Being a Real estate agent, I know it’s not just about the price that sells a home. Price is just one factor, location is another, the market is a third factor but the other factor you can actually control?
Your house will be judged for how it looks unfortunately. Something that may be fine for you, may not be for potential buyers. I will say condition is the one thing that you can control and you do not need to hire someone to stage. These are things that you can do yourself. Especially if you are worried you may need to hire someone.
Let’s start with the outdoors:
- Keep the yard nice. Get it cut, keep it trimmed, and declutter it.
- Also think about a new welcome mat. You may an old one that you just love, which is fine. Just put it away for your new place.
- Clean your house numbers, it looks good but also buyers and agents can see the numbers when looking for the house. If you need ones, replace them.
- Trim trees and bushes
- Power wash home’s exterior, driveway, walkway, patio, and deck.
- If the house needs painting, consider it.
- Ensure all gutters and downspouts are firmly attached and functioning.
- Tighten and clean all door handles.
- Clean windows inside and out.
- Make sure outside light, if it has one is clean and works. Which means clean cobwebs and such.
- Check that the doorbell works properly.
- The door is in working order, that it opens easy and not a fight to open.
- Once inside, make sure it’s free of clutter. Shoes, extra coats, and others are free of the area.
Every room in the house:
- Go through your home room by room and pack up 30% of your stuff. Want it as clutter free as possible.
- Clean wood floors
- Clean cobwebs out
- Make minors repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulking.)
- If you have pets, make sure to get rid of pet odors.
- Clean all lights fixtures and ceilings.
Kitchen and Dining room:
- Declutter counter of appliances that can be removed such as coffee maker, toast, etc.
- If cabinets show some wear and tear, might be good to paint them. Also can replace knobs with new ones to make them look updated.
- Make sure the counters are clean and shiny.
- Keep garbage and recycle out of sight.
- Make sure to keep it odor free.
- If you have a shower curtain, a new one may go a long way.
- Keep the sink area clutter free.
- Have personal hygiene and hair products away.
- Check faucets for leaks, drips, or disrepair.
- Keep shower spotless along with tubs.
- Clean tiles and bleach, also check grout.
Make the bedroom look big:
- Make sure kids toys are in bins and out of sight.
- Make sure the bed looks neat.
- Keep closets organized
- Keep a clean desk.
- Don’t leave clunky file cabinets around.
- Make sure all personal and confidential is out of site.
- If it is part of another room, make sure it doesn’t take over the function of the original room.
- Clean and polish washer and dryer.
- If you have unfinished concrete floors, paint them if you want to make it cleaner.
- If you work in the garage and such, check the floor, if it needs to be hosed down, please do.
- Make sure the garage is not over stuff.
All this can help you. Remember you are trying to sell your home, hoping someone will see it as their new home. You want them to be enticed.
I think holidays are one of the easiest ways to advertise. Candy bags or mugs with candy given out for free with business card. These days free stuff for people, is a nice thing. Also if you give them out by hand with smile, shows how much more you care.
I know an agent, she does Easter egg for kids. She does it in her farming area. I think that is fun and great for kids in the neighborhood. Also gets you involved with the community. So like I said holidays for it.
It’s a good way to get exposure. Holidays give you themes and easy ways to plan how to advertise yourself around that time.
Confidence is very important in this job. I mean when I first started and still to this day I question myself. This is really my first job. So I don’t have a lot of confidence.
This job you can do training and reading. But to build your confidence, throw yourself in the deep end. Just go.
I have no problem asking for help when before this job. I was way too prideful to ask for help but now I do. Because you want to help out your client to the best of your abilities. Don’t be afraid to tell them I need to ask a coworker for help.
It’s the only way to learn. You learn by experience. Go out wear your name tag, say hi to people. Make sure your name tag is readable. Go to office parties or meetings. Get to know your fellow agents.
Practice your listing and buying packs with friends or family. Keller Williams has script practices. Get a partner to practice with. Just get to the point you are comfortable. The confidence will come as time goes on. Just don’t be afraid.
Advertisement is another way to lead gen and get yourself out there. One thing you have to make sure is when you first start keep advertisement cost low. Flyers make them yourself. Find out you agencies advertisement policies and make sure it meets to code for it.
The less money spent the better. That way you aren’t wasting money you may not get back. I do different things. I do flyers. I blog which doesn’t cost me anything really. I also do candy bags around holidays and such. I try to have a specific niche where I give out the bags.
Business cards I get from vistaprint and they get here pretty quickly. Really good price too. Bigger doesn’t always mean better.
Cold calling can get expensive since it may be a service and remember all agents that pay for that service has access to those numbers.
So remember sometimes simple and creative is all you need.
Lead generating. May be what I may call the one thing I probably don’t like much in this industry. Yet it is so important.
A lot agents do cold calling. Some still do the door to door visits. More likely in the warmer months to come depending where you live. You are going to spend a few hours a day for this.
So find what works best for you. You want to be confident and comfortable in this job. Don’t feel like you are forcing it or uncomfortable. People will sense that.
It took me a while to fine out what good way to lead gen. And always remind your friends and family. That’s another way to lead gen.
As I’ve most likely stated before I have tattoos. Nothing vulgar or anything bad really. I mean all of mine are easy to cover up. It’s not because I’m a shamed, it’s to make my clients, who don’t like them, comfortable.
Yes, it’s modern day and tattoos aren’t taboo much really. My company doesn’t mind my tats. I currently have four so far. Key words so far. I do have plans for more but that’s my personal choice. Each one has a meaning for me and I waited until my mid-twenties to get my first. Honestly my four tattoos I have right now I got all in one year.
My first one was about two months after I started this job. And it’s the easiest one to see. It’s my parents’ last name. It’s in honor of my dad. The others are things that make me, me. And I love them. I can tell from first meeting with clients if they will be okay seeing them.
So if you have tattoos, don’t feel like this job isn’t for you. There are agents that use their tattoos to brand themselves, like Tattooed Realtor and others. So don’t be shy. Just get a feel from your clients. It back to the topic of how you should dress.
Once you are with a company and sign on with them. Depending when it falls after or before after your birthday lets you know when you have to renew your license. The first year may be even up to 2 years.
I have until 2018 cause I signed on right after my birthday in 2016. Which is nice means I don’t have to worry about renewal fees for a bit. You will take thirty hour class basically. Three hours is LARRC and the other 27 hours is brokerage and such. Mostly taken online. I have taken a LARRC class. Also I was lucky an agent from another company was offering it for free. CE stands for Continuing Education.
Make sure you have your elicense set up to your work email. It’s the one you check the most in life I have noticed. That way when you start getting the reminders that your renewal is coming up.
You have until the end of your birthday month to renew. If you don’t you can not practice any real estate business until you do.
You will meet a few teams in your office or another firm. Teams can consist of principal broker, listing/buyer specialist, transaction coordinator. It’s nothing to be intimidated by. For some like to work with teams while others be the lone wolf.
I want to eventually get on a team. They also help a lot and such. Having a transaction coordinator can be helpful since they take care of documents and such. Also some have assistants who help them out. But if they are unlicensed assistants they can only do so much and tell you so much.
So you will come across a bit while in the business. You will meet lots of people.
Specialist…. There are quite a few out there in our profession. We have commercial, listing, buyer, and foreclosure, to name some.
Most specialist in the listing and buying field are on teams. Because one agent on the team can handle all the listings while the other takes care of the buyers. It’s a good deal for someone who only wants to work one side.
I want to be a buyer specialist. Like I’ve said before I enjoy helping someone find their new home. It’s what got me interested in this field of work. I don’t mind listing but I prefer the buying side of it.
Just like foreclosure agents can be just regular agents. They just know how to work with foreclosure homes. There’s no schooling on the side. These agents take the initiative to research on their own to learn what goes through dealing with a foreclosure home.
Commercial agent, same there is no schooling. Commercial agents normally just deal with commercial properties. You can find commercial guys also on a team or on their own. So if you get clients that are looking commercial and you don’t feel confident, don’t be afraid to refer them over or ask for help. There will be most likely at least one commercial agent in your office.
One thing you should always memorize: the contracts. Listing or buying unless you are a specialist. But still good to know both. The contracts are pretty simple. To me the buying contract is the easiest to learn.
Just if you have time once a week go over it. Also looks great with your clients that you know it. Even if you are new, then study it daily. There’s no fault in asking for help understanding something on the contract from another agent.
Also learn where your client will have to sign and initial. Practice signing docs however you can. I use our online system and print out to practice. I don’t know how other companies do theirs but I know how Keller Williams does theirs since I am part of the Keller Williams family in Albany Oregon.
I enjoy doing buyer contracts especially. I like the feeling of helping someone find their home. I don’t believe it’s just a house but their home. My clients trusted me to help them with one of their biggest financial purchases in their life.
In the real estate business always in the past, you see business attire. Suit, tie, and all for guys. While ladies dresses, skirts, or the power suit. These days it’s still that way but some agents also go by clients.
The weather up here in Albany Or, can be tricky. We have all four seasons. We have a winter that is chilly and sometimes brings snow and ice. Spring we have rain and sunshine. Summer is getting hot and sunny. Fall we have the change of color and some rain.
Dress to be comfortable. Dress to impress. If you wear jeans wear a nice top. You can tell about how to dress after your first meeting with clients. I have agents who wear shorts during the warmer months. I wear dresses during the winter with leggings.
Also with first meetings no matter what I have my arms covered. I have a tattoo on my lower left arm that can be seen if I have my sleeves rolled up. it’s just out of courtesy because not everyone is a fan of them. Just like I’m more casual than straight business in clothes.
So just figure it out and see where you are comfortable.