Caviar or Coffee??

I finally have had some free time to sit down and post something on my poor out dated blog.  Is it really the week before Thanksgiving?  I want to know who fast forwarded my calendar!  Sadly this has become a very familiar feeling.  I am fairly certain I was feeling this exact same way around this time last year.  How do the holidays manage to sneak up on me like this every year!  This weekend will be a time of insanity in our household, much to my husbands chagrin.  It’s a time of de-cluttering for the holidays.  Hopefully the dog and any small children will make it through the weekend unscathed and not end up at the Goodwill drop off by mistake.

But I wanted to take this opportunity to write about something that often gnaws at me.  I work for a great independent broker whose main emphasis personally is investment properties.  He has allowed me the freedom to pursue whatever types of clients I so choose.  Although my specialty is also investment properties, I am also well seasoned with individuals looking to buy their dream home or sell their personal residence.  Sadly, as of late, I’ve had more than a few short sale opportunities to work on.  But I’ve often lost out on listings or clients because I don’t work for one of the “name brand” agencies.

So often the question arises, “Should I go with a big-box real estate agency or with the mom-and-pop-husband-wife team to buy or sell a property?”  Or “Should I go with the agent from the  fancy schmancy office where they serve me caviar when I arrive or the independent that meets me at Starbucks and has to wipe baby cereal off of her card before she hands it to me?” Well let me ask you this; Will caviar help you sell your house??  Is the agent better because their office smells like new leather, Dolce & Gabbana, and shoe polish?  Will hiring an agent that looks like he just stepped out of a Banana Republic store and embodies the term “metro sexual” negotiate the deal any better for you then the guy who mows his own lawn on the weekend?  Sorry, but no!!  Now I realize everyone has their own style, their own niche market and that’s great.  Unfortunately however, the real estate agent field is home to some fierce competition.  Tony Romo would choke out in the first quarter of this game and spend the rest of it crying on the sidelines!   Oh wait!  He does that normally!

I am sure that some agent reading this will be offended but the fact of the matter is this; Does the agent have the knowledge and experience behind him or her?  Do you as a client connect with them on a personal level?  Do you trust them?  If the answer is yes to these questions, it probably doesn’t matter if your agent drives a minivan (yes I do) or a Mercedes (that would be fun though).  There will be those that say, “Well if an agent is making that much money they are closing some deals!”  Maybe…. or maybe they are heavily in debt!  Let me leave you with some hard facts that no one can dispute.  Meanwhile I am going to go read up on the 101 things to do with left over turkey!

~ Between 87% and 95% of homes sell through the MLS – No need to find a caviar eating agent.  Find a Realtor who is a member of your local board and is MLS proficient.  You will save yourself the stomach ache.

~ 90% of home buyers are looking on the web – Is your agent hip on the technology end or is he more concerned with the shape of his eyebrows?

~ “Open houses are a great way to attract buyers” <So they say> … who are probably not interested in your property but it’s a great tool for your agent to solicit said buyers as clients!  Now having said that, I believe they can work to attract an urgency to the property IF and only IF the house is priced well and shows well.

~ Those sexy looking and feeling flyers that the agent gave you from the office where you almost slid off the new leather couch?  Great way to attract a new client (hey it almost got you right?) But the savvy agent knows the internet is the place to promote.

Now let me just say I know some fabulous agents who work for some of these offices that probably wouldn’t let me in the door with my Payless shoes.  I am in awe of their knowledge and ethics and their Coach purses.  I guess my point is pick the agent that’s right for you, not because their shoes cost more than your kids education.

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About Kat's Home Finders

The purpose of this blog is to hopefully educate and help homeowners and prospective homeowners with the largest purchase they will probably ever make. My desire is to share my knowledge of the real estate market, make new friends, and meet new clients in the Austin area. I am happy to answer any questions you may have. Sign up to receive updated posts! View all posts by Kat's Home Finders

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