Saturday, June 13, 2009

How to Choose a REALTOR®—Don’t Focus on Fee. Service is the KEY!

I love a bargain! I always want the best deals on any products I buy. I scour the internet, clip coupons and negotiate with sales people for better prices on everything from groceries to clothing to vacations to new cars.

One place I do not negotiate is on professional services. My hairstylist was referred to me by a friend. She does an awesome job and is worth every penny I pay her (including the tip!). Likewise, our doctors and dentist came to us by recommendation. They are out-of-network from our HMO which means that we pay an increased co-pay for each visit. We could change our doctors and dentist to providers that are in-network and reduce our fees, but we would never consider giving up the quality of care we receive to save a few bucks.

Every time our family needs a new service professional, we use the same process: think for a moment which friend has been in a similar situation and call that trusted friend for a referral. A few years ago our family was in a car accident a few years ago and needed both and attorney and auto body shop. After two phone calls, we were in the hands of trusted professionals. Our son needed braces and we didn't shop around for the best price, we contacted a friend whose daughter was completing the process with a beautiful smile. We made an appointment for a consultation with the recommended orthodontist and a week later, my son had his braces. Not once did we try to negotiate a better fee with any of these professionals. We wanted the best possible service. We had no intention of compromising on quality for a lower price.

So what does this have to do with real estate?

Many times when I receive a phone call regarding listing a home, the first question from that potential listing client is "What is your fee?" as opposed to what will I do for them to sell their home. No matter what I answer, some of these clients will insist it is too high. I wonder how many of these people ask that of other professional service providers they use. It is just as important to understand WHAT service will be provided as it is to know HOW MUCH you will pay. In this slower buyers market, getting the home SOLD is the key to success. As a seller you need to ask questions regarding what quality of service will be provided prior to negotiating a listing fee.

My real estate service is full service.

From the time you contact me, I go to work.

**I consult with you and advise on how to prepare your home to get the best possible price.

**I analyze the market and assist you in properly pricing your home.

**I take the time to research to see if your city requires any point-of-sale inspections and recommend service providers for those inspections on your home, well or septic system.

**It is my job to prepare marketing materials, provide signs and hold open houses.

**I use my resources to develop an online presence for your property specific to your homes location and amenities. Lakeshore, acreage, townhomes, condos and single family homes all have unique qualities and need to be marketed online differently to attract specific buyers.

**I review offers with you and provide expert advice on the pluses and minuses of each purchase agreement so that you know when to make a good counteroffer and/or when to accept the deal.

**I work with the buyer's agent to negotiate the best possible terms as directed by you.

**If the purchase agreement included contingencies for other inspections or repairs, I assist you through the process.

From your initial phone call through the final paperwork, I am by your side as a professional REALTOR®, providing high quality service. From the amount of referrals I receive, I know that my fee is fair for the service I provide.



Copyright 2009 Teri Eckholm http://www.terieckholm.com/