What’s in an Agent?

Here’s how an agent helped a client close on his home quickly and saved him some money.

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A good agent’s an investment. They assist sellers from list to close with the unexpected details - logistic, financial, and interpersonal - and save time and money in the long run. One client in particular had been trying to sell his house for months, wasn’t seeing any serious interest and couldn’t figure out why. Eventually, he decided to try a different tack, switching to a Compass agent and lowering his asking price slightly.

His new agent provided access to our proprietary app, Collections, to keep tabs in real time on prices of nearby comparable homes. He watched as sellers around him lowered their prices and went under contract, getting a firsthand glimpse into the local market landscape. Armed with new data, he contacted his agent and lowered his price again to bring it in line with similar homes on market. Just a few weeks later, his property was under contract.

In our industry, 25 percent of the work is getting a buyer and seller to agree on price; the other 75 percent involves working out the nitty gritty details. The home is inspected and appraised; and the buyer and seller agree who’ll take responsibility for repairs or upgrades needed to bring the property up to code so it’s insurable for the buyer. Plumbing, electrical and roofing problems are common issues found during inspection, and are generally the most time-consuming and costly.

In the case of the seller mentioned above, inspection revealed concrete spalling in the foundation, a relatively common issue in humid, saltwater environments that results in cracking of the concrete structure from increased moisture. Spalling can become a costly problem to fix if it’s not caught early. Neither seller nor buyer was familiar with the issue, but the seller’s agent had encountered it before. He recommended a company that would treat the concrete to correct the spalling, saving thousands of dollars for both parties while getting the deal to a smooth closing. The seller’s agent summed it up best “Right now you have smart, educated buyers. You have to get ahead of the situation.”