Just today I had a call from one of my clients on a house listed by an out of town agent. No sign (guess it is too far to drive), no fliers, no showing instructions, no cell number on her web site. Silly sellers.... list your house with a local Broker.
The other 5 mistakes on Dave's list are good too.
Please leave your comments on Dave's post. He wrote an excellent piece. Tap that suggest button if you think so too.
6 Mistakes Your Listing Agent Is Making
Two weeks ago I wrote 10 Reasons Your House Is Not Selling. That blog post was focused on mistakes made by the seller and problems with the house. Today I’m writing about mistakes your listing agent might be making that are keeping your home from selling.
In today’s real estate market, it is the buyer who decides the value of your house. And since you Mr. Seller are directly competing with banks (which account for about one half of the sales in the Prescott AZ MLS) it is important to use the best possible listing agent to meet your goals. As a listing agent who has personally made most of these mistakes, I have seen firsthand the problems and delays they cause the seller.
Real estate agents are like any other professionals. There are good ones and not so good ones. If you need to sell your house in 2011, you owe it to yourself to pick an agent who doesn’t make the following errors:
1. The agent who “Buys the listing”. Sometimes when an agent knows they will be competing with other agents for a listing, there is pressure to inflate the list price so the seller will pick the agent with the “highest” price. Unfortunately it is not the listing agent who dictates the market, but rather the buyer. So don’t pick the agent based on the price, pick the agent who has the best supporting evidence of value.
2. Poor knowledge of the competition. If your listing agent does not know exactly which homes yours is competing with, how can yours win? One of my favorite exercises during a listing appointment is to take the seller on a quick tour of the competition. After visiting three similar homes I often ask my seller which one they would most likely write an offer on if they were buying. The winner is nearly always the one with the best price & condition. Next we look at the sales history in the area to see how many homes sell each month to see where we must price the listing to meet the seller’s goals.
3. Poor photos. Since we know that 90% of today’s buyers begin their home search online, why not give the potential buyers the best first impression possible? A great home, in a wonderful neighborhood with a competitive list price will be quickly eliminated from the buyer’s search due to poor photos. This is why I use a professional photographer.
4. The agent who lives far away. This agent will not know your neighborhood well enough to market it well. He will have a harder time suggesting a competitive price than a local agent. Often a buyer will call the agent on the sign for information and to schedule a showing. If the listing agent does not live nearby, the opportunity to show the house to sign call buyers may be lost.
5. The discount agent. The saying goes: You get what you pay for. It seems to hold true with real estate agents as well. I’m not saying they do a poor job, but my experience is that they do less because they have to carry more listings. Just take a look at the photos and marketing of a typical REO (bank owned) listing agent. They work very hard, but they are paid less per transaction and so they spend less time on each house. This works fine for banks, but may not be a good fit for you. Here is a great blog post on Discount Brokers.
6. The poor negotiator. If at the end of the listing presentation the seller gets the agent to agree to reduce his compensation, then how well will that same agent negotiate the highest sales price for the seller? The art of negotiation takes time and effort to learn. I suggest all sellers ask the listing agent if they will reduce the commission just to see what kind of negotiator they are about to hire.
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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner
Broker License # 169695 Lane Realty License # H-11420
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