Here are the basics about what you cannot get from a real estate company for internet marketing. Starting in July, the new minimum services law becomes effective and it will be easier to distinguish what services will be provided.
The following information is to, the best of my knowledge, available through Realcomp MLS and some companies may offer different levels of service. This is for Realcomp MLS only. There are other MLS's in the area. Agents have the option of belonging to more than one MLS at additional cost.
For Realcomp, your areas main MLS, agents are allowed to have
*Up to 25 photos. (all agents)
*One unbranded (no agent or company) Virtual Tour or Floor Plan, and
Attached documents. (all agents)
*ONLY Exclusive Right to Sell/Full Service Listings go to IDX (internet data exchange) home searches AND to Realtor.com website.
*Brokers are in the process of signing agreements to have all their homes on 360 TV via Comcast.
Agents have the ability to purchase, at additional expense Showcase Listings on Realtor.com. Homes that are showcase listings can show up first in searches for a price range. I suggest you look on Realtor.com to see who's homes come up in your price range with a yellow box. Showcase Listings have several options including more photos, virtual tour, scrolling text and the ability to host a video.
There is alot of pressure from Vertical Search Engines such as Trulia, Zillow, CraigsList, and many more. This website contains a pretty fair list of the sites you want your home on. http://point2nls.com look under exposure engine down the page. Your agent should be using this at a minimum in their internet marketing efforts.
Most full service brokers have all their listings sent via FTP feed to Trulia, Zillow, Oodle, Homescape, and OpenDoor (HGTV). Unfortunately, some companies do not educate their agents of this availability.
IDX listings can be found on several agent websites (it must have an IDX symbol) along with (and these may have changed since I last looked) RE/MAX, Prudential, Century 21 (local offices), Keller Williams (local offices), ERA, Real Estate One, SKBK, and other offices.
Did the agents have a blog? A blog allows agents to create and post your home on it's own webpage and included embedded video, maps, multiple photos, and anything the homeowner and agent agree upon in marketing your home. It also exposes your home to Yahoo, Google, MSN, and other Search Engines.
I do not service Birmingham but if you have a marketing question, please feel free to contact me privately. I will gladly answer your questions.
It's sad to see this kind of service in any business out there. One good thing about this bad economic turn is that because it's getting harder to sell homes, the agents that thought it was easy, are getting out of the business. Selling a home though includes cooperation of both the seller and listing agent. If you have an idea that might sell your home, or expect certain things to happen, be up front and share those suggestions with your agent so there's no surprises in the end. Communication is key for a successful real estate transaction. Team up with the right agent and get your house sold!!! Good luck neighbor, I'm in Beverly Hills if you wanna call me:)
This is a very tough market for everyone but to have the experiences you have had is unacceptable. I agree with Gary, when I think of Birmingham, I think of Maureen. She is all over the internet and knows how to get homes sold! Good luck to you!
Regarding the comparables and providing a fair market value for your house, Weir Manuel Realtors has a unique approach. We bring a team of experienced agents (4 people) to your home for a walk through and measure. We acquire information about the home including recent updates and special features. This initial visit only takes about 20 minute to half and hour. The lead agent then researches the market and develops a detailed market analysis based on sold homes in the appropriate area. This is presented along with a comprehensive marketing plan. Another alternative is to get an independent appraisal, but it is important to hire someone who has in depth knowledge of your area.
The second part to your question must have come in as I was typing my response.
If just listing with a flat fee broker worked, everyone would do it, believe me. I have listed more than one Birmingham home AFTER it did not sell flat fee. There are soooo many things I do that I could never afford to do for $800 or whatever it is you pay flat fee.
Are they doing broker opens?
Do they belong to the Birmingham Bloomfield Realtor Network?
Do they have enhanced listings on Realtor.com?
Do they use virtual tours? When is the tour posted?
How many photos are on their listings?
What sites do they syndicate to?
What are their own sites like?
Do they have a national or international branding site (like sothebysrealty.com)?
Do they do national and local advertising?
Where do their sites come up for key google searches like "Birmingham mi real estate"
What kind of traffic do they get on their own sites?
What do their property flyers look like?
Does their office do relocation?
What do you get when you google their name?
What percentage of the Birmingham market does their office sell/represent?
Here is an example of a Birmingham home I listed Saturday morning: http://1795Holland.com. We closed on http://420Suffield last month and another on Quarton Lake today.
You need an agent that will market your home on as many websites as possible, as that is where everyone begins their search. The majority of internet " hits" I get on my listings come from Realtor.com, but I provide many more options for my clients. I receive a report form Tuilia. com and as to the number of people looking at my lisitngs on a weekly basis. I also have a link to HGTV.com to my website. I showed homes in Birningham yesterday. You are welcome to include me in the agents you may want to interview.
I work for Sotheby's in Birmingham and know the market well. My husband and I specialize in innovative and aggressive marketing. A flat fee Realtor will not give you the service or give you the same net results you will get with good marketing and good representation. You can check out my blog at http://mioaklandcounty.com and my site at http://miBirmingham.com.
We are different and we will make a difference for you!
Angie Batten, ABR, CCR
I am curious. What was the conclusion to your Realtor/home selling challenge? Did the home sell? was it competitive to the market? Did you use an attorney instead of an agent? Not sure if anyone followed up with you after your call for help back in May.....
Indeed you need to find the right professional to do the job. Maybe, we could talk over the phone after you visit my website http://www.HEYBRIDGET.com. It is indeed a different market, however, I can provide you the WOW package of professional service you deserve!
Let's begin with basics....
Sorry to hear about your experience thus far. If you would be open to meeting with another Broker / Agent to explain why the attorney / MLS flat fee route is not the way to go, please don't hesitate to contact me. You can visit me online at http://www.DoorToDreams.com
Thank you in advance...
Derek Bauer, Associate Broker / Realtor