What I Offer to Buyers and Sellers
I seek out creative solutions to resolving problems and helping my clients save time and money, such as offering live or recorded video to those out of state, whether for repairs completed for sellers or showings for buyers.
To find creative solutions, I use the wealth of knowledge at Greg Garrett Realty, including that of my father, who has had a higher sales volume than anyone in many Hampton Roads cities for around 3 decades at the time of this writing. I also apply research techniques to find methods that people who have been in the industry for decades have never seen.
My honesty is both the biggest reason why sellers that interview me decide not to list with me and one of the top reasons why people that decide to work with me love me. I compete against other Realtors who know that by inflating the value that they say a home is worth and by telling them that it doesn't need any work even if it does that they will be more likely to get the listing. If you see my reviews and online recommendations, you will find multiple reviewers talk about how much I value ethics, taking care of my clients' best interest, etc.
What I Offer to Buyers
Many buyers have found it difficult to know how to determine the quality of areas for considered properties. I have made a video which essentially solves this problem, which you can see here.
Some buyers are rightfully concerned about flood zones, so again I made a video to explain how to see if a property is in a flood zone along with some other helpful information.
Many buyers want or need to boost their credit score prior to purchasing a home to increase eligiblity and minimize their rates and other expenses. I can help buyers to increase their score for free, and have successfully helped a number of people to raise their credit scores. I share about that here.
In addition to helping to raise people's credit score, I can also help them to maximize the profits of having and maintaining a good credit score, including through points and cash back credit cards, as I list here. For those with average or above average credit, I can usually help them save at least $1,000 annually, and with those with higher spending, including businesses, I have been able to help save 10's of thousands of dollars in under a year.
Many buyers are looking for a deal. Those that know me well know that I love deals, and have since I was a child. Naturally, that applies to real estate. For instance, with my own home, I purchased the foreclosure during an owner-occupant-only period where most investors who were not planning on living in it couldn't purchase it. I boosted my credit score to be above 760, the point at which you get the lowest PMI if putting less than 20% down and the lowest interest rate. I used down payment assistance to cover most of my down payment and used a conventional renovation mortgage loan which covered most of the needed repairs. The seller paid for most of my closing costs. You can usually get a better deal on homes that need repairs. I then found cost-effective means of contractors doing most of the work with me and my family doing a little work that required minimal skill. The result was that even though I put down less than 2.5%, with the after repair appraisal I had around 25% equity on the property.
Many buyers have specific search requirements, such as schools rated 7 or more, homes that are not in a Trulia crime zone, homes that are in areas eligible for USDA loans, or otherwise. Most agents are unwilling to take the time to create searches on MLS to satisfy these requirements, but I have found that it can be done, and have performed searches including but not limited to each of those in order to help fulfill the needs of prospective buyers. Sometimes just one of those sort of searches takes multiple hours to put together, but they can be done and I have put forth that effort. For some buyers, I have created more than a dozen separate searches to satisfy their specific needs, with automatic updates coming on a daily basis as new properties hit the market. Here are some examples.
Many buyers are looking for down payment assistance and other resources to help them qualify. To solve this problem, I have put together a list of down payment assistance programs and other programs to help buyers save and qualify, that is so comprehensive that I offer $100 to anyone who has a more comprehensive list without copying mine. These programs include literally half-off homes, no down payment loans up to $1,000,000, a program to buy where "credit score (is) not considered", $40,000 in down payment assistance, 0% interest loans, and otherwise.
Another example was when I reached out to lenders that I have relationships with that I don't normally use to find a lender for someone who was having difficulty getting qualified with 3 other lenders. This was due to their income of less than $750 a month. While they are in school to advance their financial situation, they are in hard times. I reached out to more lenders, and found them a lender I knew that pre-approved them. Still not satisfied with the amount they qualified for, I then pointed them to an even better 1% interest, no money down, 38-year loan, and with a higher loan amount than they had previously been pre-approved for.
I have also helped buyers to acquire a mortgage credit certificate, which has been saving them thousands of dollars each year in taxes that they live in the home thus far. It will continue to save them money each year for the life of the loan as long as they live in the house.
What I Offer to Sellers
My marketing is so effective that I would like to describe an exemplary listing where I received an offer $40,000 higher than the closed price of another agent. On that occasion, a listing of mine had 3 offers while I listed it. The seller went against my advice and rejected the highest offer. Shortly after they listed with another Realtor, convinced that I was not marketing the property enough despite marketing efforts that far exceeded that of a typical listing, likely in the top 5% of active marketing for homes. A year later, it sold through that other agent, one of the top agents in VA, for $40,000 less than the offer that they had rejected while I was the listing agent that I recommended that they not reject. Keep in mind that the market had appreciated during that year.
In most cities I serve, I can offer more Greg Garrett Realty advertising of nearby properties on Realtor.com and Zillow.com in many Hampton Roads cities than any other firm in Hampton Roads. Zillow is the number one place that buyers go to online besides the properties that agents send them directly. Realtor.com is one of the top 5 places where buyers go. Greg Garrett Realty spends over $50,000 a month on these two sources alone, in addition to their spending on many other sources. By advertising on neighboring properties, when buyers contact us about a neighboring property that is not listed with Greg Garrett Realty, we can then direct them to properties that are listed with us.
I have developed social media marketing strategies where I can get your home in front of thousands of people near the home you are going to sell.
I have secured locations in dozens of businesses in Hampton Roads cities where I can place marketing for the home that you are going to sell in locations in your city so that incoming customers can see your home. While I do not always perform this service, you are welcome to include it in a listing agreement.
I can offer placement in magazines for high-end waterfront properties like Virginia Living and The Chesapeake Bay Magazine at no expense to the seller.
Some sellers sell from out of state, and in order to better explain to them the paperwork involved with a listing agreement, I made a video, which you can see here.
Some sellers want to maximize the profits on their home, but do not have the money to fix it to the point where it would sell for top dollar. At Greg Garrett Realty, we can sometimes have repairs completed without any initial expense of the seller, with the money needed for those repairs paid for from the proceeds of the sale.
I want to help people that never thought that homeownership was possible. One person I helped was elderly and disabled receiving less than $750/month. She was able to buy a house using a 1% interest, 37 year, no-downpayment loan I connected her to that she would have never found if she had only contacted lenders. I want to help people that have never had a positive experience when buying or selling a home.
I want to use real estate to provide for my wife & family, to fund local ministry, and international missions, especially in the 2/3 world where most of my past mission trips have been. Since my first mission trip to Nepal (pictured below on the left) & a few other nations when I was 11 years old, I have been out of the country on mission trips over 20 times, mostly with orphaned, abused, and incarcerated children including over a dozen trips with Orphan Helpers, which my father, Greg Garrett, founded. Each trip was not just impactful to those I served, but to me as well.
I count my missions to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. You can see pictures from the slideshow below &/or read some of my stories from past mission trips here.
While I can refer you to another Realtor anywhere in the country (see "Referrals" below), I personally serve throughout 757, 804, & through much of eastern 434.
Generally, I'll sell a home in VA up to an hour and a half away from Newport News, and will help a buyer up to 3 hours away. For those beyond that distance, I am happy to refer them to a few possibilities that would be a closer fit to their location and preferences. With listings and buyers over $500,000, and for other reasons at times, I can make exceptions.
Locations served include Chesapeake, Charles City, Chesterfield, Gloucester, Hampton, Henrico, Isle of Wight, James City County, King William, Mathews, Middlesex, Newport News, New Kent, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Prince George, Richmond, Southampton, Smithfield, Suffolk, Surry, Sussex, Toano, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, York County, and beyond!
Zipcodes served include 23011, 23030, 23168, 23185, 23187, 23188, 23304, 23314, 23320, 23321, 23323, 23324, 23325, 23432, 23432, 23434, 23435, 23436, 23451, 23452, 23453, 23454, 23455, 23456, 23459, 23460, 23461, 23462, 23464, 23487, 23503, 23504, 23508, 23509, 23513, 23518, 23523, 23551, 23601, 23602, 23603, 23604, 23605, 23607, 23608, 23651, 23661, 23662, 23663, 23664, 23665, 23666, 23669, 23690, 23691, 23692, 23693, 23696, 23701, 23702, 23703, 23704, 23707, 23708, 23709, 23839, 23846, 23881, 23883, 23899, & more!
You may or may not already know this fact, but real estate agents can get high-value referral fees for referring you to another real estate agent to buy or sell in a different area even if it's in a different part of the country. What that can mean for you is that if I am going to give you a referral, I have a high financial incentive to give you the best referral possible.
Rebate Matches on Referrals
In addition, Greg Garrett Realty has a policy where we will match virtually any offer from other companies for rebates and otherwise (such as found with USAA). I would like to extend that offer to my referrals throughout the country in all states where it is legally permitted (approximately 75% of states permit rebates for buyers and sellers).
Additional Home Buying Incentives
As an added bonus, I have a larger list of home buying incentives than any resource that I've found after scouring the internet including combining lists of lists all into one place for the most comprehensive resource I am aware of for helping you to save further on a home purchase. I believe in it so much that if you find a more comprehensive list than I have, and send it to me, I will give you $100. The value of some of these resources is incredible. Programs exist where eligible buyers can get as little as 0% interest, up to $65,000 in down payment assistance, 50% off a home, 37 year loans, options for no down payment, “credit score not considered,” and otherwise. The programs include some with no income limits, including one to help people acquire homes up to $1,000,000.
For more information on what I can offer with referrals, as well as a form to fill out for one, click here.