When it comes to buying or selling a home, the most important decision one can make may very well be choosing the right realtor. While there will be several professionals you will most likely deal with during the home buying or selling process, none will be more important to you than your Realtor.

The Realtor will be the quarterback from start to finish, and will provide you with recommendations, guidance and expertise that will be paramount in the success or failure of the transaction. Every aspect of the process will flow through the Realtor. A good realtor will make every step of the way smooth and look easy, while a poor Realtor will make you want to pull your hair out.  

Let’s look at some of the skills a GREAT Realtor will use to help you succeed at the real estate game.

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  • Local Knowledge. Todays real estate market has become extremely localized, and the days of following national or statewide reports are long gone. The most astute realtors are knowledgeable in today’s hyper-local market. It’s important to know and understand, not only the difference from town to town, but how the market varies from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Your realtor will be your “local economist of choice” to help you understand the overall market dynamics and how they trickle down to your street or neighborhood.

  • Understanding Return on Investment.  Everyone has heard the old adage about the three rules of real estate being location, location, location. Location is always No. 1, but the next two are condition and condition. Today’s buyers don’t want to lift a finger, and many expect the house they are buying to look like a newly completed project from HGTV.

Houses that are updated will sell for a premium, while houses in need of updating often sit on the market for a long time and ultimately sell for a discount. Today’s buyers are very particular about the updates and finishes they want in their homes. It is very important for sellers to understand the mindset of buyers and know exactly how to prepare their home for marketing.

  • A skilled realtor will identify what updates a seller needs to address prior to listing a home and will guide the seller in properly completing those items in the most cost-effective way possible. Very often, small investments in the correct areas of a home will provide a big return on investment for a seller. Work with a realtor that will advise you and guide you through this process and make sure you are preparing your home for marketing properly.


  • Technology.  As with many industries, technology has dramatically changed the way the business is done, and few industries have been changed as much as the real estate market. Gone are the days of effective print advertising and real estate magazines in the grocery store. Welcome to the days of digital advertising that reaches people with lighting speed.


Buyers and sellers search properties using mobile apps and social media, while buyers can use virtual reality to “walk through” a home from the other side of the world. Today, when a seller lists a home, the first showings occur online. Prospective buyers look at photos of the home, aerial views of the neighborhood using Google Earth, and neighboring properties using street views.

Today’s buyers and sellers need a “tech enabled agent” that can successfully use all these tools to most effectively market and locate properties for their clients. Clients who choose to work with Realtors that don’t have the current market technology skill set are at a disadvantage to those who do.

The real estate market is currently entering uncharted waters. Interest rates are still near record lows and have created terrific opportunities for buyers due to the increase in buying power. At the same time, near record low inventories have kept prices on the rise and that is good for sellers.

Many industry experts are predicting a market shift. This would be the first market shift in history marked by low inventory and low interest rates. Who will benefit from this? Will it be the buyers or the sellers? For answers to all these questions and all the information you need on how you can “Win” at the Real Estate Game, contact Doug Collinson of the Doug Collinson Real Estate Group (Keller Williams Metropolitan) at (973) 214-0347 or email: dtcollinson@gmail.com 

Doug Collinson is a lifelong Morris County Resident and has successfully closed over 225 transactions. He is a 7-time recipient of the NJAR Circle of Excellence Sales Award and a Top Producing Agent at KW Metropolitan (#1 Office in all of GSMLS in closed volume and units). Collinson has over 20 years of experience in the residential home building industry and still operates an Award-Winning Building Company, Ashley Grace Builders., LLC.