Noise… Do you Hear it?
Are you tired of the marketing noise in our world? Especially the noise centered around the real estate world? 800+ agents in Cedar Rapids alone, with at least the top 20% of them trying to gain your attention while you try to filter, sort, and begin the process of buying or selling a home. Here are just a few ways we try to tap on your shoulder and say, “look at me”!    

· Facebook
· Twitter 
· Snapchat 
· TV
· Radio 
- Print Marketing
· Signs 
· Billboards
· Thousands of online and mobile flashes added daily  

We are all constantly grabbing snippets of information, multitasking, and searching for facts in a world spinning information faster every day. How does that impact your ability to make the single largest purchase of your life? Is it helping, or hindering. If you can spare another four minutes to finish this short article, my hope is to shed some light on this subject.

While our greatest generation would rather meet face-to-face to understand the market and receive assistance, my fellow Gen X group wants professionals to do the work and get the finished product/contract to them electronically. Our younger millennials want their answers faster than ever before and want very little to do with other humans. They are texting rather than picking up a phone and wanting to speak to an actual person. After all, isn’t buying real estate just like buying groceries?  

The next generation will want their answers pre-established and will likely be frustrated if the question even needs to be asked. As agents, we work with all aspects of this evolution. For our younger audiences, every answer somehow needs to be in the palm of your hand, every solution needs to come from a website, and everything is somehow made simpler by the almighty app. Instant information rather than diligent investigation and thought is potentially causing the real estate transaction harm, and as an agent, I see it happen almost every week of the year.  

I implore everyone under the age of 35 to take one hour of your life and sit down with an experienced REALTOR before you buy a home. I will personally buy you a coffee or a drink at your favorite hot spot location! I can share with you a few things you simply need to know before you head out there to randomly select a home to purchase. [This won’t cost you a dime and could save you tens of thousands on your largest single purchase of your life. So, if you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, let me buy you a cup and have a conversation. Call me at 319.551.0373.

For those of you who have read my articles over the years, you know many of my concerns and passions for the work we do. One of the biggest concerns today is the cavalier approach I witness in how people choose their agents. Selecting them by how many reviews they have on a web app, or by how many stars are by their name. Select a property because it visually appears to be the nicest online. Who you opt to work with can make thousands of dollars’ difference in what it cost you to sell or buy a home. In addition, shouldn’t you like the person you are working so closely with? This is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life; most people only do this two or maybe three times in their entire lives. Not only should it be prioritized, but it should be a positive and good experience.

So, what is most important to filter through the noise? I would suggest there are 5 primary focal points everyone should consider when buying or selling a home.  

1. Work with an Agent or a team of agents, ITS FREE!!! Most people don’t understand having an agent work with you through the entire process of buying a home is FREE! Don’t try to do this on your own, no matter what anyone says. Having a team of experienced agents is even better. No matter how awesome an individual is, they can’t be there for you 24X7, 7 days a week. Everyone has family, vacations, other commitments, and lives to live. Working with a team provides you a pool of experiences, knowledge, and assures you the support you are going to want during any transaction. There are potentially hundreds of possible scenarios which can play out during a real estate transaction. There are also multiple forms and a great deal of paperwork which must be done and done correctly to keep you safe and protected. Having multiple eyes on this is a benefit to you and a real advantage a team can provide. Working with a team also gives you sort of a two-for-one bargain. If you are paying someone to sell your home, would you rather have one person working for you, or would you like a team of people? The cost is the same, so you may as well have the team! On the buy side, you don’t have to pay for the team, you get them for free, but it means you will have multiple people at your disposal to help get you in front of the properties you want to see. Writing offers is a very interesting sport as well and teams will feed information between the members and brainstorm as to how to get you the best opportunities.

2. Work with someone you like. Not every personality fits together. Sometimes people want to work with a certain gender, or maybe an age group or generational preference is important. Others may want to work with someone who is very techy while others prefer an old-school approach. Make sure your agent can communicate with you in the way “you” want. If you are a fast-paced executive who is living and working from airports four days a week, you may not want to work with an agent who needs to see you face-to-face for every visit. One of the things my team and I enjoy is the gender differences. It is nice when our clients gain both a man’s and a woman’s perspective on things when it comes to listing a home. Sharon and I try to do each listing appointment as a team to provide our clients a twofold opinion.

3. Work with someone who is a full-time agent and knows the market. If an agent isn’t doing at least 15 to 20 transactions a year, they may struggle to know the market or can provide you with solid advice. You want to know your agent has a solid finger on the pulse of the market. If I were moving to a new market, I would look for a team of agents who does at least 50 transactions a year and I would want to meet with the team.

4. Choose your broker as carefully as you choose your agent. I could do a three-day seminar on the relationship between broker and agent, but the short of it is, most of the time, the best agents in a market are working for the largest broker in that market. Certainly there are exceptions to this rule, and sometimes the largest brokers also have the most rookies working for them; but the broker’s role is to provide the agent with the best services, which most often are passed onto the client as better service. For you, as the end customer, this equates into better service, more experienced agents, doing more for you, and getting your property the level of coverage you want to get the most for it in the least amount of time. You do list with one agent, but by default you get the rest of your agent’s brokerage working to help you get the property sold in the least amount of time.

5. Lastly, be cautious of things that sound too good to be true. Flat-fee commissions, discount agencies and special deals typically mean many things you want from your broker and agent are not being done. Less usually means less. There are far too many reasons why 90+% of the real estate sold in this country is done through full-service brokerages. It is the best and most effective way to sell. When the broker is charging less that means they have less to work with. When they have less to work with, they have less money to pool to assist their agents. The less they do for their agents, the less those agents can afford to do for their clients. Full service never happens at a discount.

I am anxious to help you when the time is right. You can call or text me 7 days a week, or email me directly at Jason@LiveInOurTown.comMy personal cell phone is 319.551.0373, I look forward to serving you and having you meet my team.


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