Critical Mistakes Sellers Make
When Choosing a Realtor
Selling a home should be like any other business transaction, but all too often sellers make emotional or impulsive decisions that cost them money and time. Choosing the right Realtor to market a property and negotiate the sale is the most important step in the process.
“My friend (or family member) sells real estate.”
Friendship alone isn’t enough to establish a professional’s credentials. Use tough standards when selecting an agent, just as you would when hiring an attorney, a doctor, or an accountant to handle your taxes. A true friend will understand and appreciate that this is a business decision and will offer their credentials and expect to compete for the listing. Besides, if a problem or challenge develops while selling your home, do you want to risk damaging a friendship or family relationship?
“You’re the only agent who agrees with my selling price.”
Some agents tell you what you want to hear in order to get your listing. In the real estate profession, this is known as “buying a listing” and is employed by shortsighted agents who are more interested in themselves than they are in you. However good it works as a short-term “sales tactic” in getting your listing, it is an extremely poor strategy in selling a home at the highest possible price.
You see, your house gets the most attention from other agents when it is a “new” listing. If priced properly, lots of agents will show it to their buyers. If you price it too high, no one will show the house and it will sit on the market for some time. When you finally drop your price to reflect its real value, your house is “old news” and buyers may think you are growing desperate. Therefore, the prices you are offered will come in lower and lower – and you may find yourself accepting a price that is below what you could have received had the house been priced properly to begin with.
Besides, pricing your home too high will only make similar houses for sale look that much better. Overpricing helps sell those houses, not yours.
“I’m going to list with the agent who has the lowest commission.”
You get what you pay for. Paying a cut-rate commission will often get you a sign in the front yard and placement in the Multiple Listing Service, but little additional effort from your agent.
Realize that agents put up their own funds to market and advertise your home. Marketing and advertising costs money -- the lower the commission, the less incentive for an agent to put up his or her own money to market your home.
Incentive plays a very important role in sales. A “full service” agent earning a full commission will often “drop everything” to handle any challenges that come along – an agent earning a small commission does not have that same incentive.
Incentive is also important to the buyer’s agent. Since there are almost always two agents involved in every sale, they split the commission according to the listing agent’s instructions. One agent is your listing agent. The other agent is the buyer’s agent. When your listing agent dropped his commission, did he also reduce the commission that will be paid to the buyers’ agent? If so, you won’t find as many agents willing to show your house – they’ll be showing houses that offer a customary commission to the buyer’s agent.
Finally, negotiating ability is an important skill in a listing agent. Are you willing to put your faith in an agent who can’t even negotiate his or her own commission?
“The agent is what counts …. Not the company.”
Agents who work for large well-established companies with lots of agents do have some advantages. Large companies generally have longer office hours, so someone is always available to answer an ad call on your home. Large offices often have larger budgets and can spend more on advertising. The ad space for your particular home might not be huge, but because the total ad is so large it gets lots more attention.
Large real estate companies often have lots of agents. This is important because when your house is newly on the market, the company may stage an “office preview” where every agent in the office comes through and tours your home. Every agent who views your home and is impressed is another agent on your sales team.
Additionally, larger companies are often better at offering ongoing education to their agents. As a result, your agent may be better qualified and prepared to offer a quality service. Although most Provinces require real estate agents to enroll in “ongoing education” to keep pace with changes in the real estate market, many agents only take the “bare minimum” in ongoing education courses. Sometimes, large offices are better at convincing their agents to go beyond the minimum.
There are exceptions to every rule, of course. Some very effective agents go off on their own and open private offices or “boutique” agencies.
“All realtors passed the same test so they must know the same things.”
The real estate profession is constantly changing and, as mentioned above, the best real estate professionals stay abreast of those changes by continuing their education. Some go beyond the required minimum requirements. Many agents acquire “professional designations” that show they took additional specialized courses.
“This agent sold more homes last year than anyone else.”
There are many agents who carry numerous listings at any given time. One question you may want to ask is: how accessible is this agent to me, and how can I get the personal attention and service I need from my agent if he/she is so busy? It is difficult for those agents who carry multiple listings to provide you with the personal attention and service you deserve. You will often be referred to an assistant, or get an answering machine because the agent is busy trying to service all his/her clients.
Choose an agent who has a manageable number of listings who can ,therefore, be accessible to you when you need him/her and provide you with the personal service and attention you would expect, and deserve.
Quality, and personal service to each client is the important issue.
The best agent is the one who you trust and feel confident knowing he/she will do the most effective job of marketing your property, negotiating the most favorable terms and conditions, and communicating with the seller to make the process as smooth as possible
I live and work in STREETSVILLE and have a vested interest in property values here. Are you considering buying or selling or know anyone who is? Give me a call for a complimentary evaluation of your home in this changing market. (416) 717-6331
Your STREETSVILLE Real Estate Agent
Experience, Service and Integrity in Every Real Estate Transaction