How To Choose An Ann Arbor Realtor
If you google “Ann Arbor Realtor” hundreds of options come up. If you search on Zillow, they recommend realtors left and right (all based on who pays them of course).
Yelp, Google, and Facebook all feature reviews and recommendations for great local agents, so how do you know who to choose? As An Ann Arbor-based real estate team with over 18-years of experience, we know a thing or two about what makes a real estate transaction and business relationship run smoothly. Here are our tips for choosing an Ann Arbor Realtor who will best serve your individual real estate needs!
Local: Do They Live And Work Primarily in Ann Arbor
The first and most obvious choice to make when choosing an Ann Arbor area realtor is making sure that they are actually an Ann Arbor area realtor. Many agents may do a deal or two in Ann Arbor throughout the year, but their primary areas are elsewhere in SE Michigan. They may be a great agent, but Ann Arbor is not their area of expertise.
When you are interviewing an agent for a real estate search in and around Ann Arbor, see what they can tell you about the local neighborhoods. When you ask for something specific, an agent with real local expertise will already have a few areas in mind. Condos under $300k? Quiet streets, good schools, walkable to the hospital, university, etc? A really good agent will be able to recommend areas that you have not yet considered.
If you are looking for more local “niche” questions to vet an agent, ask what they recommend for local restaurants, shopping, and recreation! Your agent should get to know you and then help you find the property and neighborhood that fits you like a glove. If they don’t know what is really out there, then they can’t serve you in this way.
Full-time: How Many Sales Do They Do A Year?
Would you hire a part-time brain surgeon? If the answer is no, then you probably don’t want a part-time real estate agent either!
Now, I know what you might be thinking, selling houses isn’t brain surgery?!?…and that’s true, but if you wouldn’t trust someone who only does brain surgery part-time to work on one of the most valuable parts of your body, then why would you trust someone who only does real estate part-time to work with one of your most valuable financial assets? the average real estate agent sells about 6 homes per year, we suggest you work with someone that sells at least several homes per month.
Real estate is often the most valuable asset people have, so why would you put it in the hands of someone who doesn’t have the same local knowledge, connections, experience, and market expertise as a full-time agent who is working through the transaction process several times a month?
A successful full-time agent does between 20-40 deals a year. Ask agents you are interviewing how many deals they did last year and if you can see reviews/testimonials from past clients. Full-time agents are more in tune with the market, has fine tuned systems and trained support staff in place and is more invested in their clients. they have the resources to hire and train the best personal to serve your needs.
Your good reviews and referrals make their business grow! Your bad review and zero referrals are a sinking ship! This isn’t the case for a part-time agent!
Experience: Do They Have The Negotiation Skills To Net You The Most Money?
Negotiation skills are no joke in real estate, and unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realize how critical these skills are until it’s too late. In a competitive seller’s market, buyers can’t afford to use an agent who doesn’t know how to position their offer, and sellers can’t afford an agent who is going to advise them to list at the wrong price and leave money on the table during the negotiation process.
Top ranking agents net their clients 2-3% more per transaction on average. That means that on a $300,000 sale an experienced agent can net you $9,000 more than their competitors.
Marketing: Do The Actively Seek Buyers For Their Listings and Listings For Their Buyers?
Great agents market properties in multiple ways. As Keller Williams Agents we have the opportunity to send our listings out on social media and via email to all of the KW Ann Arbor Market Center Agents and to top agents in the area. We also have a team member in the office each day searching for properties for our buyers and actively working to find buyers for our listings.
Proactive agents will be on top of the latest trends in “search” as well, ensuring that the right buyers see the property right away no matter where they are online. Today, all MLS-listed properties syndicate to Zillow, Realtor.com, and every brokerage website. but the quality of photographs, virtual tours, and social media marketing varies greatly from agent to agent.
Make sure to take a look at past marketing before selecting an agent and ask them what they are doing each day to go to work for you!
If you would like to learn more about how we find properties for buyers and market our listings for sellers, let’s have a conversation on Zoom, phone or email.