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How does someone choose from the current 37,000 real estate agents in northern Virginia? Do you choose your agent based on “name recognition”, “brokerage recognition”, “testimonials” or on “market knowledge”?
The best luxury real estate agent will look at the current market trends and offer advice on how and what to do to successfully market your unique home in light of the current market conditions and your competition at any given time. This approach is proven to net you, as a seller, the most amount of money and the best terms.
So what are the current market trends today? For the sell side, to best answer this question one must look at how buyers start their search for a new home and how they decide on which homes to view, which ultimately is the goal of marketing your home. More traffic correlates to more offers at higher prices in the least amount of time.
Having a yard sign with a “recognized” real estate agent’s name or brokerage’s name is not enough these days. “Name recognition” or “Brand recognition” in your area will not equate to more traffic, nor will it automatically equate to a higher offer for your home. The buyers who are interested in purchasing your home do not search by the recognized listing agent’s name, not do they search solely on a specific Brokerage web site. They might start with one web site but they quickly expand to the myriad of other available web sites to make sure they are not missing anything. The reality is that ALL real estate sites share the same information driven by reciprocity rules and professional standards. If you are listing your home with a known and reputable brokerage firm your house will be featured in all other real estate sites plus multiple syndication web sites as well.
Outstanding testimonials from past clients is definitely something you need learn about your prospective Realtor. The positive words of a past client is something that in the trending social media world is of most importance – past performance can be a great indicator of future performance. Its always natural to start your search by asking your close friends for recommendations, but that’s not enough. The data obtained from the latest marketing social media trends show that people tend to “trust” more the positive words of a stranger than those of a close friend, the lesson here is, get multiple opinions. But the outstanding traits of the best luxury real estate agents does not stop with testimonials.
Another valuable criteria is “market knowledge”right ? Knowing our target markets is the bread and butter of our real estate business. We stay abreast of market fluctuations because everyday we’re working with the latest market data and analyzing how those fluctuations will affect our clients desires and plans.
A top luxury real estate agent would go as far as recording weekly information rather than relying solely on the commonly available monthly information provided by national and local associations. This information, though very useful, lags behind by a month and 10 days, that is just too late, you can see the changes and fluctuations a lot faster if you record those numbers on a weekly basis. Check this blog on this very topic.
If you are like most people you will be second guessing your decisions, but you will soon realize that the person you end up choosing should be the one that shows the most respect to you, your time and your home. You are a client after all and should be treated like the VIP you are. Communication is of outmost importance. If you choose a “recognized name” in your area that person will likely have several homes listed under their name. There’s only 24 hrs in a day and these agents will have to divide their available time between all their listings. Not everyone will be attended to right away in the same way, it is just humanly impossible. According to the National Association of Realtors the number one complaint from sellers about their listing agents is that 50% never heard back from them once they signed the listing agreement. A “boutique” real estate agent. on the other hand, can work more closely with their clients and has a better understanding of how to deliver the attention and service their client is paying for someone who is a 100% reliable
When choosing the top luxury real estate agent in Alexandria look for this 10 top traits:
1- Choose the agent that has a track record of responding promptly to clients questions, someone that is a “true professional”.
2- Choose an agent that knows about architectural design and trends and who will be able to “sell” the unique features of your luxury home and will “add a level of sophistication that most agents just don’t have”
3- Choose an agent that has a “Stager Certification” plus a College degree in design who will help you stage your home to appeal to the current buyers trends
4- Choose an agent that has taken the time to consistently record weekly market stats to show and help her clients make smarter decisions whether selling or buying.
5- Choose an agent that has taken time to learn the intricacies of negotiating and has a Certification as a Negotiator from the Real Estate Negotiation Institute to prove it (curriculum taken from Harvard Business School)
6- Choose an agent that has taken the time to learn about On-line marketing and understands Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which will bring your home page and feature information to page ONE of Google and other search engines, proven way to get your home most Exposure = Traffic = Higher price.
7- Choose an agent that could clearly develop a unique marketing plan for your unique home. A 3-D virtual model is a great way to show a special floor plan, or perhaps a Fly-through 3-d model? May be a Drone Photo-shot ? Are night photography shots more appropriate? How about a Open House that includes
8- Choose an agent that has a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist ( CLHMS ) designation. One that needs to be “earned” like the one given by Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, not bought as a yearly subscription or just typed on a business card.
9- Choose an agent that has a Circle of Excellence, a list of trusted vendors and professionals ready to help you with any issues that might arise like fixing plumbing issues, electrical issues, landscaping or anything else that might be necessary for your house to be ready to show and sell.
10- Choose an agent that understands that you have a busy schedule and don’t have that much time, someone who will lay out the market data information, a well developed marketing plan and will present that information to you so you can make an informed decision. But ultimately someone that will take care of all the little details for you through out the process so you don’t have to.
Bottom line: Your best luxury real estate agent will be the one that will everything possible to sell your house as if it were her own!
Are you thinking about selling your home? Give me a call for a 30m consultation 703 472 5439