Many brokerages (mostly old schoolers) do not share their MLS information with Zillow. As referenced previously, there are ways around this, either by uploading information yourself, or going through third-party syndicators like List Hub. Clients are on Zillow, your listings should appear there too!
In my mind, the most important thing for you is to COMMIT to whatever you choose to do with all of your heart. Real estate is a great career - for the top 10% of agents. There are many more who do not achieve success, because this is hard work and requires many hours, evenings and weekends. But if you are committed, go for it. And I hope to see you at the top!
If your business has slowed at all, and you have a bit more time, NOTHING beats getting face to face with your past clients and sphere of influence. You will reconnect, share ideas, help further educate them and regain that "top of mind" awareness that drives referrals. NOTHING is better than showing people they are worth your time and that you still care deeply about them.
In Denver, this is happening more and more, because our market has seen inventory fall 40% and buyers are climbing all over each other to purchase homes. Here's the key, though. The only way a client will consider paying a retainer fee (refundable at closing) is if you are EXCELLENT at what you do and can clearly document the value you bring to a transaction. I have had multiple clients this year simply give up after months of searching and losing out in multiple offer situations. That's expensive, because every client you choose to work with comes with an opportunity cost. I do not (yet) charge a retainer, but in a hot market there is nothing unreasonable about it, as long as the value of working with you is clearly evident. Agents are not commodities, any more than attorneys or doctors. If a client wants the best representation (which invariably will save them money on the buy side, or make them money if they are selling), you find the very best agent you can and you hire that person to produce for you the results they have produced for others. (Which, by the way, should be documented clearly online in places like your Zillow profile)
I agree with Charles... it completely depends on what you are looking for. If you want historic homes in areas that are "coming back", Highlands or Berekley areas are good. Five Points is probably still a few years away from really being nice, but it's getting there. If you are looking for newer construction, be really careful. Places like Reunion or Commerce City are pretty toxic. Tons of foreclosures, and lots more to come. Generally, the closer to the mountains you are, the more stable values tend to be. Schools are another huge consideration. Do you have kids?
Location, location, location. You would be surprised which areas are "up" and which areas are "down" right now. In general, the more expensive the area, the more critically the appraiser is going to look at your home. Where is it located?
I agree with Alisa's comments below. There are no "set" or "average" commissions, and you can find people to list your home for a few hundred dollars (no services) with "full service" brokers going up to 6% or more.Ultimately, I would advise you to NOT approach agents or brokerages as commodities. We are all different. If I charge 5% and sell your home for $190,000, is that better than paying 6% (for more services and exposure) and getting an offer of $195,000 on your home?The focus should always be on determining which person and what services will put the most money in your pocket at the end of the transaction - not simply paying the lowest commission.Hope that helps -
Are you speaking of the $8,000 first-time buyers tax credit? If so, it is for those who have not OWNED a home in the past three years. However, I commend your thought process. All questions are good questions!At the same time, there is consideration being given in Washington right now to extending the tax credit into 2010 and possibly expanding it to include ALL home buyers, or home buyers up to a certain price point. If you would like more information on this debate, let me know and I can reference the articles I've seen that are tracking this debate. Thanks -
I have a buyer who wants to buy this home. Who can I contact to submit an offer!!??