by Tye Stockton
Global Real Estate Advisor
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when setting out to sell their home is making a poor Realtor selection. Making a wrong choice can be a big problem because you are stuck with an agent for several months.
Unfortunately, the barriers to entry in the Real Estate industry are very low. Anyone can become a Realtor fairly quickly. The educational requirements are still minimal and passing the test to get your license can be completed in just a couple of months. One of the best ways to compensate for this is by hiring an experienced Realtor with strong results.
Hire a Professional, Not a Friend
Often people choose a Realtor based on a personal connection to a particular agent or they pick a Realtor based solely on the fact that the agent has told them what they want to hear. In order words, the Realtor has misled them about the value of their home. The real estate agent inflates the value of the property, and the seller believes it. This is one of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make. In Real Estate circles this in known as “buying a listing.” Everyone wants to believe their home is worth more money due to emotional attachment or seeing only list prices of other homes that have not sold. The competitive nature of the business makes some agents say and do things they shouldn’t. If they can get a seller to believe them, it’s new found business. In many cases, this produces a drawn-out timeline and ultimately a lower sales price.
Choosing Based on Commission
Another factor that guides many Sellers thought process is what the Realtor is charging for a commission. People can get short sighted with this one. Many mistakenly believe that a lower fee charged is money in their pocket. In most cases, that is wrong thinking. A great agent can easily make up a commission savings charged on paper with their skill level, marketing expertise, strong negotiating skills, and overall Real Estate knowledge. The old saying “you get what you pay for” applies here. A top notch agent charges a higher fee as they spend a lot more on the marketing process to give your home proper exposure thus gaining higher visibility therefore netting a quicker sale at a higher price. All Realtors are NOT created equal. You see a REAL good Realtor doesn’t need to do these things to win business. A true professional goes the extra mile in everything they do. They have a passion for their work and it shows in the results.
When considering a Realtor make sure they have extensive experience in the area your home is located in. They will know many of the nuances of the neighborhood and often times may have access to a future buyer or at least other Realtors who might. Ask them to show you real hard facts about your neighborhood including specific knowledge of the area but definitely recent sales success in your neighborhood. After all, aren’t you looking to sell your home in the least amount of time for the most money?
Having measurable results in your neighborhood should be the single biggest factor in your decision to hire a Realtor. Choosing your Realtor based off friendships or likeability usually ends in disappointment and a lower sales price, if it sells at all. The best Realtors can produce a list of recent sales rankings relative to their competitors. They should be able to price your home correctly and sell your home, not just list it. Days on market can devalue your home in the eyes of the Buyers so proper pricing is critical.
Marketing Your Home
Marketing is the public face of your home. Make sure your Realtor can produce top notch photography, 3D property tours and videos to showcase your home in the best light. Some companies and Realtors are better suited to list properties so be sure and ask. A strong Realtor should have a balanced ratio of Buyer to Sellers, so ask them to quantify. A top Buyer’s agent may not be a good listing agent.
The Consequences of a Poor Realtor Selection
In summary, making a poor decision with one of your most valuable assets can cost you a lot of time and money. Remember, the best Realtors are the easiest to find with a little bit of research and fact checking.