Every week, we ask an Atlanta real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Atlanta real estate.
This week, we talked with Mike Price, the owner of The Mike Price Team, which is part of Keller Williams Realty First Atlanta. A 15-year veteran of the industry, Mike helps his clients buy, sell and invest throughout metro Atlanta, and has built a group that includes a mortgage lender, a home inspector, a closing attorney, an appraiser, contractors, landscapers, and more.
Atlanta Agent (AA): What is your take on syndication sites? Do you use them for your business?
Mike Price (MP): We do use Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com, and we were paying Zillow, but they never really provided us many leads; Trulia, on the other hand, has been very beneficial for us.
We’re featured on Trulia, and I find that distinction helps me during listing presentations; when I tell clients that I’m a “featured agent” on the site, they respect that, because they know the site.
Now, every time someone looks at one of our listings, there are normally a couple agents advertising on the page, but it doesn’t really bother me. It’s not like having those other ads has impacted my business negatively.
AA: What do you think the biggest challenge will be in Atlanta’s housing market in 2014?
MP: The biggest challenge that I and other agents have is the lack of good inventory. There’s a lack of sellers who want to sell. As agents, we’re going to have to make a lot more prospecting calls and cold calls to find the business. From the seller’s side, I do think we’re getting better. Values, for instance, are going up all over town, so many sellers that I talked to three years ago – who were not able to sell, at that time – now can sell.
AA: Finally, what are the biggest misconceptions that consumers have about the home-selling process?
MP: The biggest misconception is that the agents are responsible for many things that we’re not. Our job is to list and market the home, to attract a buyer, to negotiate the terms of the contract and guide everything to a smooth closing; some sellers, though, expect us to pay for cleaning the carpets, or for the inspection, or other things that fall outside of our responsibilities. For instance, a contractor may come over and do the necessary work, and a seller will tell me, “Alright, here’s the bill for the guy you recommended.” In reality, I simply gave them a couple names; I don’t pay for the work.
Many times, though, it’s the agent’s fault – sometimes we get too involved, and we give the seller the incorrect impression of what our responsibilities are. So it’s on us during the initial presentation (or soon after) to lay out the guidelines and explain what we do; that comes with experience, but even today, I’ll still begin talking to the client about selling or buying a house, and before you know it, we’re loving each other and shaking hands and forgetting about those guidelines. All agents can do a better job explaining on the front end what they do, and when they do that, it makes it a lot easier down the road.