What Makes a Great Agent?

Posted by David Higgins on Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 at 12:50pm.

What Makes a Great Agent?
By David J. Higgins

It’s no secret – East Bay luxury real estate is a red-hot market – with homeowners expecting significant returns on their property investment. Yet, with houses practically selling themselves, one might ask, “Why do I need an agent?”

Well, there’s more to selling a house than just planting a “For Sale” sign in the front yard – it literally takes a “village.”

Our process begins with performing the necessary due diligence – meaning inspections and a thorough understanding of the property’s condition, then, addressing concerns and mitigating the caveats. We rely on a team of highly skilled contractors, engineers, landscape professionals and others, to assist.

Next comes the “choreography.” Meticulously orchestrated, our team of painters, cleaners, furniture stagers, and photographers know their steps by heart – providing the supporting roles necessary to get a property ready for prime time.

979 Grosvenor Place sold for 34% over asking price.

While this is happening, we launch our marketing campaign. Property descriptions are written, websites created, followed by social media strategy and outreach.

Employing a variety of media – from virtual walkthroughs, aerial drone footage, and illustration artistry, we use these “teasers” for highly targeted paid advertising and social media marketing. And, to keep everything humming, the team stays on schedule using the latest real-estate-centric project management tools.

As in life, timing is everything.

5931 Monzal – a magnificent Italianate home in Glen Highlands sold for 19% over asking.

By all accounts, our methods are working. In this final quarter of 2017, we’ve sold 12 homes – many with record-breaking sales prices for the area, especially in Crocker Highlands: 1090 Trestle Glen fetched a whopping 43% over asking, while 979 Grosvenor Place and 1280 Holman Road sold for 34% and 27% over listing price, respectively.

In other fabulous neighborhoods, home values continue to swell too. A charming pied-a-terre close to Oakland’s Piedmont Avenue sold for 30% over asking, while 5931 Monzal, a magnificent Italianate home in the beautiful Glen Highlands neighborhood, sold for 19% over asking.

Our most recent listing, 1284 Bates – a terrific “starter” home in Crocker Highlands – had languished on the market for several weeks when we took over the sale. After identifying (and correcting) a previously misdiagnosed structural issue, we attracted increased interest – and multiple offers.

1284 Bates – A terrific starter home in the highly desirable and walkable Crocker Highlands neighborhood.

So, back to the question of “What makes a great agent? Aside from our well-tuned team and assiduous preparations, a "Great Agent" has a thorough understanding of the complexity of modern real estate contracts – and their ever-evolving financial implications.

Lastly, just like the "location, location, location" axiom applies to home sales, the "90/10" rule is true here as well. That is, 90% of the homes are being sold by 10% of the agents. With close to two decades in business, I have a personal relationship with many of the Bay Area's top producers – which gives me the extra leverage necessary when negotiating the best possible outcomes for my clients.

When you’re ready to sell, let me put my village and my knowledge to work for you.

We wish you all a joyous holiday season and a very prosperous New Year.
Dave Higgins

Laura O'Hare, Laura Zeidan, Dave Higgins, Erika Vexler and Ramona d'Viola

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