It’s that time of year again when we all tend to reflect on the previous year and think about the future. What are our new resolutions, our promises to ourselves that we hope to achieve in the new year? What were the events from the past twelve months that shaped or reshaped our lives, our thoughts, our goals?
As Realtors, most of us are big into goal setting and checking out the stats to see where we rank compared to our peers. Who’s top producer? How many sales units or sales dollars did we do, did other agents do? What are our goals we want to strive for in the coming year? As sellers or even buyers, you might also be reevaluating your real estate goals. As a seller you could be rethinking your price or rethinking any repairs or updating that were revealed from feedback of buyers seeing your house.
Buyers who have not found ‘just the right one’ should consider looking closer at their criteria, their price range and reevaluating those details. Is it reasonable? Are you being too picky, expecting to find a house that fits your every need or desire?
For both sellers and buyers, of course, you should be discussing this with your Realtor. Maybe you have been considering finding a different Realtor, but ask yourself why. When you sign a contract with an agent to sell your house or as a buyer to help you find a home, remember that you are hiring this person, their agency, to represent you, and you are as bound to that contract as your agent is to you. Before signing, be sure you have asked lots of questions and not just the ones about “how much they charge” or “how do you market,” but ask things such as, “can I cancel this contract if I change my mind, if I decide our relationship is not a good fit?” “Will I be charged a fee if I cancel and how much would that be?”
Communication is important between you and your Realtor and everyone communicates in their own way. Personally, I’m not tied to my cell phone but many agents are lost if their phone is not on their person at all times. Do you expect call backs, texts, or emails within a certain amount of time? Is that reasonable to expect from your Realtor? Remember that you are not their only customer or client and they could be out showing other homes when you text that all-important question. When you are with your Realtor do you have their full attention or do they stop to answer a text or call? Are you ok with that and if not, be open and honest with your Realtor. Make sure to be clear with each other in what manner of communication works best for both of you. Leaving it up to chance is never a good idea. Unless you’re both mind readers, then I guess I’ll have to write another article all together.
When interviewing your potential Realtor before listing to sell, ask how showings will be handled. Do you want a phone call or is email ok? Do you need a full 24 hour notice or maybe longer? When can you expect feedback? How will that Realtor gain access to your home? Will you be giving them a key, will the Realtor install a lockbox, is the key under some rock or do you even have a key?
Buyers should also be prepared to understand how showing appointments are handled. Let your Realtor know if you expect to have a certain amount of time in each house or do you tend to know rather quickly if a house is right or not? Second showings are always encouraged for any property of interest and those will typically have extra time built in. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Any question. People don’t normally sell or buy a house very often so don’t feel that you should know all the answers. We like questions. We like you to think we know all the answers too.
Let your Realtor be your guide, your professional, your expert in taking you through the process. It will be stressful at times no doubt, but lean on your Realtor and let them help you work through the difficult times. Most of all, try to relax, take your time – there are no emergency house sales, I always say, and make your real estate experience a good one. Look forward to the coming year, set reasonable and achievable goals and before you know it – it will be Spring!!