If you are in the process of selecting your real estate agent there are some key things that you should look out for when it comes to deciding who should market one of your most valuable assets.
They quote the property value high in the appraisal
The fatal trap. This is really common and in the industry is called ‘buying the listing’. The mindset is that they will get you listed for 3 months, then after a month start working you down to the real value and still have 2 months to sell it.
Owners generally know inside their gut what the value of their home is worth. If you have an Agent quoting you a high price, ask them how they have come to that. If they cannot clearly explain to you how they have come to that value, you are in trouble – how will they explain it to a buyer that might be confused on value?
They reduce commission heavily
All you have to ask yourself is the question ‘why?!’
Why would an Agent heavily reduce their commission? I have not known anyone who is really good at something to take less than what they think they are worth.
If an Agent cannot win listings on skill or service, then they will only be able to drop their price. Reducing commission heavily is big alarm bells for me.
Low cost/ budget agencies are also alarm bells for me – why would someone really good at something go somewhere they will earn a lot less for doing the same work? I have investor clients that follow certain low cost agencies around for a good reason.
They want to bring one buyer through
This is common and often tied in a heavy fee reduction. You have to ask if they are doing the right job by you the vendor? Or the purchaser..? In this market you are running a big risk of under selling a property by not market testing it.
There have been a few cases where clients of mine have had this offered to them, along with a 50% reduction in commission(!) and I have then gone on to sell it for an extra $40-50K. What seems cheap isn’t always.
They offer to pay for all the marketing upfront
This is a bit of a trick. It sounds good to the owners but think of this, if your Agent X and you have 5 listings who you have all paid for $2,000 worth of marketing for, as well as committed all your time and resources (phone, petrol, etc) and 3 of them aren’t selling.
Suddenly Agent X is panicking that they are going to lose a lot money, as well as time and lost opportunity cost, and they start encouraging the price to come down or the owners to accept a lower offer than they should.
Agents need to remain impartial, paying for marketing upfront does not allow them to do this.
They don’t work in a team
When do they take time off work? We all know that we need time off work to recharge and refresh. A burnt out agent is bad news for you and this is really common when an agent is working by themselves and effectively doing 7 days a week and 16+ hour days.
When you are burnt out you don’t think on your feet quickly and opportunities can be let pass – it could be the buyer for your home!
If you are thinking of employing an agent I’d love the opportunity to discuss in more detail how I could help you find a suitable agent in our Harcourts Birkenhead Team. You can reach me on 021 85 84 83.