Realtors help to make one of the biggest decisions of your life: the decision to buy your home. This where you and your friends or family will be living for a good portion of your life. Some Houston area realtors are so busy trying to hit their goals they forget how important of a decision this is to their clients. Here at The Murray Group, we understand how important it is to be as transparent as possible with our customers. That being said, here are some real estate trade secrets you should know.

One mistake can ruin everything.

In order to sell something to someone, you have to be able to please them. Houston area realtors go above and beyond to make sure that their customer is happy. Often, this includes having to secretly gauge their personality. Does this person want results and reports fast and constantly? Does this person get overwhelmed with information and wants more of a calm real estate experience? These are some of the things that customers usually expect their agents to know without having to tell them.

The higher priced the house, the higher the stakes tend to be. Of course, there are factors that tend to make selling every house have high stakes. But there’s nothing like losing the opportunity to sell a multi-million dollar home because you didn’t call the owner fast enough. There are all sorts of personalities in the world, and they are all ones that realtors have to understand well. After all, real estate agents aren’t just selling homes. Houston area realtors also have to sell their personalities and charm also in order to secure the bag.

Kids are worse than criminals.

During an open house periods, many owners and sellers fear that a criminal will use this to their advantage. There are plenty of horror stories out there about criminals breaking in to open houses easily and stealing items. However, this really doesn’t happen as often. Most realtors never worry about this happening.

What really concerns realtors during open house periods is kids. Kids are known to damage things without knowing they’re damaging them. It’s always important to keep any kids you may have living in an open house home in the loop. Usually, parents and guardians excite kids about the opportunity to move to a new home. If you have kids, try making keeping the home pristine like a fun game.

Additionally, you’ll also want to watch out for kids who come to visit as their guardians look at your home. These kids are usually more likely to break something. For realtors, it’s all about the balance of making sure kids don’t get out of control or break something while also respecting their potential buyers.

Sentiment helps.

Emotional attachment is much more powerful than people think. Realtors are not as cold-hearted as some TV shows might lead you to believe! Expressing your genuine love for a listing can help distinguish you from other interested parties.

However, if you know you’re buying a home off of a previous owner, sentiment is almost key. Homes are important and emotional places to people. Even after leaving them, owners want to know you won’t tear something down and completely erase all those memories. Knowing that they will be leaving their house in good hands can be very comforting and a big green light for people trying to sell.

One thing that helps a lot is a good old-fashioned hand-written letter. If you really love a listing and you just have to get it, write a letter explaining why. Include the fact that you’ll use it for whatever sentimental purposes you’ll be using it for. These can be raising a family or starting a business. Assure them that you won’t ruin what they’ve left behind. Of course, remolding is something that happens a lot after the buying process. Most sellers understand this, but keeping the heart of the home intact is what really matters.

Knowing that the house won’t be torn down can be so comforting to sellers that they might even take you, even if the financial offer isn’t the best. Don’t be afraid to pour your heart out!

Local real estate websites are the way to go.

Nowadays, there are many big-name real estate websites and companies out there. Some popular ones that you may have heard of are Zillow and Truila. Sometimes, even if you just type an address into Google, the Zillow page is the first thing that will show up.

However, these big websites usually take information through algorithms, and are not always accurate. Computers scan the internet and put facts together based on numbers, and not on house quality or feel. Information put up can easily be low-quality and out-of-date. Even worse, Zillow makes people wary of agents because the second you access the site, multiple realtors will be calling you and entering your email.

While this is a practice that is followed by most websites, local companies tend to have your best interest in mind, write personal messages rather than automated ones, and let you opt out of emails. With places like Zillow, not only do the messages take forever to stop, but they’re not even from local realtors who know about the property personally!

With technology like this, a lot of people fear that the job of local realtors will be obsolete. But the truth is, local realtors know more, are trained, and overall are just better at the job. If you want someone who really knows about a listing rather than a robot, reaching out to a local real estate company is the way to go. One of the easiest ways to do this is to look at local real estate websites. Often, local companies have their own multiple listing services. You can see ours here.

They’re not allowed to tell you if a property is haunted.

The saying is true: if a house is haunted, realtors can’t tell you! Don’t worry, agents are absolutely required to notify potential buyers of material defects. However, things that can “stigmatize” the property, such as saying a house is haunted, are not allowed to be disclosed. In the eyes of real estate law, saying that a house is haunted is just a stigma, and there isn’t actually anything to disclose.

If the potential of a house being haunted is something that worries you, there are many ways you can research without needing a realtor’s expertise. One good option is asking the neighbors. But if you can’t ask around, you can always Google the house. Look into things such as the county sheriff’s website, any criminal activity that may have happened in the neighborhood, and anything else about the property’s history that you can find.

They use all the staging tricks.

Having things like snacks, water, and air freshener available at an open house is a must for most realtors. Even the simplest things such as turning all the lights on and keeping the pets out can go a long way in sparking a buyer’s interest. Many realtors even enjoy choosing background music to play that fits the theme of the house.

Staging tricks aren’t just limited to the actual open house, though. Staging starts at the very beginning phases: taking pictures of the house to put up online. This is often the very first impression buyers get of homes. In the 21st century, it makes sense that most people would prefer to see if a house is worth their time online before visiting in person. Because of this, many Houston area realtors have also become expert photographers and know exactly how to make your home look great on and offline. If you want to take the best photos to make your home stand out on a multiple listing service, you can find our advice here.

They are always available.

Much like the agents of actors and musicians, real estate agents have to be around 24/7. You never know when someone might start regretting letting go of their childhood home at midnight, or if early birds need responses ASAP at 6 in the morning. Like we’ve mentioned many times before, buying and selling a home can be a sentimental and high-stress experience. It’s a realtors job to take care of the home as much as it is to take care of their client. The best Houston area realtors are always available when you need them.

The truth is, most realtors aren’t crazy secret keepers. Here at the Murray Group, we love being transparent with our customers because we believe that ensures they will get their dream home.

If you’re looking for a great real estate agent you can trust in the Houston area, feel free to contact us here or search our Houston multiple listing service.