Six Myths About Choosing a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Property

When I meet with sellers, I often hear some variation of the same “myths”…

I need to choose my “neighborhood specialist.”

Typically buyers look in more than one neighborhood, so in fact you may have more success with an agent who understands what buyers are looking for and where else they might find it. A good agent will know more than just your neighborhood—they will know all the neighborhoods where your competition will be, and where buyers will be looking! “Neighborhood specialists” often don’t even live near the area in which they claim to be ‘specialists’–that’s just where they choose to send their postcards. Always interview at least one agent besides your ‘neighborhood specialist’ to compare services being offered, and think about whether you would be more comfortable with an agent who, when a buyer comes calling, represents only YOUR home rather than yours, and the guy’s down the street, and the woman’s down the block – all your competition!

I should choose the agent who puts the highest value on my home.

Some agents will quote a higher listing price just to win your business, but even with the very best marketing plan, if the home is overpriced it will NOT sell. You’ll end up chasing the market down via price reductions. If an agent is recommending a significantly higher list price than other agents, ask them about their history of price reductions. If you choose to work with me, I will conduct a comparative market analysis prior to recommending an asking price range for your home. I will explain how I arrived at the range, but ultimately the decision is up to you.

Open Houses are just for “looky loos” and nosy neighbors, so I’ve been told I shouldn’t do them. Most of today’s buyers start their search on the internet, and the majority either haven’t yet selected an agent or are planning to represent themselves. For those buyers, they have no way of seeing your home other than contacting the listing agent or going to an open house. Most people are too intimidated to call “off the sign” and so open houses are more important than ever before to get the most potential buyers through your home as possible.

I need to make sure the agent I choose advertises my home in XYZ publication.
When asked where they first learned about the home purchased, 34 percent of buyers said a real estate agent; 32 percent the Internet; 15 percent from yard signs; 7 percent from a friend, neighbor or relative; 7 percent home builders; 3 percent a print or newspaper ad; 2 percent directly from the seller; and 1 percent a home book or magazine. In today’s technology era, print advertising is not where you’re going to find the buyers.

I need to choose the agent who has sold the most homes in the past year.
Every agent is an independent contractor, and therefore the variety of services offered can fluctuate dramatically even within a single brokerage. You need an agent who has enough time to attend to the details of your transaction, without farming it out to a junior assistant. Ask about which services they actually provide their clients, and who does them. Does it include professional photographers? Dedicated web sites? Professional stagers? Agent paid home warranties? Quantity does not equal quality.

I need to choose a “broker” instead of an “agent.”
After gaining some years of experience in real estate sales, a sales person may decide to become licensed as a real estate broker in order to own, manage, or operate his/her own brokerage. Brokers typically take on management or ‘back office’ duties. Agents, on the other hand, focus exclusively on their clients. If you are dissatisfied with your agent, you always have the option of contacting their supervising broker.

If you are looking to sell your home, please contact me – I’d love to detail for you the services that I provide to my clients!