Selecting Your Agent

Houston Association of Realtors - Client Experience Rating
selling a home with the Monica Foster Team

Selecting your real estate agent is the most important step when selling your home.  When you hire a real estate agent they provide you services that need to lead to results.  Many agents do not provide many services or the services they do provide do not provide results. Discount brokers just want to sell your home quick and make you do all the work.

DON’T FALL FOR GIMMICKS! If an agent guarantees to sell your home for free or buy it  you will most likely not meet the criteria and if you do you will have to sell below market value costing you thousands of dollars.  Don’t get caught in a bait and switch!

Discount brokers provide minimal service making you do all the work and spend no $$$ on marketing.  They just want tell sell your home quick at a price less than what you should get.  The lowest commission does not mean you make more money on your sale!

When choosing an agent to market your home you must measure the agent’s experience in marketing including their brokerage, whether they are a REALTOR® or not, and any designations they may have.  You also must evaluate their production, performance statistics, and reviews by previous clients.  They must also be available and keep in communication concerning the marketing efforts and the condition of the market overall. Finally, you want an agent who has access to buyers.  A well known agent or team with lots of buyer leads will most likely have a buyer for your home. The bottom line is when you go to sell your home you are paying a real estate agent to handle the following tasks for you:

  • Manage the Marketing of Your Home
  • Expose Your Home to Other Agents
  • Expose Your Home to the Public
  • Secure Potential Buyers
  • Show Your Home
  • Negotiate an Agreement to Buy Your Home
  • Close the Transaction

billboardRemember, choosing an agent based upon their suggesting asking price is not a criteria for agent selection, rather it is their ability to perform the above tasks.

For luxury homes, these criterion are even more important.  Your agent must understand the luxury market conditions and how many buyers are in what price ranges.  Additional Luxury Home Marketing must be performed in luxury magazines and web sites to reach the affluent luxury home buyer, many who are not necessarily in the market to buy at that exact moment.

When an agent exposes your home to other agents your agent must provide quality photos and  descriptions of them and the property.  For the public side, the agent must have the above marketing to make your home stand out from the crowd.

Staging is also important when your home is shown to potential buyers.  There is no second chance for a first impression and thus your agent must know how to stage your home inside and out.

When a buyer is interested in your home, the real estate agent you select must be a keen negotiator to ensure you get the best deal possible.  Inexperienced agents will not necessarily recommend the best course of action in a given situation.  There are many types of situations that can occur with offers including, but not limited to, cash, contingencies, dual agency, VA loans, assistance programs, lease backs, etc.

To sum up, do not choose your agent by fee alone, rather by the value you get for that fee.  This value is derived from the delivery of their services and the results they obtain.  Your home must sell in a reasonable amount of time for market value which can totally depend upon your choice of agent. A lower fee but longer selling time is no bargain.

Take a look at the video below for much more information on selecting your real estate agent and feel free to learn more About Us.

The 3 P's Your Agent Must Perform

Any agent selling your home will need to perform the 3 P’s for your home: Preparation, Price, and Promotion.

PREPARATION:

This includes identifying special features, recommending changes or repairs, and other preparatory tasks such as staging. An experienced agent will know when and what to recommend.

PRICE:

Setting the price with regard to the home condition and the market conditions is critical.  An experienced agent will know what price band your home should be in to maximize buyers and get the highest value for the home.  This is especially critical in the 600k+ range. There raising your price may actually expose your home to more buyers than lowering it.

PROMOTION:

Rider-smallOften there are many homes to choose from and your a good agent will ensure your home stands out from the masses by investing their own money in the sale of your home.   The Monica Foster Team accomplishes this with, but not limited to, extensive social media, extensive syndication, billboards in some areas, my large buyer pool,  professional photos, virtual tours, 3-D self-guided tours, property web site, open houses (as needed), and in some cases virtual staging or aerial photography.

WE DO THE THINGS OTHER AGENTS WON’T!

Certifications

Knowledge Means You Are In Good Hands

Any agent can get a license and list your home.  However, to sell your home in the timeframe you want for the price you want you need an agent with the best experience and education. You should never want to invest in a Realtor® that won’t invest in themselves. There are several seller-centric certifications that, if your agent has, can be of great benefit to you:

CERTIFIED-2009-Logo-Square-Transparent-Logo-OnlyCertified Residential Specialist (CRS) agents have completed rigorous advanced training in finance, marketing and technology and met signification experience requirements. Because of this, less than 4 percent of the more than 1 million active REALTORS® have this certification, each averaging over twice as much sales and transactions as non-CRS agents.  More transactions mean more experience for you to benefit from.
srsThe Seller Representative (SRS) designation is the premier credential in seller representation, conferred by the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB) Council, recognizing real estate professionals who have completed special education in seller representation and meet practical experience criteria.
CHMS_200dpiThe Certified Home Marketing Specialist (CHMS) has the education to know how to market your home. From the internet, to staging, to color selection, the CHMS has the criterion that buyers use to judge your home and knows how to deal with them.
ASPREAccredited Staging Professionals® (ASP) are dedicated professionals who have studied and learned the proven and powerful techniques of Staging® homes with two primary goals: sell faster and for a higher price.   Agents with this designation offer advice on colors, curb appeal, decor and furniture (physical or virtual).
CNE_1Certified Negotiation Experts (CNE) are trained on the different types of personality types involved in a transaction and therefore are best suited to negoiate on your behalf and resolve conflicts with the least amount of issues.  They will get you the best deal when selling your home.

Professional Photos

Why They Are Important!

Many agents take their own photos to save on up-front costs but are really doing a disservice to their clients if the home doesn’t get any showings as a result. Even a real estate agent with an expensive camera and possibly a few photography courses is no substitute for a professional photographer with years of experience and formal training. For example, take the two bedroom images below.  The “BEFORE” image was taken by an agent of a listing that expired and the “AFTER” image of the same room was taken by a professional photographer working with the Monica Foster Team.  The professional photographer knew the best place to take the picture from,  took advantage of lighting and used a wide angle lens.

Which photo would you rather have to highlight your home?

 

RoomBefore

BEFORE

RoomAfter

AFTER

Aerial Photography

For Scenic Homes

In cases where a home has a scenic view that cannot be captured from ground level, aerial photography can enhance a home’s listing and attract potential buyers that otherwise would not give the home a second glance.   Done on a case-by-case basis,   homes with acreage, waterfront, a golf course or other scenic views can benefit.

RoomBefore

RoomAfter

RoomAfter

RoomAfter

3-D Self-Guided Tours

You Walk Through The Home Yourself!

In today’s competitive housing marketplace, professional photos are often not enough to make your home stand out from the rest.  Static photos only tell part of the story of your home, from the perspective of the photographer.  Potential buyers need to experience your home and be able to “see” themselves in it.

What Better Way To Let a Buyer Experience Your Home than a 3-D Self-Guided Tour?

In a 3-D self-guided tour you use the arrow keys, mouse, or touch to navigate the home yourself looking at every part of the home- just like you would if you were actually there. You can walk around, view highlight images (and go to that room simply by selecting it), view the home from the dollhouse perspective and choose any room, or view the floorplan and pick a room from there.  See the short video below for an example or check out the 3-D Tours section of our site to experience it for yourself.  Only the Monica Foster Team can bring this to your home!

3-D Self-guided tour of a Mar Bella League City home sold via the Monica Foster Team

Virtual Staging

For Vacant Homes

In some cases when a home is vacant and not getting enough activity staging is necessary to boost interest in the home.  However, if full-blown staging cannot be afforded we offer an intermediate solution at no cost to you called “virtual staging“.  Virtual Staging uses realistic computer-generated assets to enhance the photos of a home. Done on a case-by-case basis, virtual staging generates interest in the home and gets people in the door to see the home for themselves.  While not a replacement for real staging, it can be a low-cost alternative that can take advantage of the fact that most home marketing is done online. For example, take the two bedroom images below.  The virtually-staged photo adds furniture, color, and other treatments to make the room more attractive to potential buyers and get them to tour the home.

Which photo would you rather have to highlight your home?

RoomBefore

BEFORE

RoomAfter

AFTER