Westport, Connecticut Moves

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A picture may be worth a thousand words - but doesn't replace an agent

The ubiquitous use of the internet, has changed the way the real estate business is conducted.  With a plethora of sites available, buyers are able to conduct their own searches, for homes.  Many start their search, before contacting an agent, and most continue to search, on their own, even while working with a REALTOR®.

Consumers search in much the same way, as do real estate agents.  They enter the search parameters, such as town(s), price range, number of bedrooms and baths, square footage and acreage.  Whatever platform, they are using, then produces listings, that match their criteria. 

Here is where the search process takes divergent paths.  Using the listings chosen, the consumer gets to read the description and look at the pictures.  Both of these items are produced by the listing agent and meant to show the property off, to its best advantage.  Agents will also start with the description and pictures, but their market knowledge and expertise will allow them to filter out the properties that do not work, for their clients.  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what isn't pictured may be more relevant.  The agents will already be familiar with the homes, having seen them on Broker's Tour, or if they haven't seen them, they can arrange to preview them. 

The picture of the gorgeous back yard, taken facing the back of the house, may not reveal that the property line is adjacent to the railroad tracks.  The updated bathroom vanity may belie the fact that the rest of bathroom is original 1950 American Standard pink.  Taken at the right angle, an eight by ten bedroom can look enormous. 

Of course, it can work in reverse, as well.  The listing agent may have posted some G-d awful pictures of a home that is actually charming.  Or the pictures may simply be poor quality.  I have seen some pictures that are so dark, it is hard to discern what room has been photographed.

When first working with clients, I will show them all the houses they've selected to see.  Once we have established that we are on the same wavelength, they will usually rely on my judgement to eliminate the listings that are a waste of our time.  Often the tour will include a combination of homes that the buyers have chosen, along with homes that I have added.

Recently, a buyer said to me, "As usual, the homes you picked are better choices than the homes I chose to see."  Searching, on the internet, is a great exercise, but it doesn't replace a knowlegable agent.

Copyright © 2008 Marilyn Katz, All Rights Reserved, Active Rain - A picture may be worth a thousand words - but doesn't replace an agent

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Marilyn Katz

      Marilyn Katz

    Berkshire Hathaway Homes Services New England Properties    
     203-429-1041
  Servings Westport, CT
  and the surrounding communities  

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Copyright © 2013 Marilyn Katz, All Rights Reserved

Comment balloon 14 commentsMarilyn Katz • June 19 2008 05:22PM

Comments

you hit this right on the head. there is no way to replace an agent. once we can get some negative news media behind us, I believe the consumer will see it our way as well

by the way, Do you have an outside blog that I can add to my Blogroll ?

Thanks and look forward to reading your thoughts on the world of real estate.

Posted by James Wexler (wexzilla.com) over 10 years ago

James- I have an outside blog, but since I've started spending so much time on AR, I stopped posting to it.  It's hard enough to find the time to spend here.

Thanks for your comment.

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 10 years ago

Very true.  Once we figure out what the buyer is looking for we can usually find things they can't.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 10 years ago

Cindy- and the information we provide them will be a lot more balanced than the marketing slant of the listing

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 10 years ago

MARILYN - Good post.  It all comes down to experience.  We spend countless hours viewing homes online and offline and buyers only do it when they are looking for a home.  Even more than the photos, we know how to decode the industry-speak in the remarks better than a buyer can.  A buyer may be interested in seeing the "cozy" or "charming" home, but we can prepare them that they are about to walk into a small home with small rooms.

Posted by Adam Waldman, Realtor - Long Island (Westcott Group Real Estate Company) over 10 years ago

Adam-  Good points.  We also can look up history.  That "new" listing may be the third listing for a house that has actually been on the market for a year.

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 10 years ago

Marilyn, great post. I haven't "met" you yet, but enjoyed reading your blog post. I always drop by to comment on blog posts of those that have been by to visit and comment on mine. Buyers really DO need a Realtor. Real estate is definitely a "skilled" profession. ;-)

Pepper

Posted by Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor, AzLadyInRed (Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC) over 10 years ago

Teri-  Thanks for the retun visit. 

Sometimes, after speaking to and spending time with our buyers, we have a better sense of what they want, than they do.

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 10 years ago

Marilyn - That's a really good posting!  It's so true that technology has put a lot of power in the hands of real estate buyers and sellers.  However, the needed professionalism Realtors provide, can be seriously lacking.

Myrl Jeffcoat
http://www.myrljeffcoat.com

 

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 10 years ago

Myrl- It's not surprising that buyers and sellers think they have all the tools they need, to do it on their own.  I've often heard new agents say, "Until I got into this business, I never realized how much work was involved in a real estate transaction."

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 10 years ago

Marilyn... this post is a Home Run!  The knowledge and experience (and market familiarity) that a good agent brings to the table are things that cannot be capture in the marketing-laden websites that a consumer will likely be searching on.  This is why choosing the RIGHT agent, the one who will add this extra value is so crucial for consumers to derive maximum benefit from working with their agent.

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 10 years ago

Steve-  I agree with your summation.  The challenge is educating the consumer to the value added by working with a knowledgable agent.

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 10 years ago

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but doesn't rplace a "good" agent....That is a more accurate title for me.  I am a stager, who has moved a LOT.  I have had agents who paid close attention, and agents who wanted to make a sale. I have been drug to houses that were CLEARLY not within the parameters of my choice, simply because it was the agents listing, and that was very annoying.  I don't think I paid as much attention to the idea of shopping for an agent as I have shopping for a home, in the past.  Now that I am a stager, I understand your world a little better.  I used to stick with the first agent that showed the first home I was interested in.  My last purchase, a year ago, I shopped for an agent, online.  I found a guy who was eager, but not so eager that he wanted to sell us ANYTHING. He was patient, offered suggestions, told me when the photos didn't tell the whole story, and helped me pare my list of "go-sees" to the houses I would really want to see.

Posted by c m over 10 years ago

Cheryl- Unfortunately, there are some buyer agents who forget that their fiduciary responsibility is to their client - not the seller, not their own "bottom line", but to the buyer.  Choosing the right agent is the first step in finding the right house.

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 10 years ago

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