25 Jun 2012Blog

A little about the face behind Global Estate Agency

by Monique

Junior Sparks, Global Estate Agency

We asked Junior Sparks from Global Estate Agency several questions pertaining to the Barbados property market and of course, what level of service to expect from him and his family, who make up the company.

Global Estate Agency is a full service, boutique real estate brokerage specializing in selling, renting and the management of residential and commercial properties. Based in Barbados, Global Estate Agency is the go-to company for the best in Barbados real estate that offers comprehensive real estate solutions for buyers, sellers, renters, landlords, investors and developers.

 

Interview with Junior Sparks, Real Estate Agent, Global Estate Agency

1. How long have you been in the business?

My family and I started the agency in 2003.

2. What is your average list price to sales price ratio?

Once the seller and I agree to a realistic list price. I’m seeing 96% or so.

3. What is your best marketing plan or strategy for buyers?

Leading internet listing portals.

a. How will you search for their new home?

Through our in-house database, pocket listings, internet listing portals and external real estate agents within our network.

b. How many homes will they likely see before they find a home they want to buy?

1 to 4 homes, although I’ve had a few transactions where clients purchased the first home I showed them.

c. Will they be competing against other buyers?

Definitely, there are plenty active buyers in the market at the moment.

d. Do you present offers yourself?

Yes, all offers are presented by me.

4. What are the top three things that separate you from your competition?

Tough question! While I don’t spend time focusing on what sets me apart from my competition, the remarks I hear most often from my clients include professionalism, high integrity and market expertise.

Here are some recommendations from LinkedIn below:

Having lived and worked throughout the English-speaking Caribbean, I ended up spending alot of time with real estate agents, when seeking accommodations in new places. Junior definitely tops the list, in terms of his market expertise, highly personable nature, and easy-going approach. Whereas it takes some realtors a while to figure out what your tastes are, Junior almost immediately knew what I was looking for, and his relationships with home owners allowed for viewings, even after-hours, and on very short notice. Junior knows his market, and knows his customers, and that’s the difference between a good realtor, and a great realtor. Joseph P. Herdé (client)

I would recommend anyone looking for a house in Barbados to use Junior…. Always on the end of the phone and always able to help. Even when the problem isn’t his to solve. Andrew Newman (client)

Junior was a true professional to work with, answering all queries promptly and co-ordinating everything in a timely and efficient manner. I would certainly use his services again should I have need. Robin Belle (client)

5. Do you work closely with other professionals to recommend for buyers to work with re finances & legals?

Yes, I have finance professionals just a call away and I work with an amazing attorney who represented me when I purchased property personally.  Plus, she also works with plenty of my clients.

6. How much do you charge?

Standard 5% plus VAT for sales and one month’s rent plus VAT for long term rentals.

7. What haven’t I asked you that I need to know?

Recently I notice clients are very pleased with my social media presence. We get calls and emails from all over the world giving great feedback about us keeping people updated on the Barbados real estate market.

8. Is it true that:

a. Agents take the spam out of property showings & visits?

Most definitely, after noting a client’s criteria, there are certain specs of a home that you may know wouldn’t work for your client and that could avoid a wasteful appointment trip.

b. A good agent will possess intimate knowledge about surrounding neighbourhoods and will be able to guide/offer comparables which best suit the client’s requirements?

Yes, we actually have a software built into the admin area of our website which could easily assist with comparables.

9. What’s going on with the market today? Both local and international?

The Barbados real estate market is showing some signs of recovery. Properties in many different price points are being sold, both in the starter home range and high end market.

10. Will you answer questions from client’s after closing a sale or rental?

Of course!

11. How successful has BPL been for you?

Been great so far, very informative website!

12. What advice would you give to a buyer today?

A. Do some research first, pertaining to both finance and the property types you’re interested in. If you’re not a cash buyer, get a pre-approved mortgage before you look for a home and shop with the power of a cash buyer. Getting pre-approved helps to smooth the entire home buying process.

B. Location, location, location is very important! Do some research on the areas you would like to live.

C. House hunting time! Record details for each house to help you keep track of the properties you’ve seen.

D. When you find an acceptable house, write an offer. Familiarize yourself with how offers become contracts.

E. Arrange for a home inspection. Protect yourself and do not skip this step! All of the work that you have done up to this point may be wasted if you do not thoroughly investigate the property.

13. Do you think it’s still a buyers market?

From the transactions I have been doing, I believe it’s still a buyers market.

14. There’s something to be said about a real estate agent who is efficient, responds quickly to client requests, updates his listings regularly, is humorous but professional… Would you say that describes you?

Yes, spot on!