super Bowl a few years ago. You may remember it.
A woman and her husband are talking in a car dealership about the deal he is supposedly negotiating with a tough as nails car salesman. He’s talking up how hard he’s working to negotiate a deal on their car, then heads back into the office. His wife and kids see the two men seemingly arguing back and forth. He begins wildly waving his hands while they are talking. The man’s wife is thrilled when her husband comes out of the office to tell her that the dealership caved to his demands and met the price this couple wanted to pay.
Unbeknownst to the wife, the husband wasn’t negotiating at all. He and the car salesman were having an animated conversation about… football. It seems that this was a no haggle dealership, where the price listed is the price you pay. You see, things aren’t always as they appear.
All talk isn’t negotiation. Sometimes it is just going through the motions. And the same is true in real estate negotiation.
Real estate negotiation is a learned skill, one that takes training, talent, and a great deal of dedication to do well.
The entire Luxe Homes Team has received advanced negotiation training. This ensures that when we are negotiating on your behalf, you’ll get our best efforts as we tenaciously negotiate a deal that is in your best interests. This is the Luxe Homes Team promise.
You’ll never see us talking about football when we’re supposed to be negotiating.
7. Can you guarantee that I’ll find a home to buy?
There are a few real estate agents out there who are willing to guarantee that you’ll find a home to buy. And it makes sense on some levels. The market can sometimes be pretty tight. And if a real estate agent makes that kind of guarantee, they have a lot to live up to… and a lot to answer for if it doesn’t work out.
Here’s my promise to you: Everyone at the Luxe Homes Team will put forth their best efforts in helping you to find the home of your dreams. And this includes all of the marketing efforts we undertake to proactively find as many quality listings as possible, some of which haven't yet made it into the MLS.
I’ll go one further than a promise. I’ll put my money where my mouth is.
The Luxe Homes Team Love it or Lump it 200% Commission Guarantee: I guarantee that you’ll love the new home you buy through the Luxe Homes Team. And I promise that you’ll continue loving it on the day we close… and for 90 days after closing.
And if for any reason within 90 days of closing you find that you aren’t feeling the love for your new home, simply give me a call to let me know. We’ll re-list your home on the MLS with absolutely no commission due on the Luxe Homes Team side of the transaction… and refund to you 100% of the commission we received when you bought your house through us.
Take a look at our current listings by going here, get a free estimate of your house worth here, or click here to contact us now.
Ray Rice, The Luxe Homes Team
Article Originally Posted on luxehomesteam.com