So, you’re in the market for a new house. Or maybe you’ve decided to sell. In either case, you’re researching your options, trying to find the best way to go about starting the process. Maybe you’re even meeting with an agent or two.
Money is a factor, of course, so when the agents you meet start talking about commissions, you get a little twitchy.
So what does an agent actually do for all that money? After all, they don’t spend more than a few hours with you, right? Are they really earning the money they make?
The answer is a resounding YES!
Here’s what a full-service agent like Julie does when you’re not looking:
They shop for houses
If you’re buying: Ever clocked how much time you spend on Zillow drooling over properties you like? That’s a pretty good approximation of the time agents spend sifting the MLS on your behalf, except they’re also curating a list of properties that meet your criteria, researching each property’s details, and uncovering information you’ll need to know, like what kind of insurance you’ll need and whether the home is in a flood zone. And once you’ve selected properties from the list she presents you, your agent takes time to coordinate all those viewings with the seller and/or seller’s agent.
If you’re selling: Your agent is also trawling the MLS on your behalf. Seller’s agents look at comps (homes that fall in the same space as yours in the overall market landscape) and assess the differences between your home and others like it (homes currently on the market and recently sold) to determine where to set your home’s price and how to approach its marketing.
They network with other powerful agents
If you’re buying: Agents like Julie are well-connected to others like herself. She knows who the players are (because she is one) and where to put the word out that your awesome home is available. You won’t get that exposure without a qualified agent by your side.
If you’re selling: The best way to get your home sold quickly—and for the best price—is to put it in front of people who are shopping in your home’s neighborhood and price range. Julie knows which agents represent the buyers you’re looking for, so you may be able to sell your home before you even list it.
They pay for your marketing
If you’re buying: Typical marketing costs don’t apply to buyers, but there is time involved. Your agent will spend a lot of time viewing homes with you, pointing out the pros and cons and helping you imagine a new life in each prospective space. There’s no cost to you, though: if you’re a buyer, Julie’s service is completely free!
If you’re selling: Your agent is paying out-of-pocket to market your home. She’s covering the cost of professional brochure design and printing, MLS fees, staging, photography, a custom web address, open house expenses (including her time), maintaining a robust network, and covering the cost to maintain a database of potential buyers that she contacts as soon as your home goes on the market (and sometimes even before).
They negotiate your contract
Since nobody knows the market better than your agent, it becomes her job to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money.
Whether you’re buying or selling: Julie knows which price range your current home and future dream home should fall into. It’s now her job to liaise between you and the other party’s agent to make sure you’re both moving toward each other on price. That communication is executed through a series of meticulously documented offers and counteroffers that both agents jockey back and forth on their respective clients’ behalf.
In the Bay Area, it’s not always possible to negotiate a lower price, but Julie knows which levers to pull to ensure you get the best possible deal. Any scary legalese is handled knowledgeably—and deadlines are managed flawlessly—so you don’t have to worry about getting into legal trouble later. If a great deal isn’t possible, Julie will provide you with the critical information you need to make the decision to walk away. And she’ll rinse and repeat through deal after deal until you’ve finally closed on a home that delights you!
They inspect the inspections
If you’re buying: After each inspection, Julie’s team will review the detailed inspection report and create an easy-to-read summary of issues. Julie will use this information to provide guidance and recommend renegotiation, repairs, and even tell you when to reject a house completely if the problems are too widespread or will put you way out of your budget. A well-connected agent like Julie will have an arsenal of recommended vendors they can use to resolve any property problem from air conditioning to z-vents, and everything in between.
If you’re selling: Julie is a return on investment expert. She’ll let you know which repairs and remodels to tackle before listing your home, recommend aesthetic upgrades to wow prospective buyers, and make additional recommendations after reviewing your inspection report.
They head off high drama
Some transactions are smooth sailing—but not all of them. There are certain types of drama your agent can head off without you ever knowing anything is wrong. And if your agent has to involve you, a great agent will handle the problem thoroughly, professionally, and with a laser focus on finding a resolution.
A quick peek at Julie’s reviews proves her commitment to keeping her clients calm so they can carry on. Just look at these client testimonials:
“Julie was honest in our discussions and helped me think rationally about my search and kept me cool at times when I was frustrated about the market and buying process.” – From a client who purchased a home in Alum Rock
“One of the clear indications of a professional is how they respond when things don’t go to plan, which did happen in our case, with several hiccups in the buyer’s funding. Julie kept the rapid fire back & forth between the parties calm, factual & professional, so that everything worked out in the end to everyone’s satisfaction.” – From a client who sold a home in Willow Glen
A good agent doesn’t just hand you a house, they become your therapist and real estate confidante, making your transaction more pleasant by reducing stress and helping you keep your focus on the end goal.
Contact Julie for help navigating your next real estate transaction.