No matter what criteria you use to evaluate individual real estate agents, the most important thing a potential seller can do is interview multiple candidates prior to choosing the best agent to sell your home.
You deserve a partner you can truly rely on, with experience and skills to help you through one of the most important financial decisions of your life. So you owe it to yourself to do some research, start some conversations and ask smart questions.
If you are interviewing agents soon, I wish to be part of that conversation and I look forward to the opportunity to earn your business. Below you'll find some helpful articles about interviewing listings agents and my answers to some of the top questions you can ask.
In short, whatever it takes to reach the objective of selling your home for the most money the market will bear. I believe commissions are earned and every transaction has it's own challenges and demands to contend with so I adjust my strategies accordingly. You can view our full Seller's Guide in an online flipbook down below to learn about all of the services that we offer and provide with every listing.
Beyond the basics of MLS access and open house hosting, I have a deep network of industry professionals and a nationally recognized marketing department to assist me on every listing. When you sign a listing agreement with me you are hiring an army of professionals who work for you behind the scenes at @properties.
Our marketing fee includes (but is not limited to) these resources we provide to give your home maximum exposure:
• Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
• Professional Photography and Video
• Custom Property Brochure
• Direct Mail
• E-blasts and Social Media
• Market within a Market – @agent app
• New Ideas every day!
Time is the most valuable thing we all have. I am busy, I can work with many clients at once and have a lot of conversations with buyers, sellers, lenders, attorneys and other brokers everyday.
I can do this because I know how to prioritize and manage my time and I also know how to choose my clients. All of this running around keeps me up to date on market conditions, hot neighborhoods where the properties are selling and those that aren't. More importantly, I learn why because I am constantly looking at properties, researching, negotiating and reporting on the market. The number of active clients I have at any time varies. Some clients are on a quick path to move, or unload a property while others have been on the hunt for many months and my investors are always looking to buy or sell something.
You need an agent who is plugged in to the market at all times and working full time, year after year negotiating to earn a living. I have built a career as a reliable and trustworthy partner and have been trained by the #1 company in the business to deliver a top level of service at all times.
@properties agent platform is a tool that lets me organize, manage, process, and track clients and transactions. My clients love our online tools like the @home reports and digital CMAs which keep them informed at all times with real time updates on your values and listing performance.
My experience almost certainly involves working with properties similar to yours, either in your area or neighborhoods nearby. I have opened thousands of doors and worked with hundreds of properties and clients in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. To me it doesn't really matter where the property is, I can sell it. The forces that attract buyers are similar everywhere.
The areas I know best, and where I have the most experience, are in Cook county, DuPage county and Lake county where I have lived.
Anyone can easily find listings online now. So when choosing an agent to list your home it is less important these days to find a neighborhood insider and more important to find a reliable partner. One with the experience and professional relationships to help you negotiate, manage and close the transaction when things get tough.
Buyers come well equipped for showings with all of the information about your property, listing history, interior photos, 3D floor plans, drone videos, sales comps and more.
So before they ever set foot in your property they have already formed their own opinions, expectations and strategies. I have learned how to read my competition, negotiate and close hard deals, while I manage my clients expectations every step of the way, regardless of where they live.
When a strong agent is backed by one of the nation’s most innovative real estate brands, the results are unmatched. At @properties, our in-house marketing and technology teams produce best-in-class programs and products that give home sellers a competitive advantage in the marketplace. I have been trained and have grown as an agent alongside some of the best agents in the country, I have completed years of courses and continued my education while advancing my state license to earn a Managing Brokers License, I am a Realtor who adheres to the ethical and fiduciary duties I owe my clients and I aim to form long lasting relationships.
Clients become friends and they all know they can count on me to go above and beyond for them during and after the transaction.
In addition to selling real estate I have managed teams, I have deep experience working as a mortgage loan originator and processor, I have taught licensing classes, handled real estate closings, worked closely with attorneys and insurance agents, consulted with many investors and property flippers and I do a lot of hands on remodeling and construction myself. My varied background and 20 years of experience have prepared me to understand complex transactions from every seat at the closing table.
Exposure is everything. My strategies have been honed and expanded over the years alongside the great team I work with at @properties. They involve a combination of online public advertising, grassroots social promotion and very targeted outreach to industry professionals, investors, neighborhoods and associations.
I have a philosophy and system for successful selling that boils everything down to 3 important factors that we can control: Price, presentation and promotion.
The surest way to achieve the highest sale price for your property is to price it right out of the gate. Using the same tools that an appraiser will use, I begin with a thoroughly researched analysis of recent sales data and actively listed properties nearby. Once we understand the currently active competition and historical values nearby we will discuss all of the unique and attractive features of your home, narrow the focus and dial in the range we expect buyers to pay. Together we will then choose the best listing price to position your home against your competition but this analysis will continue even after we are listed. Using our digital CMA on @properties platform we will monitor our online traffic and receive real time alerts of any new listings, sales or price changes by our competition.
Presentation is the one thing you have full control over as a seller so you need to do everything you possibly can to present the property at it's best. Buyers these days are more educated and savvy than they have ever been, so first impression is incredibly important for attracting offers.
I can make suggestions, help move furniture around or virtually stage an empty space using high quality professional photography services. Cosmetics are only part of your presentation though, we have to make sure your building systems, plumbing, electric, hvac and other home components are showing equally well. I have personally attended hundreds of home inspections so I have detailed understanding of how a house works and part of my listing process involves a presale inspection. The goal being to identify any areas of concern and making repairs or adjustments to our strategy prior to a potential buyers inspector coming in and flagging easy to fix items. We do not want to give the buyer extra ammo in their negotiations with us.
Once we are comfortable that the home is ready the full marketing campaign really kicks in.
A complete explanation of our marketing program can be found in the seller guide down below.
Using a potent blend of classic advertising methods like direct mail and high visibility signage along with innovative online mailing campaigns and a slick webpage for your listing we will create a feeding frenzy. One of the best tools that I have as an @properties agent is our internal broker-to-broker app. Even before your home is officially listed, @properties agents market internally to a powerful network of over 3,000 agents – each with a broad sphere of influence that forms a rich source of buyers and referrals. This unique “market within a market” results in many deals coming together before they ever reach the public.
When priced, presented and promoted correctly a home can sell fast with multiple offers. Having confidence in your numbers, pride in your presentation and an agent making a lot of noise will maximize your chances of exceeding your list price. That is my goal with every listing.
I will always be your main contact, sounding board, advisor and advocate, but I can also be your best source for referrals. Both internal through my office and around the city because I work with everybody from attorneys and home inspectors to HOA managers, insurance and loan underwriters and general contractors. Attracting an offer can be easy, but closing a sale is hard and it will take many of them to help us close your sale.
At times when I may be unavailable, I have a great group of agent friends in @properties who can step in and assist.
On the listing side I generally charge between 2% - 3% of the sales price in commission. However, in order to market your listing using the MLS a commission must also be offered to the buyers brokerage. This results in a gross commission being charged to the seller of between 5%-6% on the majority of properties we sell through the MLS. Sellers will factor this commission into price negotiations with buyers when accepting a contract.
@properties and I offer a premium level of service and our systems and tools lead to higher sales prices and shorter marketing times. It is not uncommon for our listings to sell above listing price with multiple offers. We can do this because the systems we developed are fine tuned and flexible. Depending on the property type, price point, location and other factors we have different ways of marketing your listing to reach target audiences wherever they are. Our digital platform even tracks our efforts and monitors your listing activity in real time, so we always know how your listing is positioned against the competition. Information is power and with my help you will always be well armed for any negotiation and professionally represented every step of the way.
There are discount brokerages around town (such as Redfin and others) offering low commissions and a one size fits all model for selling. While their methods will work to sell a home they are not tailoring their services to meet the needs of your unique situation and home in order to maximize the result. In most cases, you will not have a dedicated agent working for you and representing your best interests 100% of the time. Some of these brokerages charge a lower commission on the sale, which makes for good advertising for them, but they make up for it in higher listing and marketing fees. If you look closely at most of their listing agreements the amount you end up paying them is usually 4-4.5%.
Your home is likely your largest asset and selling it is requires the help of many different people all working together towards one goal. It takes a lot coordination, communication and negotiation. You deserve to work with a dedicated agent you can trust and rely on 100% of the time. You deserve a level of attention and service that reflects the commission you are charged. You deserve the best. We may charge a little more but we work harder and our results more than make up for it with an average sale-to-list price ratio that beats our competition every time.
There are basically three ways that agents can answer this question.
1. Suggest a number and hope that we tell you what you want to hear so we win the listing.
2 . Inflate expectations to get you excited and win us the listing knowing that you will make concessions later when you have no choice and want to sell.
3. Suggest an objective price range based on a thorough and transparent review of publicly available sales data and then suggest adding a few percent to account for a buyers subjective value and negotiations.
No matter how similar two homes may be, even if they're next door to each other, every home is truly unique with it's own characteristics and appeal. So every home has both objective and subjective value to buyers. Subjective value, or emotional value, is impossible to measure but it is what makes or breaks every deal. Home valuations and appraisals are opinions and not facts because we buy and sell homes on an open market and the prices people pay are easily influenced by subjective forces. The true value of your home fluctuates all the time and the only way to know what it's worth today is to receive an offer to buy it.
So the true answer is I don't know what price it will sell for, but I do know how to break down all of the objective market data into manageable pieces that we can digest. I know how to analyze and present my findings to you effectively so we can debate all of the strategies available to us and together we will manage each others expectations and meet our goals.
A presale inspection is important so that we can try to identify any red flags that could derail a potential sale. If you know you have deferred maintenance or issues that require repair that is ok and it is not automatically a barrier to sale. There are strategies to dealing with everything, it just depends what it is. Ugly houses still sell! We focus mainly on issues concerning safety and structural integrity. It is always easier and less expensive to make some repairs prior to sale than to be forced to make repairs in the middle of a contract when it will cost you much more in money and frustration. Majority of the problems we encounter are relatively easy to rectify and the less ammo you leave out for the buyer to find and use against you in negotiations the better. When a buyer receives a long list of repairs from their inspector it can quickly change their perception of value and it leads to large credit requests.
So I typically suggest sellers make certain repairs prior to listing if at all possible. Sometimes a few hundred dollars in repairs up front can save you thousands in credits down the road. However finances or timelines do not always allow for that ,in which case we adjust our listing strategy and price, offer repair credits or home warranties to the buyer to reduce their concerns.
One of the most commonly flagged items I see on home inspections for example are faulty GFCI electrical outlets. But, those are very easy and inexpensive to replace yourself if you do it ahead of time.
It is no exaggeration to say that I am available to you at any time. I do not have set office hours and I work on every day that ends in Y. That said, some days are better than others for certain activities, Saturdays are better for showings for instance and Tuesdays are better for contract talks but I handle a variety of real estate related activities every day. The nature of this business requires me to be attentive at off-hour times, busy on weekends, available evenings and sometimes really early in the morning.
Yes, depending on the property and the situation.
I believe everything in this world is negotiable and that includes me, but first ask yourself these questions:
If your boss came to you and asked you to work overtime, but wasn't going to compensate you for doing so, would you still do it?
Would you work for free for weeks, months, and sometimes years in good faith that when the “deal” closes you’ll be compensated, with no guarantee?
If you needed surgery would you search for the cheapest and least experienced doctor you can find?
Have you heard the saying "it costs money to make money"?
Multiple studies have shown that properties sold using a full service Realtor will sell for as much as 18%-25% more than a home sold by owner. Your home is likely your largest asset and selling it is a great responsibility with real consequences. You deserve 100% of your agents effort and attention if you want to maximize your return and your agent needs fair compensation to provide you with a full level of service.
Source: 2021 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers For Sale By Owner
FSBOs accounted for 7% of home sales in 2020.
The typical FSBO home sold for $260,000 compared to $318,000 for agent-assisted home sales.
Hiring the right real estate professional is vital to getting the best deal you can, whether you’re buying or selling. Knowing what questions to ask will help you identify if someone is the right fit for you.
According to Forbes Advisor How to find a Real Estate Agent 2022 - link
68% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 53% used the agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home.
According to National Association of Realtors Quick Real Estate Statistics 2020 - link
Agents are trained to negotiate well, if only from experience. They know what normally works and what does not. Most have tried-and-true techniques all their own. And, most importantly, they have no emotional stake in the outcome that can cloud their thinking.
According to The Balance The Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent 2022 - link
A good real estate professional is someone who is personable, knowledgeable, trustworthy, and has the resources and tools to get the job done.
According to Redfin Top 10 Qualities of a Good Real Estate Agent 2022 - link
Trustworthiness is the top attribute sellers desire - 86 % of sellers say it’s extremely or very important. After trustworthiness,
According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018 - link
Since our inception, we have grown into the 8th largest brokerage firm in the United States with over $16 billion in annual sales volume. Meanwhile we are the #1 brokerage firm in Chicagoland and one of the fastest-growing brokerage firms in surrounding areas including Southwest Michigan, Northwest Indiana, and Southeast Wisconsin.
Market analysis and real time data collection tailored for your listing is available anytime and delivered weekly.
Monitor trends and online traffic to see the results of a new marketing campaign or price change to know what's working and where your online traffic is concentrated.
Hands down the best mobile platform in the market for consumers to find accurate real time data on homes for sale.
@properties agents are equipped with a powerful tool for internal agent to agent communication. This forms a market within a market generating pre-market exposure for sellers' homes and alerts brokers to listings that match buyers' preferences.