Spring continues to a popular time of year to buy or sell a home. With an improving economyÂ driving multiple offers andÂ a range of technology sites and appsÂ to support the homebuying and selling process itâ€™s a wonder how a traditional real estate agent is able to stay relevant.
Well, thatâ€™s where real estate expert Christian Ross comes in!
Christian Ross,Â whoÂ has appeared on HGTVâ€™s â€˜House Huntersâ€™, is the SVP and Managing Broker of Atlanta’sÂ Village RealtyÂ andÂ owner of her own agency Christiansoldit.com. She passionately advocates for African-Americans and women through her work on the Atlanta Board of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors and the Women’s Council of Realtors (where she served as the youngest president of the Atlanta chapter in 2014).
Christian is an industryÂ trendsetterÂ and recently took time out of her busy schedule to speak with CocoaFab about her career and trends in the real estate market.
COCOAFAB: Â What led you to your career in real estate? Â
Christian: Â A friend urged me to get into real estate after I was bored wining and dining clients in media sales.Â It was a great position but I wasn’t being challenged. As a realtor, I help my clients build their wealth portfolio that includes finding a home to build their memories.Â On a larger scale, I work in an industry that directly affects 32 other industries.Â When we win, everyone wins!
COCOAFAB: Â Why do you think clients choose to work with you over other agents?
Christian: Â Real Estate is my passion and it shows.Â On a daily basis I ask myself two questions: â€œHow can I serve my clients better?â€ and â€œHow can we make the experience easier for anyone buying or selling a home?â€ Â Our clientâ€™s trust is of utmost importance and I do not take that responsibility lightly. Iâ€™m also a great listener. I use my two ears vs. my mouth more times than not because listening is a huge part of our business.Â My approach is all about learning about my clients. Interestingly, I learn so much that a lot of times my clients turn into dear friends of mine.
COCOAFAB: How have you been able to leverage technology and the resources available to you being inÂ atÂ Atlanta Tech Village when it comes to winning clients and keeping client business?
Christian: Â Being at Atlanta Tech Village is an amazing opportunity.Â With nearly 300 tech startup businesses in this space, it is an inspiring place to be and to work.Â Leveraging technology and effectively incorporating social media trends is at the forefront of the client experience.
For example, we use YouTube to give a preview of homes that maximize our clientsâ€™ time to view properties that fit their specifications.Â We also incorporate the visual benefits of Pinterest to get a feel of what our clients likes and dislikes are – itâ€™s part of our getting-to-know-you process. Â If they do not have one, we ask them to start one. We find this insight allows us to bridge the gap between clientâ€™s wants and needs.
COCOAFAB: Â What, if any, insights/trends can you share on buying and/or selling a home in todayâ€™s market?
Christian: Â There are several trends we are seeing right now on both sides. Â Weâ€™re seeing multiple offer situations and buyers overbiddingâ€” yes we are back in that kind of market! The rental market is pretty hot right now and more sellers are on the fence about purchasing a home and renting out their current one as [interest] rates are low and rents are high. Not a shameless plug, but this is where a great real estate agent can help you to examine your situation thoroughly to choose the right route for your goals.
COCOAFAB: Can you share your top 3 tips that for sellers and first time home buyers?
Christian: Â Â My top 3 tips for buyers, especially first time buyers would be:
- Do a drive by at night. Â Tour your neighborhood of interest at night.Â Spring and summer are two of the most fantastic times to really see the nuances of a community because a neighborhood comes to life when it is warm.
- Check those finances. Â With the recent security breaches, it is more important then ever to check your credit every month and examine for inconsistencies. Get with a lender at least 6 months before and make sure your credit and assets are in place so you can create a roadmap for your purchase. Do not apply for any new credit, co-sign or take on any new debt! It could be the difference between living in a car you just purchased or the house you want to purchase.
- Â Keep your emotional thermometer in check. As multiple buyers bid on prospects, you may not get the home you want.Â As hard as it is, try to keep your feelings in check. Remember, what is for you, is for you!
My top 3 tips for those who plan to put their house on the market are:
- Have your friend â€œsecret shopâ€ your home. This is actually a popular technique that we use with our clients where we have them ask one of their friends to tour their home and provide feedback directly to your real estate professional.Â Your agent gets good feedback and your friend will still be your friend.
- Price to sell. Â Set the price of your home with the market and create the buyer demand. Higher than market pricing will cause your listing to go stale and buyers do not want a stale listing!
- Deep clean from top to bottomâ€”air included! Â Itâ€™s a competitive market out there and it is not worth buyers losing interest in your home because you invited dust bunnies to your open house and forgot to change the kitty litter. Invest the time or money in a thorough deep cleaning!