If you don't work with buyers on a regular basis, you don't have the expertise to accurately price homes for market. Many experienced agents snottily declare that they Don't Work With Buyers - they only handle listings and hire buyer agents to show homes. I know a few agents in my area who are huge listers and have never shown or previewed one of my listings. I don't understand how they can claim to be a neighborhood expert when they don't know the competition...don't have an understanding of how buyers think.
Because I work with both buyers and sellers equally, I can help a seller look at his home through the eyes of a buyer... and the buyer's agent. I know what is currently in vogue with the local buyers. I know what will WOW a buyer as he walks in the door...and what will immediately turn him off.
I can advise my client on the upgrades and improvements that truly matter in OUR market, even specific to his particular neighborhood. I know how important a walk-in closet is... or isn't. I know if buyers will overlook a dated kitchen... or if they won't. I know if buyers will balk at the lack of a garage... or if they will be tickled just to have off-street parking.
I know how much value to add for being close to a popular coffee shop... or how much to subtract for being on a bus route. I know how to price an asbestos-sided house so that buyers will consider it... over the vintage brick Tudor they really want.
Other things I know because I work with buyers...
I understand why a 1,200 sqft Bungalow is far more valuable than a 1000 sqft Bungalow (aside from the difference in square footage.)
I understand why a main floor master bedroom is undesirable for many buyers.
I know that in certain neighborhoods, one-story Bungalows are selling far more quickly than two-story Victorians. And I know why.
The real estate market changes on a daily basis and data from the MLS tells only part of the story. What you knew about the market six months ago is irrelevant to the market conditions today. To truly be a "listing specialist," you must also be committed to knowing the inventory... and to knowing the buyer.
copyright Jennifer Allan 2007
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