Choosing A Listing Agent: Highest Price

I’ve always been fascinated by sellers who choose their listing agent based upon which agent promises the highest sales price.

That fascination has, over many years, included numerous instances where I didn’t get a listing because I told prospective sellers the truth about their home’s value.

One of the oldest tricks in real estate is a listing agent promising the highest price to secure a listing.

That practice is called “buying the listing” in the real estate profession.

If you list with an agent who uses that tactic to get your listing, don’t be surprised when your listing agent asks you to reduce your price.

Before you list your home with an agent who promises the highest price, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Who will pay that price for my home? (it isn’t your listing agent!)
  2. What will happen if my home sits on the market unsold?
  3. What will happen if I have to reduce my asking price?

Do you really want to list your most valuable asset with an agent whose first act is to mislead you in order to get your listing?

When you encounter a listing agent who’s recommending a higher price than other agents, ask for proof of the value they’re recommending.

Consider the consequences of an unrealistic price and how it will affect your marketing time.

The thrill of a high asking price quickly fades after your home has been on the market for an extended period of time.

If you’re serious about selling, list with an agent who knows the market value of your home; not an agent who tells you what you want to hear.

 

Choosing A Listing Agent: Experience

There’s no substitute for experience when you’re choosing a listing agent.

Real estate is one of those professions where it’s impossible to infuse a new agent with the knowledge and instincts that can only be gained by completing transactions.

Real estate schools are useful for imparting the knowledge needed to pass the real estate exam, but they don’t teach the “street smarts” that are required to sell your home and achieve a smooth closing.

I remember what it was like when I entered the real estate profession 42 years ago.

My broker did little (nothing?) to help prepare me for the many challenges and obstacles I encountered as I dealt with my earliest clients.

I had to learn everything the hard way, and I made many mistakes along the way.

Some of those mistakes were costly for my sellers.

The real estate profession remains the same today.

In real estate, practical experience isn’t taught, it’s learned through experience.

I have often thought that it takes somewhere between 50 and 100 transactions for a new agent to learn how to become a successful agent.

That can take awhile, especially in the Boise real estate market where the average agent sells around 2½ homes per year.

Listing and selling your home is a big deal.

For most people, selling their home is one of the biggest financial transactions of a lifetime.

When you choose your listing agent, look for an agent with experience.

Ask yourself these important questions:

  1. Am I listing my home with a listing agent who knows what to do and how to avoid common pitfalls in a real estate transaction?
  2. What will happen if my listing agent doesn’t know what to do when challenges arise?
  3. Should I really entrust the sale of my most valuable asset to someone who’s new to real estate?

Most important, verify your listing agent’s experience and track record vs. relying upon verbal representations.

Ask your listing agent how long they’ve been in real estate.

And, ask your listing agent for documentation of their closed and expired listings during their career and over the past year.

You should also confirm that they have a track record of representing sellers vs. representing only buyers.

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Looking for an experienced, proven, successful listing agent?

My listings SELL due to my 42 years’ experience and proven marketing methods.

I work with only a few clients at a time to ensure a high level of responsive, personal service.

No sales talk, no embellished promises; just straight talk to help you make informed decisions.

Give me a call at (208)938-5533 or e-mail me and let’s talk!

 

Choosing A Listing Agent: Part-Timers

The real estate profession is illusory.

It appears to be easier than it is.

Take a few easy classes, pass a state exam that has nothing to do with the everyday realities of the profession, lease a luxury car, and get ready for the big commission checks, right?

As most new agents quickly discover, it isn’t quite that simple.

One common illusion (delusion?) for new real estate agents is that they can dip their toe in real estate while keeping their full-time (real) job.

They can be part-timers!

Sounds ideal, but part-time real estate doesn’t work for many reasons.

One reason is that the profession and markets are fluid and ever-changing.

New laws, constantly changing market conditions, pricing trends, financing, listing inventory, new laws, new forms, and other details make it impossible for the casual practitioner to remain competent and up to date.

Responsive service is another issue.

When you list your home, you should expect your listing agent to answer their phone, return calls and e-mails promptly, and respond promptly to inquiries from buyers and their agents.

Part-timers can’t do that because they’re at work (on their real job)!

Ask yourself these two questions:

  1. How will you feel when you learn that someone bought another home because your part-time agent didn’t respond to their inquiry?
  2. Do you really want to list your most valuable asset with someone who can’t devote 100% of their efforts toward selling your home?

Listing your home with a part-time agent is almost certain to be an exercise in futility.

The irony of the part-time approach to real estate is that there’s so much opportunity that it makes no sense whatsoever for someone to approach it on a part-time basis.

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Looking for a full-time, experienced, responsive listing agent?

I’m one of four Ada County Realtors® (out of 4,300) with more than 40 years’ continuous full-time experience.

Why not put my extensive experience and instincts to work to help you achieve a smooth top-dollar sale?

Thinks of me as your full-time trusted advisor; not someone who’s looking to “close the deal” and take a listing while hoping it sells.

I answer my own phone and work with just a few clients at a time to ensure a high level of personal, responsive service.

Go ahead ~ test my responsiveness by calling me now at (208)938-5533 or e-mail me.

 

Choosing A Listing Agent: Due Diligence – Part II

Part II of a two-part post

Here are two more things you should confirm when selecting your listing agent.

Confirm Strong Internet Presence

Nearly all home buyers begin their home search on the internet.

In fact, many (most?) of my buyer clients find the home they ultimately buy as a result of doing their own internet searches.

If your listing agent lacks an effective internet presence, buyers will not find your home when they search the internet.

You should know the difference between a high-ranking, effective blog or website and a business-card web page.

One easy way to check is to Google the agent’s name.

Take a close look at what comes up.

If it’s nothing; move on!

If it’s one page, you’re looking at a web page; not a website.

If the agent’s site is limited to bland, scripted braggadocio about how great they are, what they do for fun, and a photo of their family, you have clues about their professionalism.

You should immediately reject agents with sites lacking a photo of the agent, broken links, poor photo quality, and other obvious signs of inattention to detail.

If the site offers MLS IDX search, community information, virtual tours, and market statistics, you may have found a capable agent.

If the agent’s internet presence is limited to third-party real estate sites (think Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com), the agent is probably paying those sites to provide leads and lacks their own website.

Beware of agents who require you to register to look at listings on their site.

Forced registration really turns buyers off when all they want is more information to make an informed buying decision.

Confirm Responsiveness

The last thing you want is a listing agent who doesn’t respond.

Call or e-mail the agent to test their responsiveness.

The best agents will personally answer their phone when you call.

While that seems simple, it’s actually a rarity.

If you have to leave a voicemail, take note of how long it takes for the agent to respond.

If it’s more than an hour or two, something isn’t right.

Most agents either have a cell phone number or use Call Forwarding from their office landline, leaving little excuse for unanswered or unreturned calls.

Likewise with e-mail.

You should immediately reject an agent whose voicemail inbox or e-mail inbox is full.

Think about how you’ll feel if someone makes an offer on your home and your listing agent fails to call you before the offer expires.

There’s no excuse for lousy responsiveness when you’re paying someone thousands of dollars to represent you.

_________________________________________________________

Looking for an experienced, competent, responsive listing agent?

Give me a call now at (208)938-5533 or e-mail me!

Go ahead ~ test me!

I’ve helped thousands of sellers and buyers over my lengthy real estate career.

My 42 years’ experience and thousands of delighted past clients are your assurance of competent, diligent, responsive service.

And, I will cheerfully provide you with more references than you will want to call.

 

Choosing A Listing Agent: Due Diligence – Part I

Part I of a two-part post

I’m often amazed by sellers who select their listing agent without doing their due diligence.

For some strange reason, many people select their listing agent with less due diligence than they use to select their dentist.

They often select their listing agent because they “like” them, feel comfortable with them, or are related to them.

Here are few thoughts on how to check out your new listing agent you “like” before you sign a listing with them.

References

Ask your potential listing agent for references to past clients.

You don’t need a dozen, but it’s a good idea to talk with three or four of the agent’s past clients and ask them the same questions (make a list of consistent questions before you call) to get their input.

Ask those past clients about the agent’s responsiveness, professionalism, knowledge, marketing, internet presence, and other things that matter to you.

Past Performance

Ask your potential listing agent for proof of past performance.

Note that I said “proof”; not self-serving boasts, or fluffy designations issued by the National Association of Realtors®.

It’s perfectly reasonable to ask for documentation of the agent’s sold listings for the past year, including homes similar to yours.

Agents with a proven track record will be eager to provide such documentation.

Beginners and part-timers; not so much.

Selling a home is the largest financial transaction of a lifetime for most sellers.

Do you really want to entrust the sale of your home to someone with a weak track record, a new agent, or a part-timer?

See you tomorrow for Part II