We recently had a conversation with North Dallas real estate consultant Aaron McKinley to talk about what home buyers should be looking for when seeking an agent.
Q Aaron, What made you decide to get into real estate?
I actually grew up around it. I come from a family of real estate investors and always saw the potential of building wealth through real estate. But what sets me apart is my personal experience. My first home purchase was before I was an agent and it was a horrible experience. The agent representing me was not interested in protecting me, she was only interested in her paycheck and this experience made me realize I could make a difference in the home buying and selling experience of my clients.
Q What are the top three questions your clients ask while showing a property?
They always ask, is this a good price? Is this a good neighborhood? And do we need to be worried about any repairs?
My goal is to ensure my clients are comfortable and confident in their buying decision. A seasoned agent should be able to answer or get answers quickly to all of their client’s questions. Specifically, about the local market, neighborhood and home condition. Sometimes the answer may not be what a client wants to hear. It’s better to get that out of the way. The last thing you want is a client with buyer remorse.
Q Aaron, some people think it doesn’t matter who you get for an agent, as long as they get to see the property; what are your thoughts on this perception?
I couldn’t disagree more. I have been blessed to be in the business for over 15 years and there is a very big difference between knowledgeable agents and someone who “opens doors”.
Real Estate is an investment and I would not trust someone who doesn’t have a proven track record of protecting their client’s money. I spend a lot of time up front with my clients to get a clear understanding of their needs and wants as well as their personal and financial goals. I study the local as well as national and global markets so I can make sure my clients have as much information as possible to make the best decision. I am not just an agent I am a real estate consultant.
In addition to years of experience, I have continued to improve my skills and knowledge with continued education in Marketing, Negotiating, Pricing and of course Legal and Ethical training to ensure I do everything possible to protect all parties involved while providing an excellent customer experience. I think this is more valuable than just opening doors.
Q What about “For Sale by Owner” properties, that’s a good way to do it, right?
What a great question. Most people want to sell the home themselves because they do not want to pay an agent commission. But what they don’t realize is it usually costs them more to do it on their own. Here are several reasons why.
First, you need to know the market. As you know we have a lot of information on the internet, but unfortunately, the popular websites which most sellers use to establish value are not accurate and they do not have first had knowledge of buyer trends and demand. Recently I helped 2 owners sell their home for $50K more than they were even going to list.
Second, what is your time worth? Selling a home is a full time job. In fact, it takes a team. Most sellers don’t realize all the time and expenses we as agents incur to effectively market their home.
As a marketing specialist, I make all my listings stand out above the rest. This is what creates demand for my sellers ultimately finding them the right buyer.
Then comes the negotiation, which I find FSBO’s usually give too much away when they do not have an advocate. This can cost them thousands on average.
And third, don’t’ forget liability. We live in a very litigious society and you have to ask yourself is it worth saving a little when you could be exposing yourself to a lawsuit? I think not. Our contracts and disclosure requirements are always changing and by hiring a professional REALTOR® you can trust you are in good hands.
Q What is the most common thing you see other agents do that may lose them a sale?
Most agents live in a “me” world. It is not about us; it is about our client. I always put my clients first. They are the star of the show as is their wants, needs and of course their home. I pride myself on being an active listener. I ask a lot of questions to make sure my clients know I understand them and that we are on the same team.
Q How is selling luxury properties different than selling in the common market?
Luxury properties are different on a few levels depending if you are working with the buyer or seller. Luxury listings are more expensive to market and luxury buyers want what they want, no exceptions. It is my job to find it and be creative in putting and keeping the deals together. Luxury clients have a high expectation of service. As a Premier Service® Agent I treat all my clients with respect and pride myself on a higher level of service regardless of price point, which I think has been my secret to success over the last 15 years.
Q If you were giving advice to an out-of-state friend who was in the market for a property, what would you suggest they look for in an agent?
I would ask them to trust me in finding the right agent. I have a vast network of professionals I refer business to around the globe. Put me to work for you regardless of where you need an agent and let me find the one you can trust and will provide you with a level of service you can enjoy and depend on. Buying or selling a home should not be stressful, let me help make it as smooth as possible.