Before I became a realtor, I also wondered how much work is involved in helping a client buy or sell property. Little did I know!
Please, folks...we don't just provide transportation. I can only speak for myself, but this is a sampling of what I do for my clients:
1. Before meeting the client, I prepare a comparative market analysis, put together a marketing presentation (not a cookie-cutter presentation -- I put a lot of thought, research and effort in this presentation which eventually became a template for my company)
2. Other agents will know that putting together a comparative market analysis is not just about looking at what sold, are active or pending. One has to determine other factors to qualify specific properties to be in the comps.
3. Upon listing the property, I put together a calendar of action items on what the seller and I should do to prepare the property for sale
4. Action items include:
- taking pictures ( a lot of pictures!) - selecting, editing, cropping, re-sizing, compressing
- photo-stitching, creating visual tours
- writing and designing flyers
- sending electronic flyers, or what other people will describe as email blast
- advertising in print (newspapers, postcards, flyers)
- scheduling inspections (home inspections, pest inspections, etc)
- holding brokers' tours (during which I serve refreshments to entice more agents to come see the property)
- holding open houses as needed
- showing property
- uploading the posting on the MLS
- on REALTOR.com, uploading as many as 25, customizing the descriptions and scrolling headline for the showcase. This is critically important since this serves as the primary source of information that other realty websites pick up. So by the time I activate a listing, it is complete with pictures and visual tour.
- Creating electronic flyers using Postlets, Vflyers
- Customizing uploads on Zillow, ActiveRain, Trulia
- Posting frequently on craigslist
- Uploading and creating website information about the property (this is posted on my website on Point2 which is networked with other Point2 members.
- Uploading the information on our company website
- Uploading dislosures online (Sureclose)
- Helping and guiding sellers on staging their house. If they don't have the right stuff, or don't have enough, I augment the staging by using my things. Or, I hire (and pay for) a professional stager to consult with the client. If staging is needed, I have contributed towards the expense.
- Providing resources for sellers, and letting in the service personnel in the house (e.g. wood floor refinishers, painters, plumbers, electricians, housecleaners, landscapers, inspectors)
- Putting together a Property Binder to include information about the property, copies of inspections, demographics, permit history, etc. that I provide at the house so that agents and prospective buyers can consult this information while the are at the property. Nothing like having info at your fingertips when you want it.
- Following up with agents and prospective buyers who saw the property -- I send notes, email, and make phone calls
- Updating my sellers frequently on the activity on their house. I do this by sending them copies of the reports on REALTOR.com on how many times it's been viewed. I include other reports that are available (how many times it's been viewed on Zillow, my website, et). I include a list of all the realtors who have shown the property, provide numbers of people who came to the open house, etc.
- Having continuous conversations with my Seller on the market, and if we should make some adjustments
- When an offer is received, I start negotiating at that moment --- my first question to the other agent is if the offer is the BEST and HIGHEST offer from the buyer. That may give them pause, and then they ask me to counter rather than reject the offer.
- If there is more than one offer, I prepare an Excel spreadsheet comparing the terms and the estimated seller proceeds
- Upon presenting the offer to the Seller, we go through an intensive discussion. Sometimes, we go back and forth, and may even have more than one counteroffer.
- I call the lenders for the buyers to get a more complete sense of the financial wherewithal of the prospective buyers
- When we go into contract, I remain the point of contact among all parties
- I pay for a transaction coordinator to make sure our paperwork is in order
- Throught it all, it's follow up, follow up, follow up!
These action items take hours, days, weeks. I don't get paid until I close escrow.
Remember, that I pay for all the advertising expenses. I've even contributed towards staging and landscaping and inspections if the sellers are financially strapped. If the property doesn't sell, I am not reimbursed for any of my out-of-pocket expenses.
To all: how much is your time worth? Can you afford not to get paid for service you provided?