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Choosing an Agent Wisely

Home with SOLD sign

So you have decided to sell your home and have a fairly good idea of what you think it is worth. Being a sensible home seller, you schedule appointments with three local listing agents who have been hanging stuff on your front doorknob for years. Each Realtor comes prepared with a "Competitive Market Analysis" on fancy paper and they each recommend a specific sales price.

Amazingly, a couple of the Realtors have come up with prices that are lower than you expected. Although they back up their recommendations with recent sales data of similar homes, you remain convinced your house is worth more.

When you interview the third agent’s figures, they are much more in line with your own anticipated value, or maybe even higher. Suddenly, you are a happy and excited home seller, already counting the money.

A Sales Practice Called "Buying a Listing"

If you are like many people, you pick Realtor number three. This is an agent who seems willing to listen to your input and work with you. This is an agent that cares about putting the most money in your pocket. This is an agent that is willing to start out at your price and if you need to drop the price later, you can do that easily, right?

After all, everyone else does it!

The truth is that you may have just met an agent engaging in a questionable sales practice called "buying a listing." He "bought" the listing by suggesting you might be able to get a higher sales price than the other agents recommended. Most likely, he is quite doubtful that your home will actually sell at that price. The intention from the beginning is to eventually talk you into lowering the price.

Why do some agents "buy" listings this way?

There are basically two reasons. A well-meaning and hard working agent can feel pressure from a homeowner who has an inflated perception of his home’s value. On the other hand, there are some agents who engage in this sales practice routinely which will ultimately bring you a tremendous waste of time and money.

If your listing agent routinely engages in "buying" listings, he has probably aced out scores of other agents in the same way. Being human, Realtors® talk to each other. If they don’t like your listing agent, not as many of them will be showing your home.

In short, you may have ended up with an agent who was good at selling you , but not good at selling your house . And you are going to pay them a commission for it.

It is human nature for you to want the highest price for your home. However, when you choose the agent who promises what you want to hear, it often leads to stress and frustration. Most of the time, it will take you longer to sell your home. Possibly, you will end up selling at a lower price instead.

Or maybe as a result of reading this article, you will choose one of the "good" Realtors in the first place. They are out there, you know.