How to Choose a Listing Agent
As a Seller, it is important to remember that about 10% of the agents do 90% of the business.
The two most common mistakes sellers make when selecting a listing agent are:
- Hiring a listing agent based on the Highest List Price Recommendation for Your Home
- Hiring a listing agent based on the Lowest Commission offered
These two criteria have very little to do with hiring a competent agent and, in many instances, are completely irrelevant. I recommend interviewing 3 top producing realtors you know by name recognition, referral and through civic or social activities. Top producing experienced realtors offer a range of specific talents and skills and realtor-client relationships work best when you have trust, confidence and feel comfortable communicating with the realtor you hire for listing representation.
Selling a home successfully requires team work, preparation, frequent communication and results driven negotiation skills. Hiring a realtor who is plugged into your community with a multitude of networks and high list-to-sales price ratios is a strong indication of the results you will experience in selling your home.
Criteria for Selecting the Best Listing Agent: Why Courtney?
Courtney is direct and honest. They share the most current data and analysis of market trends to present you with the most detailed information and selling suggestions when pricing a home. They aim to price homes to entice buyers, meet lender and appraisal requirements, and create a win/win situation for both sellers and buyers at the closing table.
- It may be tempting to work with a realtor who suggests the highest list price, however, number of showings, buyer interest and offers will tell you if your price is correct.
- Be sure to request numbers that support a suggested list price; an overpriced listing may lead to months of unnecessary expenses and disappointing consequences. A professional will offer you a range, not a price set in stone.
- There is always a price “range”. Realtor opinions may be apart $10,000 on the low-end versus the high, or the spread might be greater. Many factors determine the range, among them are: location, market conditions and improvements made during ownership.
Understanding Today’s Market
Experience & Results: Courtney has successfully sold residential real estate in the best and worst market conditions, and understands and implements the best strategies for today’s market. She will make sure that sellers get the best results in any market—buyer’s market, seller’s market, or balanced market. She will tailor specific marketing planning to the needs of each individual, analyzing and evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and potential objections affecting the area specific to your property.
Pricing is an art. Homes sell every day, despite market conditions and season of the year. The best time for an offer is within the first 30 days on market. If your home is priced right, you will receive an offer. You may receive several—wouldn’t that be terrific? If your home is priced too high, you might not get any showings at all and few virtual tour viewings: buyers will shun your home and you will eventually end up reducing the price, leaving buyers wondering what’s wrong with your house.
Educate & Explain Commissions: Each realtor has their own marketing techniques and advertising budget. By selecting a realtor with a large advertising budget and company dollars to match it, your home will gain greater exposure to the largest number of buyers, which is ideal. Attracting a greater number of buyers equals better chances of a good offer.
Beware if an agent is willing to work for less than competitors!
A real estate agent may be inclined to discount their commission if the agent feels that it is the only way for them to compete in a highly competitive business because he/she can’t stand apart from the competition on service, knowledge, or negotiation skills. Is the agent desperate for business or unqualified? Do you want to work with a desperate agent? Sellers beware.
There are certain circumstances when a full service realtor may legitimately offer a reduced commission. Some instances include:
- When you’re buying a home and selling a home at the same time, giving both transactions to one agent.
- When you’re willing to do all the legwork, advertising, marketing, and pay for expenses related to the sale.
- When you promise to refer more business to the agent, which would result in multiple transactions.
- When you’re selling more than one home.
- When you don’t have enough equity to pay a full commission.
- When the agent wants the signage (exposure to traffic) over charging a full commission.
A Proven Track Record
List to Sales Price Ratios:
If you are interviewing agents who offer similar services and can’t decide among them, ask to see a record of each agent’s original list price and final sale numbers. It is common for the lowest-fee agent to show more price reductions and longer days on market. The difference between an agent who charges 5% and one who charges 6% is 1%. If your price ends up being reduced 2% because you chose a lower-fee agent who could not afford to actively market your home, how will you come out ahead?
Aggressive Marketing Initiatives
Marketing Plan: Courtney is a top producing agent who lives by her marketing initiatives. She offers every seller a complete copy of a Marketing Plan as well as Pre-Listing To Dos and Showing Etiquette Tips and Suggestions.
First time selling a home? Here’s what you should expect from a listing agent:
- Professional signage, including agent’s cell phone number.
- Daily electronic monitoring of lockbox access.
- Follow-up reports on buyer showings / feedback to the seller.
- Broker previews.
- Incentives for broker / office previews.
- Staging advice.
- Weekly advertising in major newspapers.
- MLS exposure with 25 professional photographs.
- Virtual tour.
- Distribution to major Web sites.
- E- flyers.
- Minimum of 2 open houses, providing its location is a candidate.
- Direct mail to surrounding neighbors, out-of-area buyers / brokers.
- Exposure at Board of Realtor meetings.
- Feedback to sellers on buyer sign calls and buyer showings.
- Updated CMAs after 30 days.
- E-mail feeds of new listings that compete.
- Updates on neighborhood facts, trends and recent sales.
Characteristics of a Good Listing Agent
- Negotiation skills
- Good communicator