Note: This is my latest post about the ABCs of buying, selling and investing in real estate. I pick a letter (S this month) and build a nice fictional story around the letter. The story is fake, but the advice is real(ty).
Sally was a successful business person and one of the majority when it comes to how she gets energy daily. She is an introvert (which apparently outnumbers the extroverts today). She emailed me one Friday morning asking for some help in selling her home. Her last agent had driven her nuts with phone calls at all hours and did little to respect her privacy. She was looking for an agent that would work the process her way. She didn’t want a lot of showmanship or sales gimmicks to help her sell her home. She wanted to go about it in a thoughtful, considerate way. She wrote in her email that her older brother Chuck insisted that it was the sales techniques that sold homes. She wanted to prove him wrong. She was just starting her search online and stumbled into my website, with all the various blog posts. She wanted to know what sites could be used to help her sell her home. She wanted to research without having to necessary engage with a pushy salesman. Her goal was to find some logical steps that could show her what is needed to sell a home in a sincere manner with no false advertisement or borderline ethical practices. In other words, she wrote, I want to know how to sell a house so when it comes time to hire an agent, she can know the right questions to ask them.
This is what I told Sally(via a series of emails)…
I first wanted to understand why Sally considered herself an introvert so I asked her to tell me what one was. She said introverts are individuals who get more energy from within themselves versus from other people. Introverts feel drained after each social interaction, especially one that they don’t have any control like a party. Introverts will plan out their social engagements as much as possible and don’t like impromptu unplanned encounters. She said introverts are not necessarily shy, but just find their inspiration from within versus from interacting with other people. I personally knew what an introvert was since I tended to be more introverted than extroverted. (I believe someone once described me as a ambivert, a person who has a balance of an introvert and extrovert personalities. I don’t mind social situations as long as they are structured in nature and find myself worn out after unstructured ones.) I asked Sally this question because with such a wide variety of introverts, I wanted to be clear where she stood on the introvert spectrum. I told Sally she didn’t have anything to worry about since some studies show that up to 50% of us are introverts. Although I know real estate agents sometimes have difficulty reaching out to introverts, there were plenty of us introverts around owning our own real estate business. I also told her that there plenty of sites available for introverts to use to research how to sell a home. Here are three of them (beyond my own site located at adamwright.realtor).
1. Zillow Porchlight – Some agents really hate Zillow and won’t recommend anything the giant real estate site does for buyers and sellers. Why is there such hatred for Zillow? Many long time agents see it as a danger to their livelihood as Zillow is almost a complete package when it comes to buying and selling a home, which is a value add real estate agents have been providing over the years. I don’t feel as strongly about the site (I do hate the way they advertise other agents on my listings), but I realize it is the most popular real estate destination online for a reason, it has some good information. One part of Zillow that a lot of people miss is Zillow Porchlight. This section of Zillow goes over such items as Home Improvement, and Market Trends. It even has a section for Celebrity real estate stories (a fun read!). For Sally’s quest on learning how to sell a home, she needs to dive into the Tips and Advice section, where you will find a wide variety of posts and blog discussions on selling a home. I find some of the posts spot on. The site is more of a browsing site, as much of it is not structured, but you can get some good ideas on questions to ask a listing agent for an interview.
2. Texas Association of Realtors/Metrotex Association of Realtors – The Texas Association of Realtors and the Metrotex Association of Realtors are the next two sites I told Sally she needs to visit. While Zillow Porchlight is an unstructured page, you can get some get some good steps on selling your home at both of these sites. Metrotex takes the reader through a six step process to selling your home from preparing your home for sale to dealing with offers. Texas Association of Realtors does basically the same thing on one page. Both sites allow the user to search for a professional realtor to use to sell a house, so Sally can find her minimum of three agents to interview for listing her home. From these two association sites, she should be able to develop some great questions to ask the realtors.
3. Real Estate for Introverts– The last site I recommend to Sally is geared more towards real estate investors than traditional home sellers, but you can learn quite a bit about the selling process by learning how investors do it. I really like the premise of this site as it points out (like I have in this post) that introverts are not reclusive individuals afraid to leave their house for fear of encountering others, but a person who likes to internalize things more so than extroverts. She gears her advice for the introvert on how to get into the real estate investing game. The site itself could use some fresh updates, but she does have a good free ebook on investing in real estate for Introverts. You will need to contact her to get it, however, as the link to download it does not seem to be working at the moment.
Sally came to me to find some sites to help her interview a real estate agent to sell her house. She wanted to know what sites would allow her to learn the selling process herself so she can ask intelligence questions of the agents. I told her to check out Zillow, the most popular real estate portal on the web, for some good tips and advice on selling. She could also access local association of realtors on selling a home as well as the statewide association where she could also locate agents to interview. Finally, I advised her to check out Real Estate for Introverts, a website dedicating to helping introverts learn the real estate game.