If you’re thinking about selling your home and are trying to figure out how to select an agent, here are three things to keep in mind.
#1: LOTS OF FISH IN THE POND
There are over 25,000 real estate agents currently licensed in this area.
Yes – 25,000+ — and many of them are new to the business.
And I can promise you there’s nowhere near that many homes for sale. What does that mean to you as a seller?
For starters, it means there are a very large number of real estate agents who aren’t doing much business (the old 80-20 rule is at play in my industry, just as it is in many others).
And if an agent isn’t doing much business, you probably don’t want them involved in YOUR business. Right?
This applies whether the agent is new to the business, or a seasoned agent who simply doesn’t transact much business.
SOLUTION: Hire an agent who is both experienced and active in the market.
#2: AGENTS “BUYING” YOUR LISTING
Unfortunately, we see this happen all too often. During a listing appointment an agent who is desperate for the business will, in effect, “buy” the listing from the seller by promising one of two things (and sometimes even both of them!):
- They overinflate the estimated value of the home
- They offer to perform a “commissionectomy” on themselves, cutting their commission to virtually nothing
With these kinds of promises sellers can’t help but see dollars signs dancing in front of their eyes. But it’s not quite as rosy as it sounds.
Here are the challenges you should be aware of with both these issues.
A great agent is skilled at pricing homes. They don’t need to try to trick a seller into listing with them based on an unrealistic price. Great agents have proven marketing strategies, collateral that is effective across multiple media, an ability to price accurately, and a stellar reputation.
Great agents also don’t need to win by discounting their fee. They win a seller’s business through a combination of the factors mentioned above. When you’ve had a listing appointment with a great agent, you’re probably not focused on their fee … you’re focused on their results, see that they are worth every penny of their compensation, and can’t wait to sign a listing agreement because you know that their skills and experience (not overpricing or commission-cutting) is what will make them the most money.
SOLUTION: If you’re in a listing appointment with an agent who is overpricing your home (and underpricing their service) it’s time to interview another agent.
#3: DO YOU WANT A G.P. TO PERFORM YOUR HEART SURGERY?
In every line of work, there are generalists … and there are specialists. I don’t know about you, but when I have work done – whether it’s on my car, my house, my finances, or my health – I like to work with experts and specialists.
There are many areas of expertise that can apply to real estate, but there’s area in particular that is worth considering – geographical expertise and specialization.
If you live in Kent, does it make sense to hire an agent who works primarily in Queen Anne? (Even though that’s where I was raised!) If you live in Covington, will a Lynnwood agent be a good choice? Got a house in Maple Valley? Why are you interviewing a Tacoma agent?
I think you see where I’m going with this.
Real estate is hyper-local. When you hire an out-of-area agent you risk leaving money on the table because that agent doesn’t understand the nuances of your community and your hyper-local real estate market.
SOLUTION: Hire a listing agent with experience showing and listing homes in your neighborhood.
UP NEXT WEEK: The four burning questions EVERY seller has (and a fifth that they should have too!)