Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hiring a Professional - Why it Matters

I'm sure as many of you know, trying to save money by hiring the cheapest Realtor is NOT a good idea. But you can also argue that even hiring the best can come with problems.

How do you choose the right agent for you? Well, you don't want to hire the first agent you meet. You want to meet with at least three San Fernando Valley real estate agents before making a decision.

One mistake I made before I got into the real estate business is hiring the best local Realtor for the lowest commission. Man, Did I regret my decision! In fact, he wouldn't even let me cancel the agreement and list with someone else. I was unhappy but at the last minute a buyer came through offering me the asking price which was $5,000 more than his suggested price.

Whomever you choose to list your San Fernando Valley home with, be sure that you have the right to cancel the agreement if your unhappy with the performance of the agent. You don't want to be stuck with an agent who sucks. Believe me, there are many agents who suck. Have the cancellation written into the agreement at the time the listing is taken.

Let me give you some examples of agents who do a poor job:

1. Only displaying a few pictures online.
2. No virtual tour with domain.
3. Poorly written description.
4. No flyer's on the outside sign.
5. Doesn't answer the phone.
6. Other agents can't get a hold of your agent.
7. Doesn't market the home online. (craigslist, google base, msn live, etc...)
8. Thinks the old ways of doing business is the way its done.
9. Holds open houses knowing there is a less than 1% chance the house will sell that way.
10. Takes more than a few hours to reply to email.
11. Doesn't do text messaging.

One thing I like to remind all of my sellers is that 90%+ of home-buyers start their home search online. If the agent isn't maximizing the online marketplace to promote your home, 90% of home-buyers are skipping over your home and viewing the ones which are promoted by Realtors who are also Internet marketing specialist, like me.

A Realtor who is classified as an San Fernando Valley real estate Internet marketing specialist will also hold the "e-Pro" designation. This ensures that your working with someone who knows the Internet very well and will promote your home effectively online.

To search for bank owned homes up to 50% off market value, visit:


Richard M. Johnston, GRI, ABR, e-Pro

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