Updated: Sep 5
In this article, I wanted to go over what I offer buyers, point by point, as well as a bit of information about me.
About Adam in Brief
I was born in SE VA & have been here most of my life. I am married & serve full-time at Garrett Realty Partners. I am a 3rd generation Realtor, from a line of award-winning Realtors from my grandmother to my father, and my high level of sales has put me in the Virginia Peninsula Association of Realtors (VPAR) & Hampton Roads Realtors Association at the gold level. My grandmother & father's position in VPAR gave each the Emerald award, achieved only after 20 years in the OSC. There was only 1 award recipient of the Emerald Award in 2020. For a number of years, my father was number 1 in the VPAR OSC. My father has trained me well. He has had a higher sales volume than anyone in many SE VA cities for over 20 years. In 1 year he sold more than a house a day, & here's a recent example of his activity.
It can be very beneficial to work with a buyer's agent who is both good with words & numbers. I scored in the top 2% of people the year I took the SAT in math & scored an 80/80 in writing skills on the PSAT. I have a bachelor's from Wheaton College (IL) & a master's from Regent University.
To see more about me, click here.
Unmatched Digital Resources for Buyers
Whether you're looking at this website, my unmatched purchase considerations spreadsheet, my unmatched offer considerations spreadsheet, my locally unmatched buyer's guide, purchase needs, the best time to buy, or what to do right after ratifying a contract in most of SE VA, I offer incredible educational resources for buyers not available elsewhere. I also don't mind sharing about where to find resources on competing agents' websites so that I'm not reinventing the wheel, such as HOA disclosures & Neighborhoods around Williamsburg.
With access to 5 MLS, and with dozens of hours spent working on detailed search templates, many hours spent on resources that can inform searches like this one (unmatched) for public school districts, and this one (also unmatched) going over city/county differences in SE VA, you'll be able to get a fantastic search setup and the digital tools for expeditious showings.
I offer top .1% video visuals for buyers from a combination including but not limited to the following:
Newer Samsung Galaxy Ultra 5-G (23 in 2023) for live recordings
Second Samsung Galaxy Ultra 5-G (22 in 2023) for simultaneous dedicated recordings, which is higher quality than the live recordings and extremely beneficial if the signal isn't good for the live recording
Stabilizer and attachments for external lights and both phones
30' pole for camera
A few borascopes
Thermal imaging camera
Mavic Air 2 drone
Ipad Pro for viewing Mavic Air 2 & for viewing pole camera
Ricoh Theta Z-1 & PellKing car mount for 360 area video views if desired en route to properties shortly before arrival.
External lighting attached to dual camera stabilizer
Most powerful flashlight sold (Immalent MS-18) to make the night like the day & a smaller version that's the brightest for its smaller size
Top 1% buyer feedback - my showing style that some describe as a hybrid between a real estate and a home inspector (though I'm not certified in any way as a home inspector, though on at least one occasion I pointed out more negatives than the buyer's home inspector with the seller for new construction fixing more things on my longer list than the inspector's short list)
Prior college level full semester course in documentary studies
Plenty of experience with video showings since 2015
Providing buyers tips for video showings
Top 1% Physical Resources for Buyers
The physical tools and gadgets I have for buyers include some basics that I believe all buyer's agents should have and include some more niche items that can be a fantastic resource to buyers. The right physical tools can mean the difference of making an offer or not. I have invested thousands of dollars into the right equipment for real estate that most Realtors never see the value in investing in. The drone I mentioned earlier, for instance, can be viewed by buyers while I'm flying it with an Ipad Pro that I also purchased new this year at the time of this writing. My phone, this year's best Samsung Galaxy (& I've had the best each year since 2020), is another example. I have the brightest flashlight on the market at the time of this writing, which is especially helpful for showings in the dark (whether looking in a crawl space, doing an early or late showing, or going into a property with no electricity). Other examples of my tools/gadgets available, whenever I'm performing showings without prior request, include a thermal imaging camera, 2 sizes of Gorilla ladders (ideal for identifying old & broken HVACs located in attics with scuttle access only), portable 2nd & 3rd screens for my laptop (which can be very helpful when we're physically together if looking at properties online or otherwise), outlet tester, electric meter, boots (can mean the difference between a very muddy property being walkable or not), headlamp, toolbox, laser measurer (helpful when considering furniture typically, and in 1 case I identified a room improperly labeled as a bedroom due to the sq ft being below minimum VA standards), moisture meter, & more.
My top 1% combination of physical tools, unmatched digital tools, combined with the candid nature of my pros & cons for buyers I represent as well as my desire to look at some items that typically aren't viewed prior to inspectors coming in produce top 1% buyer feedback.
My buyer feedback starts with clients at times before I ever show them a property. In some cases, that feedback rules out a house before it's ever shown based on that which the buyer didn't see. For instance, on one occasion, a buyer I was working with informed me that she really liked a listing and at the same time that she was literally headed to the airport to catch a plane to see the property with me. She emailed me (please text if you're in this situation for my fastest responses), and I texted her starting less than 20 minutes later with 3 pictures from my screen from riskfactor.com specific to the property along with the simple question, "Hi ____, I hope that you are doing well. Are you sure that you are OK with the flood zone situation at ____?" That was it. She responded, "Hi Adam that's a game changer for me, I probably should wait and look at something else..." She never got on a plane because of that quick online research.
My buyer feedback is so thorough that on at least 1 occasion, I pointed out more actual negatives than the home inspector that the seller took care of on a new construction property. That thoroughness means a lower likelihood of surprises at the time of the home inspection & a lower likelihood of buyers wasting their money on a contract that will eventually fall through due to the volume of surprises after the home inspector comes along.
When you have more than 1 agent at competing firms saying that you've provided them one of the best feedback responses they've ever heard in their career, all of which you shared with the buyers before, you know you're doing something right for buyers as well.
Here are some examples of quotes from listing agents at other firms who I didn't know:
1. That may be the absolute best feedback response I have ever received. Show our listings ANYTIME! Thank you!
2. Wow!! Very thorough!!
3. Wow! Thank you for the informative feedback Adam!
4. Wow.... this is the most detailed feedback and is appreciated (smile/hug emoji)
5. I have to say that is one of the best review feedback ever in my real estate career. Thank you Adam.
Unmatched Programs to Reduce Home Cost
My list of programs to reduce home cost, is so comprehensive that I guarantee that it is the biggest in SE VA by offering $1,000 to anyone who can show me a bigger list. While 1st-time buyers have the most options, even cash buyers aren't excluded from some programs.
Past 1 Year Sales Volume as High as the Top 3% of Buyers Agents in the Area
My annual sales volume has put me as high as being in the top 3% of buyers agents in REIN, the primary MLS of the largest cities/counties in SE VA and a number of surrounding areas in SE VA. While I mostly work with buyers, my combined sales volume in a year has been as high as over $8,000,000 with 28 transactions in that year.
That said, I'm a quality over quantity person, focusing far more time on developing resources for buyers and sellers than most, as you'll see on this website. Educated clients make the best decisions. The year I did that high of sales volume (2020), the number of new resources I developed was lower than any other year, because there's only so much time in the year. Since then, I've focused more time on resource development so that what I can offer my clients can exceed that of other agents even further, and faster. Often those resources are developed in response to the needs of the buyers and sellers I serve. What I can provide buyers is getting better every year, but by not pursuing too high of volume, it can get better faster.
Click here to see my dozens of reviews.
Click here to see my list of values as evidenced by quotes from reviews beside each of the following values:
Saving Clients Money
Keeping Clients' Interests First
Client Educator (See also my extensive website that includes enough content I've written to fill a book)
High Ethical Standards Including Integrity
Experience: Over 100 Transactions
I have had full-time experience as a Realtor since February 2015. Prior to becoming a Realtor, I spent 9 months full-time in the marketing department at Garrett Realty Partners. As visible from a brief review of my website & as shared by a review, "As a third generation realtor, his knowledge base and experience is beyond his years."
My freshman year of college my family purchased this home, so I know some things about luxury waterfront that many don't:
You'll see the majority of my previous transactions on my Zillow page. I crossed the 100 property threshold in 2022.
5 MLS Across a Large Coverage Area
1. Access for buyers to up to 5 MLS
2. The data to show which cities/counties in the area are primary to each. Here is a list of which MLS are used most by which city in the area & here is an article on MLS explaining the importance of MLS & other details for buyers and sellers.
Here are my MLS:
Northern Neck (NE),
Central Virginia Regional (W),
Chesapeake Bay & Rivers Association of Realtors (E),
& Real Estate Information Network (SE)
Low if Any Cost (my commission has always come from the seller)
Unlike many agents, I don't charge an admin/transaction coordinator (TC) fee. Because I don't even use one, your primary point of contact will be me, not an admin, throughout the process of a home purchase. Some agents say that the seller can pay for that, but keep in mind that any concession you request of the seller that impacts their net hurts the likelihood of your offer's success and increases the chances of your offer being ignored in a multiple offer scenario or countered/rejected in a single offer scenario.
Buyer brokerage agreements are required in VA by buyers looking to be represented by agents if the buyer wants direct answers to questions like offer suggestions and if the buyer wants to perform showings with that agent when their intent is to buy and when the agent isn't also the listing agent. Buyer brokerage agreements typically include a minimum commission amount. It's not uncommon to see a 3% minimum commission, and I've even seen where an agent had a 4% minimum commission.
For buyers, Adam has a minimum commission policy of only 2% for properties $150k or more, with only 2.6% of active listings offering under 2% commission in my primary MLS, REIN, when I checked on 2/14/21, the majority of which were with a single new construction builder, Ryan Homes. Because of that & because I've been able to negotiate commission into contracts with a for sale by owner (FSBO), no buyer has ever needed to pay me any commission as of 4/2/23 since I started the business in early 2015. For those looking at properties under $150k, which is not a price range I target, it's the same minimum commission as a $150k property at $3k.
As I share on my hours page, "I value availability and saving my clients as much time and money as possible, whether buying or selling. I work around my clients' time frames & am typically available 9-5 & 6-7:30 EST Monday through Saturday unless I have an appointment already although in some cases I'll make exceptions for earlier or later. I've started showings with buyers as early as 6 AM & finished after 9 PM on some occasions. While not typical, for the sake of an offer, where speed is critical, I have worked until after midnight at times. I tend to have the least appointments booked Wed morning-Friday morning where my schedule is typically the most flexible."
Sometimes when you notice a property available you'll have less than 6 hours before it will go under contract. Because of the importance of expeditious showings, & because offers, where the buyer hasn't seen a property, are inferior to offers where the buyer has, it's critical to not exclusively have the agent you work with available. Thankfully my firm has around 100 other agents, and I can often provide an agent fill-in when I'm unavailable. My go-to agent fill-ins have done over 150 transactions each, with one having done over 700.
How Adam Can Help
As of Nov 2020, “88% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker.”
By having professional representation by me for your home purchase you will have access to me for the following assistance:
1. Asking the right questions: While many agents typically ask just a few questions regarding a showing, such as if it's available at a certain time, I never stop at only a few. I have full-blown templates with entire sequences of questions to ask agents questions based on a number of situations. By asking the right questions in advance, I save many buyers from wasting their time on seeing a property that doesn't list certain critically pertinent information online & get important information for the showing itself. For example, I've seen where a home around an hr away had multiple offers (one of the questions I ask), and I asked about any known previous flooding (since in my research I noticed that it was in a flood zone). Based on the agent's honest response (the whole house had flooded around 5 years ago and they did around $40k of repairs, which did not include raising the house), I expect no other agent asked that question and that if they had, none of those offers would be present. By asking the question before even going to the property, the buyer and I saved a few hrs each even if we hadn't made an offer.
2. Deciding on properties to view beyond the search & what's visible in the listing since in some cases, even if a property looks great in a listing, invisible items available prior to showing will mean the difference of a showing and a property excluded from consideration. Examples include recent flooding of the home with no publicly visible sign of it in the listing, properties that are being sold with lease agreements active for >6 months after closing, properties that wouldn't qualify for financing with no mention of it in the public remarks, properties that a buyer couldn't buy due to not seeking to be an owner occupant during a period where investors can't purchase, & many more.
3. Viewing properties with both positive and negative expert feedback
4. Viewing properties with the right gadgets/tools
5. Making offers whether trying to win a multiple offer scenario, going below asking price, negotiate seller concessions like closing costs, or otherwise. I've helped buyers to win in situations with as many as 8 offers on 1 property (while not going too high over the next best offer), get up to 4.5% closing cost assistance, and have helped buyers get as much as $49000 below asking price. There is a balance to strike that is highly dependent on the situation of the property since in some cases, you only get 1 shot at an offer with no chance to change it.
6. Helping a buyer decide on which inspections and other related items to get. While I don't typically recommend surveys with homes in neighborhoods, in some cases my recommendation on a survey with some properties that most wouldn't have gotten one for led to the seller freely covering the cost of remediating encroachment after the seller agreed to paying for the survey (that the buyer would have typically needed to cover if they wanted one) after I identified likely encroachment prior to the offer presented to the seller that ended up being accurate.
7. Providing an unmatched spreadsheet of information for various inspectors & other service providers based on cost, location, availability, quality, unique offerings, etc. (there are some inspectors with mostly great reviews that I avoid, and I'm happy to share why if you'd like me to)
8. Negotiating repairs/price reductions after contract ratification if applicable (I've seen as high as a $10k price reduction from these negotiations & >$20k repair from these negotiations)
9. Walk-through inspection(s) - my walk through inspections have led to thousands of dollars in value in repair/replacement cost at times when items that were supposed to be done per the contract weren't, and those items aren't always obvious (i.e. those that require access to a crawlspace, roof, or tools to see; I've spotted problems on a roof with my drone and spotted problems in a crawlspace by going under there).
10. Closing on a home for purchase including guiding buyers through many important preparations prior to closing.
11. Assisting buyers after their purchase
If a buyer isn't ready to purchase, Adam can still help in various areas, such as:
Credit boosting advice
Budgeting advice including debt reduction & savings increase
Other ways Adam can help:
I am a wealth of knowledge in saving on travel expenses, as you can see on my Facebook group on the subject, & am happy to give you a free consultation on maximizing your cost-effectiveness in travel. In some cases, following my advice can save buyers 10's of thousands of dollars for vacation(s) &/or flying to VA from out of state & staying here with free or drastically reduced cost hotels during your home search from out of state &/or prior to your transition from temporary housing to your home if needed.
Excellent Offerings for Sellers if You Ever Need to Sell
My standard marketing with "*" by reduced offerings for lower listing side commissions & sometimes price dependent begins with:
1. Placement on 4* MLS,
2. Matterport virtual tours (including interior & exterior*)
4. Professional photos.
5. Top 1% area photos (from the ground and the air, with limitations on new photos for low commissions).
6. Paper marketing to around 100 agents at my firm* & same flyer on property in flyer box on sign & in building
7. Email marketing to those same roughly 100 agents,
8. A social media campaign with an average reach of over 10 thousand and average engagement over one thousand* (also excluding certain distressed properties that are in condition that could lead to public heckling, i.e. unusually dirty properties & those with many obvious repair needs)
9. Open houses*
10. Highly comprehensive responsibilities & obligations of buyer & seller with page #s to reference on contracts*
11. Highly detailed property walk throughs for all sellers who want to maximize profits by not going as is, but available for as is sales as well.
12. Data input in MLS is highly detailed to consistently max out the public remarks space's word count (within 95%) to display positive property elements & check far more property features than most agents for similar properties to maximize searchability.
13. Highly comprehensive offer comparison spreadsheet*
14. Highly comprehensive emails edited according to situations at each major step of the process to guide you thoroughly. An informed seller can make the best decisions.*
15. Extensive writing on numerous subjects beyond email direct content that can be provided on call, with over 50,000 words on my website alone.
16. Limited highly practical staging assistance, including (if not already present) hand towels, interior floor mats, exterior entry mats, shoe covers, toilet paper, basket for shoe covers w built in label, metal step to open trashcan, etc.*
17. Snacks and drinks of much better selection, quality, and quantity than typical if present at all.*
18. Stands available to put 11x17 cardstock images of home while staged if furniture is removed prior to listing and to put on location and nearby aerials if desired*
20. Adam will typically reach out to all prior parties who expressed interest or showed the property without ruling it out prior to acceptance of an offer.*
21. 1-3 electronic MLS lockboxes & a contractor lockbox
22. For higher-end properties, if desired my father, Greg Garrett (Linkedin, Facebook, Company Webpage), can be present with me at listing appointments & if desired, co-list property with me. He's been Recognized in Realtor® Magazine as one of the top 50 Realtors® in the United States. He's sold a few dozen properties for sellers over $1,000,000 & has possibly sold more homes than anyone else living in SE VA, thousands of properties personally.
Flexible Buyer Brokerage Options & Communication Options
I offer exclusive or non-exclusive buyer brokerage agreements.
Wide Variety of Communication Options - Whether you want to call, Facebook, Zoom, do a Google Hangout, use Whatsapp, use email, meet in person, text, or otherwise, I am available to communicate according to your unique preferences & in addition to having great quality video, can offer options such as recorded video tutorials, live screen-sharing, & remote desktop.