Hello Naples Friends,
We’re roughly 2.5 months from the grand opening of the 2019-2020 Naples Real Estate season. Have you started thinking about selling your property or are you completely ready with a plan in place? Have you chosen your Naples listing agent? If you’re planning on selling this year, here are a few things to consider before choosing the right Naples listing agent!
Before we get started, some buyers are already asking, “When are new listings going to hit the market?” I already have buyers for:
These people are waiting for something specific. If you’re thinking about selling, maybe you should call me first and bypass the whole going on the market thing.
While we will see a small fraction of listing hit the market between now and October 1st, we’ll see that real jump in inventory during the first few weeks in October. Is it wiser to wait or perhaps better to hit now while inventories are lower in your neighborhood? It’s relatively easy to forecast what areas have a good amount of shadow inventory. If your neighborhood slips to an oversupply of inventory, it could weaken price points.
If you’re not sure what your market is going to do, you should call me so you aren’t caught off guard.
If you’ve already picked your agent, how did you choose them? Somebody you worked with in the past, somebody you know personally, perhaps you’ve seen their signs around the neighborhood?
Here are some things I see on my side you may want to know about before making your final decision.
WHAT DO THEIR PHOTOS LOOK LIKE?
It’s hard to believe it’s nearly 2020 yet some agents are still using their phone to take marketing photos of their listings. Whether you know it or not, online marketing is one of the most important tools used to sell properties and just by loading the photos into MLS could expose your property to 100’s of web portals around the globe and could be the sole thing that hooks your buyer into purchasing your property. If your photos are terrible, large chances are, your buying traffic will massively suffer as a result.
If you take into account Naples is a secondary market, you should know 1,000’s of people every year start their search on the net long before they’re going to drive by your property or stumble into your open house. In fact, if your photos are really bad, it will probably prevent them from taking further action.
If you only do one thing to ensure your selling success, at least make sure your agent is taking quality professional photography. Lights on, toilet seats down!
IF BUYERS CAN’T SEE IT, THEY PROBABLY WON’T BUY IT!
Now you have amazing photos. If your agent is a true rockstar, they’ll shoot a Matterport Tour and post to all platforms as I do. A large majority of luxury home and condo owners would like their agent to accompany all showings. You should, your agent should know more about your property than anybody else and make it really easy for the buyer to say, “yes!”. Wait…is your Naples listing agent too busy to open the door?
#TrueStory I attempted to make an appointment with an agent last season who notoriously makes it difficult to get in to see property due to their busy schedule. I called 4 days in advance and due to a prior commitment and their assistant’s scheduled day off, the appointment was denied. This is after expressing I had cash buyers who were ready to make a decision. The great news is my clients found a fabulous property that day. The sad news is, the property we couldn’t get into didn’t sell which means it will likely be hitting the market again this season with another documented sale on the books that will make it harder for them to get the price they were shooting for last year. With 4 days notice, I could’ve had excellent representation in that home for that showing. What a TERRIBLE miss!
Every season we have many showings that get denied for one reason or another. It’s one thing if the owner denies a showing. I guarantee you there’s a ton of Seller’s out there who don’t know how many showings they’re missing because of their listing agent. Terrible!
SOME OF THE BEST NAPLES LISTING AGENTS ARE RUNNING OUT OF GAS!
One of the things I have loved about starting real estate at such an early age was the fact I had so many terrific agents to admire. Maybe it was how they had an entire neighborhood locked down or how they started in an area during pre-construction and had all of these amazing stories. It makes me a little sad the Naples area board of REALTORS doesn’t do a better job documenting how some of our areas came together and who the icons were. Perhaps that’s just the real estate geek in me talking.
Regardless, I started Naples real estate 17 years ago and some of these folks who used to be freak forces of nature have since grown weary. Some have already retired and in a few instances have passed away. Terrible! I know the end is near for others as the rumors have started over the course of the past couple of years about how this one is getting ready to retire or that one is taking more time off. Phone calls and text messages aren’t returned like they once were and that energy is starting to fade. Some of them have chatted about how they have their exit plans in place and are just waiting for a few things to line up before they make their secret departure out of the industry. In the meantime, many owners don’t realize the extent of how some of these folks are mentally and physically checked out already.
As I search neighborhoods today, some of those icons are already losing or have already lost mass amounts of market share while others are holding tight.
List with a Naples listing agent who has the physical and mental stamina to respond and have adopted the latest tools and strategies. If you’re expecting a weary agent to be able to keep up in an aggressive market using tools that stopped working 10 years ago, you may find your results do not hit your objective.
OPEN HOUSE SEASON IS APPROACHING
I had an opportunity to compete for a listing not too long ago where the owner asked, “Do open houses work?” He was genuinely perplexed because he’d already talked with one agent who said they had never sold anything at an open house and doesn’t do them while another agent said that they did hold open houses. I think it has everything to do with how you’re holding an open house. Some agents are absolutely amazing while others are terrible.
#TRUE STORY When I first got to Naples, I hit open houses so I could learn the market. We walked in one in Port Royal and perched on top of a $3.00 beach chair was a lady reading the paper. Without putting the paper down she waved her hand above her head and shouted, “Take a look around.” I nearly fainted at the site wondering how multi-million dollar properties sold that way. At the peak of the market, almost anything sells but we’re not there right now.
I like to take a more active role by making sure my group and I know how to engage participants. My network has the answers to all of the foreseeable questions, take the time to point out the unique features about the property most would otherwise miss and they have their banter about the neighborhood down. Most importantly they know how to connect with people who have taken their time to enter the property. If you approach an open house like that, you can sell properties. We’ve sold 2 properties this year from a combination of excellent marketing and open house activity.
If you’re in a great location and willing to let us hold open houses, we could find your buyer way faster than our competition can.
WORK WITH A PROBLEM SOLVER
All too often I show properties in terrible showing condition. A few weeks ago I literally walked into a pitch-black dungeon with my clients. The light switches were difficult to find and quite honestly, just weird. The unit looked terrible until I got half of the shutters opened and turned as many lights on as I could find but by then, my clients were past the point of no return. It used to be they all looked like that in the summer so buyers would wait patiently but today, they don’t. If you’re competing with properties that are 100% ready to go and yours isn’t. Your property is likely going to be overlooked.
#TrueStory My partner was opening a house for a showing we had last season. When he walked outside he noticed debris in the pool and the skimmer not working appropriately so he skimmed the pool with the net but noticed something blocking the drain. A crap agent doesn’t do anything and shows the house as-is. This guy got in the pool, removed the blockage and had the pool running normally before the showing. What happened to the listing? We sold it. Hahaha! Who do you want handling your business?
List with an agent who can get your place ready so you can have the best shot of selling!
Permitting issues have been the biggest new chore this year. Open permits can become a real headache for owners who don’t realize they have them. Real estate attorneys are researching Collier County records to make sure properties are buttoned up and if they find an open permit, large chances are they will make it part of a request to make the owner close it out. This is terrible for folks who used a title company when they purchased because open permits are not considered a title issue so title companies don’t do the search. People buy these properties without knowing there are problems until they go to sell and the buyer is using an attorney. While you can use a title company or an attorney, it pays to work with an attorney. This is just one reason.
I have been involved in more than a handful of open permit issues and not all listing agents know what it takes to help you resolve them. Ask me about this and save yourself the panic attack when you have a buyer on the hook and no clue on how to get permitting issues resolved in time for closing.
Working with me could save you from having to escrow money at closing you’d rather have in your pocket.
After 23 years in the business, I have experienced less than 5 spotless inspection reports. Many times these inspection issues could be things you’ve learned to live with through the years. Chances are your new buyer may live with them too but then the fear of what happens when they go to sell sets in. They’ll probably ask you to fix that pocket door that never closed correctly or all of the sink stoppers that never seem to work so they won’t have to do it. Hiring all of the vendors required to fix items on the report can go into the 10’s depending on how dirty your report can be. Do you have qualified and reasonable people you can call who can handle a list of inspection items in a timely manner? I do.
Working with me to help you get your repairs done quickly, easily and in a timely manner to avoid escrowing funds past closing.
WILL YOUR AGENT COMPETE FOR YOUR BUYER?
I’m always amazed at the number of agents who fail to get basic feedback or keep me engaged when I have a solid buyer. Too busy, too tired? There’s a small handful of agents who are masters at following up and as a result, sell more property than their competition. In a market like this one, it’s common for buyers to take a look and then take off. Is it the price or the property that isn’t compelling enough to attempt to strike a deal?
When the market is hot, listing agents don’t have to chase buyer’s agents because the property is probably going to sell. During the past 2 years, it hasn’t been as easy and if your listing agent isn’t doing what they can to stay in front of a potential buyer, that buyer will likely go elsewhere. It’s important to keep them on the hook if at all possible. Will your agent take those extra steps? Less than 2% do.
Work with a Naples listing agent who knows how to keep interested parties on the hook to increase your chances of a sale!
“What are you going to do?” Why do so many owners ask that question? Because my industry is plagued with lazy, do nothing people. It’s true, I see it all the time. Many people still go by the 20% of the people do 80% of the work but in truth, it’s probably closer to 3% do 97% of the work in Naples. Since we know properties don’t sell themselves, let’s delve into what type of exposure is most important if you’re truly interested in capturing a real buyer?
DIGITAL EXPOSURE – Is the largest resource to capture your buyer and if your agent doesn’t participate or know how to put your property in the absolute best light. You’re missing the lion share of ready, willing and able buyers.
Digital exposure includes everything online and *shareables via text, email and more.
Websites like all local sources including Shannon.com
Use of all global online portals like Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, WSJ
International portals like LuxuryPortfolio
Social Media Networks including Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn
*Shareables – Marketing pieces you can easily share with clients, family and friends when you’re interested in a property and want opinions or want to share what you are planning to purchase or just bought. These are a huge thing and if you want to see some examples, call me.
#TrueStory I sold a listing in 19 days from a LinkedIn post. It pays to work with an agent who has an exceptional online following.
PRINT EXPOSURE – While print is nearly dead, it’s still important to have the best exposure including:
Ask me about the biggest marketing secret in real estate!
PERSONAL TOUCH – If your agent doesn’t have a large compilation of interested buyers and a competent agent network your property could likely encounter lengthy market times and lackluster showing performance. Great agents are leery of agents they don’t know. They don’t always show their inventories because they would rather work with somebody they like and trust. Same goes for listing agents. The best listing agents in town do not always accommodate buyers agents they don’t know. Tough but true. Breaking into this market can be a real bitch and if your agent is using your property to do it, your sale could suffer. Think twice about listing with your second cousin’s next-door neighbor’s kid. While we all want him to succeed, we don’t necessarily want to foot the bill.
Choose a Naples listing agent who has a massive personal network of buyers and quality agents to maximize exposure.
Ok team, I hope you got some valuable insight. Give me a shout if I can answer any of your questions and when you’re ready to hit the market running, I’m ready for you!
Shannon Lefevre, PA
Your Naples Smart Girl!
Your Naples Smart Girl!