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Common Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make – And They Make ALL the Difference October 9, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in Arlington, Northern Virginia.
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the $8,000 tax credit, interest rates, and lower prices, i’ve had a ton of buyers that i’ve been working with lately. In doing so, you get to see the process from another side – and it becomes VERY clear what makes a world of difference when a buyer is house shopping. This past weekend was a particularly frustrating one for me, representing the buyer. I know i’ve learned a tremendous amount of changes I can make when helping sellers to attract more buyers.

Here are the most aggravating and common mistakes real estate agents make:

1. No Pictures: Our MLS allows for up to 30 photos and a virtual tour…or better yet, take more photos and create an individual website for the property. Even as an agent – the first thought that occurs when you see something without a picture is: “what’s wrong with it?!” Uploading 3 pictures of the backyard, and having all 3 be identical, is not helpful. Take pictures!!! Pictures attract buyers!

2. Is it the right key for the unit? DOES IT WORK? I don’t know about you, but I know i’m MORTIFIED when I drive a buyer to a property and waste their time and mine to find out the key doesn’t work. Or better yet – isn’t there. Label the key (especially if it’s a condo building!) so we all know which unit it opens, and please make sure it works.

3. Is the listing information correct? The other time waster – giving show instructions as “Show anytime, vacant,” only to find out that there’s no key….because it’s 24-hour notice, by appointment. I congratulate you, Mr. Busy Agent, on having multiple units for sale in one building – but you’re not doing anyone a favor by having agents knocking on the doors of unsuspecting sellers in the middle of dinner because we think it’s vacant.

4. Add as many details as possible. Know your product! I think it’s a reasonable request to ask square footage. If you can’t answer that very frequently asked question, you don’t know your product. If you don’t know it – how can you sell it? Does the building/neighborhood have pet restrictions? Put it in the listing. If my client has a 75 lb rottweiler, we’ll save everyone’s time by not showing them properties that only allow cats. It will also prevent getting your sellers excited about a potentially interested buyer.

5. Make it as easy to show as possible. Some circumstances really do require at least 24-hour notice or appointment only instructions. But if that’s the case – answer your phone. You do your clients a disservice by not even attempting to entertain showings by ignoring emails and voicemails. We all know you have a blackberry or iphone – what good is it in paperweight mode? The other big one? I know we’re reliant upon GPS nowadays, but please, please make sure the directions are correct – both to the property and for parking!

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