Why Professional Services Cost More-- And Cost You Less in the End
“But the other realtor said she could take a lower commission, and we could list it at a higher price!” Realtors hear this sort of thing a lot. I mean A LOT. In a “seller’s market” like today, some homeowners have the perception that their property will basically sell itself, and that a realtor just won’t bring much to the table (and will end up walking away with a huge chunk of the profits). Just keep in mind that even if your realtor tells you things like, “Your home was so cute it basically sold itself,” there is actually a huge amount of work, and quite a lot of expense, behind selling a home—and aside from the projects you do to get it move-in ready (which your realtor helps you prioritize as well), the agent covers all those costs as part of his/her investment in the business.
Costs to your realtor include (among many):
· Tuition fees for continuing ed (keeping their knowledge relevant so you can avoid legal trouble),
· Certification fees (for your safety, agents need credentials to enter private properties),
· Affiliation fees (connecting with a company that connects agents with each other so your property gets the most market exposure),
· Print and online ads for your property (all paid out of pocket),
· Employee salaries (training and paying someone to make sure you receive great care throughout)... and more!
Finally, at the end of the day, all agents need to live, eat, and feed their families after putting in hours of overtime work with no certain compensation beyond a commission check on closing day (usually split with an agent on the other side of the transaction). Beware of an agent who tells you he/she can work for less!
One of the biggest costs—with one of the highest returns to the client—is that of staging and photographing your property in a way that really showcases its best features. A realtor who offers to list your home at a much higher price is probably just inexperienced (call me instead!), but one who offers to take a lower commission will need to cut corners and services in order to make ends meet at that rate. And photography is one of the best places to cut costs.
Unfortunately, without great staging and matching photography, your property will not attract the type of attention you need in order to get the best price, no matter how much work you put into getting it ready. Go ahead, take a look at some properties for sale in your area. Can you tell the difference in the photography? Some amateurs accidentally feature themselves in reflective surfaces. Others take angled shots that make your rooms look small and crazy. Many even use inadequate equipment like cell phones, resulting in fuzzy or blurred photos with an outdated or dirty feel.
With new high-definition technology, today’s buyers expect clear, crisp shots full of light and detail, and your property needs to compare favorably with your neighbor’s home—or else they will get the buyers, and you will end up with the price cuts and long wait times. A recent article on the Coldwell Banker Blue Matter Blog does a great job of explaining the statistical advantages of having great photos for your listing.
Take a look!
Posted by L. Lathrop for Jim Burns