Buying or selling your home can be wildly stressful. Since people often have to do both at once, it can quickly get overwhelming — especially in competitive markets like Santa Cruz. That’s where real estate agents step in. When you use an expert real estate agent like Sam Bird-Robinson, the whole process can be a lot less intimidating. To get the most out of your relationship with an agent, here are four things to consider before you list your home or start browsing open houses.
A strong online brand
One of the most important aspects of selling your home is marketing. How your agent represents your property will impact your listing price and the quality of buyers you attract. It is therefore important to find an agent whose marketing efforts feel in line with your goals. Look at the agent’s website, social media channels, and advertising materials to get a sense of how your own home will be marketed. Here’s what to look for:
Well-designed property pages. Look for an agent with a website that showcases your property’s best features and encourages action. Sam’s property pages offer some great examples of how your home should be displayed. You want to see professional photography, a detailed description, and a clear call to action.
Professional social media channels. Your agent doesn’t need to have a celebrity-level audience – and indeed, for luxury real estate, a smaller, more niche audience is desirable. But you want to see consistently updated accounts with branding that will put your home in the best light. Sam’s Facebook and Instagram accounts are great examples of well-managed pages with posts that incorporate video, high-quality imagery, and helpful listing information.
Visibility. Finally, you want to know that potential buyers will easily find your agent online. Buyers in Santa Cruz who search for “real estate agents near me” will see Sam Bird-Robinson as the top local search result on Google Business Profile.
Five-star reviews. Buyers who find Sam’s Google Profile will also see 48 five-star reviews. Sam also has five-star ratings on Yelp, Zillow and Facebook. Be sure to check all four review categories when choosing an agent to represent you.
A full-service approach
Marketing your home to sell can often involve much more than high-quality photography and an aesthetically pleasing campaign. You may also need repairs or redecorating. Choosing a Compass agent can help you get the resources you need to receive offers at your target listing price. Sam offers a wide range of services through Compass Concierge, from deep cleaning and staging to painting and landscaping. Learn more.
Relevant transaction history
Featured home: 122 Merced Avenue
A good personality fit
Whether you want to or not, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with your real estate agent. It’s important to find someone who understands you and your needs. You can ask Sam about the best cycling routes in Santa Cruz, where to surf, and what it’s like to be a parent in Santa Cruz.
Personal knowledge of Santa Cruz
One of the most important things a realtor can offer you is local knowledge. Community connections and insights can really help when looking at a house. Be sure to check a realtor’s personal site or LinkedIn to see just how long they’ve been working in Santa Cruz. If an agent hasn’t been there for more than three years, they might be missing some really useful knowledge — like more realistic commute times or certain geographical concerns. Sam has been selling Santa Cruz real estate for more than a decade. He can tell you how neighborhoods have changed, and which areas will best suit you.
A contract that works for you
The final point to consider when choosing a real estate agent is the contract. We always recommend becoming educated about real estate contracts before you make an offer or put your home on the market. While it may seem simple, you don’t want to find yourself in an unfavorable situation because you didn’t understand the terms. A good real estate agent will help you navigate your contract and advocate on your behalf.