In a strong real estate market, as currently exists in Northeast Los Angeles (NELA), it’s easy to imagine one simply needs to throw up a sign and the offers will come in. But it rarely (if ever) works that way. Real estate in Eagle Rock and homes in Highland Park are in demand, but that sure doesn't mean a seller doesn't have to perform due diligence to find the right agent. A selling agent will make sure the home is made to be maximally attractive and sell at the best price, working on behalf of the current owners and their best interests.
So what makes the best choice in Realtors? Your ideal selling agent offers the following:
Experience in the area and the types of homes – A good real estate agent in Northeast Los Angeles absolutely will have experience in single family residences because the inventory of homes for sale in Pasadena, Glassell Park, Hermon, Eagle Rock and Highland Park is rich with bungalows, mid-century moderns (MCMs) and Victorian homes. But the condo market in each of these towns is strong as well. Some agents consult with colleagues who specialize in one or the other.
Will share references of past clients – The relative success of a Realtor is defined by what they have sold in the past. Of course, both sellers and buyers need to complete their transactions with some degree of satisfaction. So ask to speak with at least five past clients to learn how well things went: ask about the hunting phase, negotiating, the guidance they offered to find a lender, in the closing process and after the closing.
Will market it using appropriate tactics – The Internet has upended the world of selling homes in that so many first “showings” are done online. So your agent should be adept with photography, videography and placement of that imagery on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube, as well as real estate online portals Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. But note that not all tools work for all types of properties in all locales. Ask your agent questions as to what is selected and why. Once the property is posted online, you will be able to see the traffic it gets and perhaps get feedback as well.
Is communicative – How do you prefer to communicate (particularly when at work)? If you want to text, or email, or speak by voice, your Realtor should be able to do the same. You are the customer, after all. If you are at work in Pasadena but your home in Mt. Washington or Garvanza might have a last-minute buyer, minute-by-minute communication can be critical.
Provides gently blunt advice –This is sometimes referred to as the “your children are ugly” conversation. Almost every home seller will need to make physical changes to the property and sometimes accept price compromises in order to get a sales contract. Do not take constructive criticism personally – listen to what your agent knows from his or her work in the field to get rid of a sofa, change a rug, clean out closets or lower your price expectations. They share your ultimate interests – to sell the property – so the advice is always genuine. Your “child” just needed a new haircut and braces, in most cases.
Realtors are like any professional in that no two are alike. Buying and selling real estate demands patience and dedication and, above all, buyers and sellers performing their due diligence to learn more about the background, resources and track record of whichever agent they hire.