Today’s housing market is a buyer’s market. Although home values are rising, it is a very slow ascent and experts predict it will take years for the housing market to fully recover. Therefore sellers face a very challenging market when it comes to listing their home. It is crucial for a seller to have a capable Realtor who can weather a difficult and volatile market. What are sellers looking for in today’s Realtor? It turns out that the fundamentals of service are still the most important traits, combined with a healthy knowledge of their local market and the latest technology.
With technology changing so rapidly and new avenues of media becoming a powerful presence, a seller must hire a Realtor who can effectively market their home. Within just a few short years, the age of the internet has changed many aspects of our lives, including how we sell real estate. If buyers cannot find your home on the internet, it might as well be invisible. And it doesn’t end with just having a website, sellers should demand that their Realtor have a state of the art website, a well-defined online marketing plan, and strategies planned around the concept of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It’s OK if a seller doesn’t know these terms or what they mean, but a Realtor should. If your Realtor doesn’t address these aspects of marketing, it’s time to find a new one!
However it’s not all about who has the best or most up-to-date technology. The traditional qualities of a good Realtor still apply and, in fact, are perhaps more desirable to sellers in today’s world of gadgets and fast communication. A business relationship between a seller and a Realtor is also a human relationship, so a Realtor should be sensitive to the personal needs of their sellers. Sellers today still operate off of gut instinct. Simply put, if a seller is not comfortable with their Realtor, than it doesn’t matter how great the Realtor’s marketing is, they should not get the listing. Sellers must feel that they can trust their Realtor. The trust factor, to this day, is built solely on personal exchanges and meaningful human rapport.
After establishing trust, sellers expect top-notch service. Who doesn’t? This includes reliability (how good is the Realtor at returning phone calls and following up on questions & concerns?) Communication is critical, and honest communication is essential. A Realtor must be prepared to tell their sellers the hard truths, and sometimes play the role of the “bad guy”. In realty they’re the good guy, because they are being up front and honest with their clients. If a Realtor tells a seller only what they think they want to hear, then they are not serving their seller’s best interests. A good Realtor must be absolutely honest with their seller because a realistically informed seller is a well-served seller.
Times are changing, and real estate is changing with them. However, our human values remain the same and we cherish these values now more than ever. The ideal Realtor for a seller is one that understands their market, manages our ever-changing technological advances, but also never forgets the fundamentals of personal service.
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Jolenta Averill, Principal
Lake & City Homes Realty