In the Ukiah Valley we have plenty of estate agents to choose from, so how do you choose the right one for you? Here are some factors to consider.
At best, it’s nice to have a realtor you trust and enjoy working with. In the worst times, having this type of relationship is essential. Ask friends and family for recommendations and be honest with yourself about what you need. Can you defend yourself or would it be helpful to have a real estate agent who will be a bit more forceful in defending your needs? Do you have a pretty good idea of what you want, or would you like a real estate agent to help you figure things out?
Once you have a few names, check them online. YELP and other review sites can provide interesting information. Look for trends rather than putting too much emphasis on one crazy testimonial (good or bad).
Funny story, our property management service once received a negative review. A guy said how unfair it was that we didn’t rent to him after he was kicked out three times. The landlords called us and said, “Hey, looks like you’re very careful who you rent to. Can you manage our place? »
The right kind of experience
The Ukiah Valley is not exactly the San Fernando Valley, so most realtors are familiar with the area. The most relevant question in our corner of the country is whether your real estate agent has experience with the type of property you are buying or selling. If you are looking for a single family home, there are many knowledgeable real estate agents to choose from. However, if you are selling a vineyard or an investment property, you will need someone who knows the ropes.
And while experience is important, so is bandwidth. If you find a new real estate agent with more time and energy to devote to your property than someone with more experience, sometimes that’s the right decision. It’s also extremely helpful if your real estate agent has a reputable brokerage to provide further assistance.
Willing to go the extra mile to market your property
Years ago, real estate ads were printed in newspapers and people quietly ticked off the ones that didn’t interest them and circled the ones that did. Now all the gambling has moved online and the competition is fierce. If you don’t grab people’s attention quickly, they will simply scroll past your ad. When looking for a real estate agent, it is important to find one who can help you present your property in the best light, with photos, texts (written descriptions) and possibly videos.
It’s fair to ask a potential real estate agent, “How would you market my property?” How important are professional quality photos? What can you tell me about the staging of my property? »
Be strategic and well-connected
Some of the biggest advantages of a good real estate agent include their knowledge of popular trends and their ability to move the escrow process forward. Real estate agents generally know what’s selling and what’s not, and they can help you decide how to spend your home improvement dollars to get the best return.
They can also help you determine which inspections to get and provide you with lists of reputable inspectors. Then they can refer you to reputable experts if inspections come back with issues that need to be fixed. A real estate agent’s network can be worth its weight in gold.
Be aware that real estate agents will not interpret inspections for you. If there is a structural problem, they will refer you to a contractor, engineer or architect. If there is a title issue, they will refer you to a title agent. If there is a legal question, they will refer you to an attorney. Realtors who really know their stuff know they don’t know everything.
Finally, it’s important to choose a real estate agent who communicates in a way that works well for you, both the tools and the timing. Prefer to text rather than email? Do you need to communicate after hours because you can’t be away from work? Do you want to hit base every few days, even if nothing happens? It is best to put these issues on the table early.
The more you communicate your needs, the more likely you are to find a real estate agent who can meet them.
If you have any questions about property management or real estate, please contact me at [email protected] or call (707) 462-4000. If you have an idea for a future column, share it with me and if I use it, I’ll send you a $25 gift certificate to Schat’s Bakery. To view previous articles, visit www.selzerrealty.com and click on “How’s the Market Going”.
Dick Selzer is a real estate broker who has been in the business for over 45 years.