So, you are thinking of putting your home up for sale? Not knowing any real estate agents, you decide to interview three local agents. You go on the internet and randomly choose three (3) agents. Now, which one should you hire?
The first agent comes in and tells you that he has 20 homes for sale in your neighborhood and so you should hire him. After all, with 20 homes for sale, he is the best. People see his signs and he can get you the highest price. The second agent comes in and tells you he will cut his commission lower than what the other two agents are going to charge you, list the home at the highest price he can list it at and is going to have an open house every weekend. The third and final agent comes in and tells you that your home is worth much less than what the last few homes have sold for. He also tells you that he will not be doing open houses and will not be showing the home to any buyers.
Who do you hire? Each agent made some valid points. Naturally, you want the most for your home. You also want to save money so why not go with the second agent who told you he would cut his own salary and list your home at the highest price. Why would you ever want to hire the third agent who just basically insulted your home by saying it was worth less than what your last few neighbors who sold their homes for. Surely your home is nicer than their homes and he doesn’t even want to work after all, not wanting to hold open houses or bring buyers to see your home.
Well, in this situation, the third agent is actually the agent you should hire. I know you must be scratching your head. Why would anyone want to hire the third agent when those other two agents told you they would list your home for the highest price they could list it for and bonus, the second agent is going to charge you less and have an open house every weekend. Did you ever hear of the expression, “if it sounds too good to be true then it is?” Well, it is in this case. Here’s why. The first agent already has 20 homes for sale that haven’t yet sold so that indicates that he is not selling homes he’s just listing homes and your home is just going to be added to that list. Sure, people see his signs but do you want to be just another advertisement for this agent or do you want to sell your home? The second agent who told you he would cut his own salary actually told you much more than you would ever imagine. By cutting his commission that indicates that he is not very good at negotiating for himself and that will come back to haunt you when an offer comes in. If he is willing to reduce his own salary, what do you think he will do when a buyer wants to reduce the price of your home? Negotiating is crucial in selling a home. It’s supposed to be an agent’s expertise.
The real estate market is not the same as it was 2 or 3 years ago. The market is saturated with homes that are not selling. If a buyer doesn’t want your home, they can just move on to the next and so on and so on. That’s why choosing the right agent is even more important than ever before. Contrary to popular belief, putting a sign on your lawn just doesn’t get the job done. After all, just look around you, how many homes have for sale signs on them? What makes your home so special? Anyone can stick a sign on your lawn but it takes a real professional to get a home from “for sale” to “sold” these days. It also takes a real professional who is not afraid to tell you the “truth” just like the third agent did in this scenario. “No, your home is not worth what the other two agents told you it is worth”, “no, I will not be bringing buyers into your home because I am not a dual agent as I only work for you”, and “no, I do not do open houses because 99% of the people who come to open houses haven’t even been approved for a mortgage yet and just happened upon your house not to mention they are not safe these days.”
If you really want to sell your home and key word being “sell” and not just list your home and have it sit on the market for months and months, know and accept how much “similar” homes in your immediate area have recently sold for and when I say recently, I mean within the last two (2) months. Be prepared to hear this price from a real estate agent and if the agent is telling you that your home is worth much more, send him/her packing because if the last three (3) homes similar to yours sold for thousands less, why would yours miraculously now sell for so much more? Hire the agent who is not afraid to say no to you, don’t be deceived by an agent who will say anything to get your business, know the agent’s inventory and never hire the agent who is already swamped with listings he/she can’t sell.
Choosing the wrong agent can be the difference between just listing your home and actually selling your home. Remember, the more you know, the savvier you will be.
Renee Porsia is an Associate Broker with Prudential Fox and Roach and published author servicing Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties. If you would like to read more articles by Renee Porsia, visit her at http://www.reneeporsia.com. If you would like to comment on this article or share your own real estate story, please do so below.