Recently, when preparing for a listing appointment and talking about the challenges we face in communicating to the seller how we, as agents, are “different” from the rest, we had a huge ‘aha’ moment….the public is misinformed as to how to choose the best listing agent for their needs and circumstances. In fact, the two reasons why most folks agree to list with an agent are the very reasons why you should NOT!
So, just what are the two things the typical homeowners give the most consideration to that really should have no bearing on their decision? The price the agent agrees to list the home for and the rate of commission they request. Why should these be given less weight? Well, because agents and sellers don’t determine the sales price – the MARKET (and the buyer) dictates that – and it’s NOT about the commission, it’s about what you will NET from the sale!
Real estate is a commodity, subject to fluctuations in value determined by the amount of available inventory, demand for the product, and even available financing (and rates.) What a seller would like to sell their home for may not be supported by the market at that time, and yet they’ll choose an agent who leads them to believe it’s possible. Listings “expire” every day in most markets, with sellers having wasted their time for six months or more waiting for an offer that never materializes. Their home then becomes stale inventory and is passed over for what is newly listed and priced appropriately.
We once had a mentor who asked us, “Why would you buy milk for $4 a gallon when you can go around the corner and buy it for $3?” It really is that simple. Your overpriced home helps to sell the other inventory!
As for commission, we’ll say this: choose your agent carefully and you’ll sell your home faster and for more money. You’ll reduce carrying costs and expenses and can then move forward. If you intend to buy something else, you’ll be in a better position to take advantage of lower rates and prices that you’ll benefit from!
Here’s what SHOULD be considered when choosing an agent to sell your home:
1. Their marketing plan. Look for the agent who takes a proactive approach to marketing your home and presenting it in an exceptional way. Home staging, professional photography and property narratives that pique interest are the first steps that are key! Will your agent promote your home globally? Commit to placing promoted posts on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media portals? Optimize syndication to all real estate search sites? Announce your new listing to everyone in their database, as well as to agents in and out of your market? What’s their plan around open houses? Will they work to get dozens of folks in the door? This is the stuff that matters.
2. Their knowledge of the local inventory and current market conditions. The best agents invest time each week previewing homes. They also know how much inventory is available, what IS – and isn’t – selling, and what’s happening with rates. They understand what buyers are looking for and can advise you as to what can be done to make your home more desirable. They’ll have a strategy around timing and their message in order to place your home at the top of the “must see” list.
3. Their reputation and results. Your agent should be able to provide you with references and testimonials. They should be able to demonstrate the success they’ve had with folks like you, and share the system behind it. They commit to doing their job well, at a very high level. Why? Because they want to create raving fans – satisfied sellers and buyers who’ve had an exceptional experience and will happily refer others.
If it’s time to consider a sale, ask great questions, dig deep, and ask for proof. Consider what’s really important. Your agent matters – choose carefully!