In The News

What Your Real Estate Agent Wishes You Knew

Laura WoodsApril 28, 2021·5 min read

SDI Productions / Getty Images
SDI Productions / Getty Images

Buying or selling a home is a very big deal. Most people only go through this process a handful of times in their life — if that — but real estate agents guide clients through it for a living.

Therefore, they’ve seen just about everything on both sides of the transaction and have plenty of wisdom to impart to their clients. No matter which side you’re on, it’s important to trust the agent you’ve enlisted to help and listen to their advice.

For example, when searching for a new home, buyers often rely on price estimates from real estate sites like Redfin and Zillow to understand what different properties are worth. However, Mary Fitzgerald, a real estate agent with The Oppenheim Group, based in West Hollywood, California, said this isn’t the best approach.

“[Buyers] cannot rely on Zillow ‘Zestimates’ as they don’t take in account remodel work that has been done since the last sale, and also can’t differentiate between types and values on view homes,” she said.

Like many other parts of the country, Fitzgerald, who also stars on the Netflix reality television series “Selling Sunset,” said Los Angeles is currently experiencing a sellers’ market in the $2 million-$3 million range and under.

“Sellers should price aggressively and get the most traction as possible for the initial property launch,” she said. “With low inventory, buyers are fighting over properties and nine times out of 10 the seller will land at a higher sale price in a multiple offer scenario than if they list high and sit on the market.”

Of course, presentation is also hugely important in real estate, so Fitzgerald advises sellers to make sure their home looks its best.

“Staging, even if minor, is extremely important,” she said. “Many sellers don’t want to absorb the cost for this, but it is essential in many homes and sellers will almost always get this money back plus some — while gaining more buyers’ attention to the property and higher offers.”