Like most service industries, the range and scope of competing entities in the same business can often be very different…and perhaps they should be. Competitors will always try to find ways to separate themselves from their competition, as they should. Our business is no different. However, we’re not talking about finding someone to mow your yard, or paint your house…we’re talking about what may be the single biggest asset you’ll ever own. As such, it commands more attention from you when finding the right person to assist you.
You need assistance with preparation of the property, pricing and positioning in the marketplace, capturing the best assets of the property, marketing to the appropriate audience, negotiation, planning for a smooth transition out, and more.
So when one Broker claims they offer “full service,” what does that mean exactly? Well, unfortunately, the claim is subjective, and does not have a well defined and consistent framework.
As the real estate industry adapts to changes in the marketplace, new business models appear, offering an alternative to the “old way” of doing business. Flat fees, lower fees, and a mixed bag of services offered. The point is, it doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as the job gets done. As a seller, you should at a minimum, be sure to get the following:
*A competent agent that you feel is qualified to guide you through the process, and who is sensitive to your needs.
*Good advice in the preparation of your property for market, including professional staging if appropriate.
*Guidance on pricing, including data to support the advice, as well as positioning in the marketplace against the current competition.
*Guidance on a strategic move…will you move out and then sell, or sell and then move out?
*Exposure for your listing. It doesn’t matter how great the property is, or how well it’s priced, if no one sees it.
*Professional photography. I think we can agree that most, if not all agents are not skilled photographers. 10 minutes looking at listings on the internet will provide proof of that. I hire professional photographers, and you should insist on it.
*Internet exposure. 92% of home buyers use the internet…you have to be there. I syndicate my listings to over 800 websites (more than anyone else), and “feature” my listings on 4 of the top 5 websites. That guarantees my listings the best exposure.
*Negotiation skills. You should feel comfortable that once your property starts receiving offers, that your agent is qualified and capable to negotiate on your behalf. There is no replacement for that…experience, training, and life skills are the only way to get that.
*Communication. Above all, your agent needs to be an effective and consistent communicator. Read their past client reviews or testimonials, or talk to people they work with. Simply engage them prior to listing with them, and see how they communicate with you.
The bottom line, get the things you need, for the best price you can negotiate, and remember that it is negotiable. There is no “one size fits all.”
Full service means getting everything you need to get the mission accomplished, so be sure to do so.