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The traits that matter most to consumers

| May 16, 2017

According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, consumers generally say they value your guidance in the home-search process, your marketing skills, and your negotiating prowess. But you have to delve deeper to uncover the specific challenges individual clients want you to solve, according to a recent article, “Why’d They Pick You,” by Graham Wood that appeared in REALTOR.org. Wood profiled an example of how CRS agent, Cameron Platt, CRS, broker-partner at Abio Properties in Oakland, assists home sellers in one of the examples.

Hands-on Help to Move On

Julie Johnson was dealing with one of the toughest periods of her life when she decided to put her home on the market a year ago. She needed a quick sale not because she was upsizing, moving closer to friends and family, or relocating for a job—the three most common seller motivations, according to the NAR report. After being laid off from her job of 25 years as an advertising executive and going through two years of medical treatment for breast cancer, Johnson, 65, had trouble keeping up, both physically and financially, with her four-bedroom house in Oakland, Calif. She had been living off her savings for more than a year, an unsustainable plan.

But leaving the home she had lived in for 16 years was difficult for Johnson to accept. She remembers the two-level house with an expansive deck as her place of Zen, where she practiced Buddhism and taught friends and family chants for world peace. “My home was a very happy one. There was so much love and joy—so many wonderful memories,” Johnson says. “I really wanted a family to move in. But I just needed help because it was really hard for me.” The transaction was her first as a seller, which added to the anxiety she felt.

When she was looking for a real estate agent, Johnson remembered that she had met Cameron Platt, CRS, broker-partner at Abio Properties in Oakland, through a friend some time before. She bonded with him over their professional backgrounds. “In talking with him about his business, I realized our sales philosophies were similar: Take care of the customer, and the rest will fall in place,” Johnson recalls.

She called Platt for a listing consultation and decided to hire him after he presented a thorough plan for getting her home market-ready, a task Johnson found particularly daunting. She needed to focus on moving in with friends and looking for an apartment, not tending to home repairs. So Platt and his team managed the process, bringing in painters, contractors, and inspectors. The cost of the repairs totaled close to $20,000, but Johnson paid only one-third up front, covering the rest with proceeds from the sale. “They brought in staging that was beautiful and ordered inspections for mold and water damage—things I had never thought of,” Johnson says. “It was so valuable to me that they were problem-solvers.”

“We pride ourselves on providing concierge-level service, which is important to people like Julie who are in stressful situations,” Platt says. “We project-manage our listing prep to a very high degree, and once we laid out what we could do for her, she placed her trust in us completely.”

After getting 10 offers on her home, Johnson, who is now cancer-free, sold in April 2016 for $100,000 over her $545,000 asking price—a great value in her high-priced area given that the buyer took responsibility for removing termites and replacing the property’s sewer system. Johnson was so impressed with Platt’s attentiveness that she’s now talking with him about buying a condo. “For me, it was ‘selling a house for dummies’ because I knew nothing, and he took me every step of the way,” Johnson says. “It was just pure customer service.”

-Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online, May, 2017 with permission of the National Association of REALTORS®. 2017.All rights reserved.