With this blog, I’m not intending to lure you to list or sell your property with me. Within the last 36 years in this industry, I’ve simply seen too many people get screwed and therefore I decided to give a quick overview of what you should know before you engage with any Realtor. In Europe, it’s way more complicated to find your dream property. Each Broker has ONLY his own listings. Most often you have to deal with a few salespersons until you find what you were looking for.
In the United States, we have the MLS ( Multiple Listing System ) in every district/city. All brokers/sales agents have access to ALL the same information and the same properties. This should actually mean it shouldn’t matter which agent you hire. Well: Let’s find out!
Experience especially counts when it comes to listing your home for sale. It is quite simple to find the value of a property since so many homes are alike. All a sales agent has to do is to find comparable properties within a decent neighborhood and distance that have about the same size, age, and condition. Sounds fairly simple but still so many agents mess up. In my opinion for them it’s often more important to get the listing no matter if the price is right. Whenever and for whatever price this listing sells, 50% of the commission is guaranteed to end up in their pocket. I haven’t seen many agents walk away when a listing is too high to sell. My experience with other agents is, that they list the property no matter what. Overpriced properties aren’t getting showings. These agents hope to convince their sellers over time to reduce the price.
The first few days a property is listed are most crucial. Nobody should waste these important first days with a listing too high to sell. Even if you find a buyer willing to pay the asking price, you might still lose the deal when the buyer orders an appraisal. As much as I understand sellers wanting to get as much as possible, I also understand buyers who won’t pay more than a property is worth.
This means, you should value an agent who has the guts to walk away from a listing if he can’t agree on a realistic listing price with his sellers. So here is your answer when talking about a “Listing” Agent: They are by far not all the same. If this agent can’t convince you 100% why what he or she tells you is the highest and best you can get for your property, then it’s not the right agent for you. Period.
Now let’s talk about buying a property. Since every agent has the same access to the same listings, it shouldn’t make a difference whom you pick. Not quite right either. When I talk to buyers who have worked with other agents before they wondered why these other agents haven’t shown them the properties I did, although these properties had been on the market already back then.
The system is quite easy to handle, but you still need to know what your buyer is looking for. I personally take the most time talking to my buyers about what they are looking for before we go out and tour listings. In my 36 years in the industry, I rarely showed a customer more than 10 properties, but I know agents working with clients whom they had shown hundreds of homes. Literally. I’m not kidding!! Needless to say, these clients are frustrated and probably don’t know what they have seen in the past and or even what they are really looking for
Miraculously even the worst agents close deals because their clients don’t know what their agents could have done better or simply cause another agent sold their listing. In this case, both parties are happy unless complications arise. And they often do. A buyer often needs further help before closing. The agent should help but often does not because they are afraid they give a customer a bad tip and might get sued for it. Each agent has to go to school and pass some serious tests before they are allowed to sell properties. Here they hear about what they are NOT allowed to do. And it’s a lot we aren’t allowed to do. A good agent will help you anyway. He knows his skills.
When it comes to complications or renegotiations, it always pays to have an experienced Realtor as your agent. Each sale and purchase involves some serious amount of money and I always advise to look for experienced partners in every transaction.
A bit of good advice: Follow your gut. Talk with a few agents before you hire anyone. Research each of them. How long are they working in the industry, how many sales have they done, how’s their website looking etc. The best agent might be the one you agree least on the sales price if you are a seller. Since you have to work with him, you should still kind of like him or her a little. This helps, but in the end, listen to your gut.
You can do a lot yourself BEFORE you hire anyone. Go and check out the market and neighborhood for values yourself. If possible, don’t do it with Zillow. I’ve written a detailed blog why their content isn’t as realistic as it should be. This link gives you free access to our local MLS. No pressure. No time limit. No phone calls. You don’t even have to leave your contact info.
Not all brokers/sales agents are equal. We all get the same education and we all have the same tools to work with, but the experience is something you can’t learn in school. I would be thrilled to hear from you and be one of the agents you are talking to. Call or email me any time for your completely free 30 minutes consultation over the phone or in person. Read my Bio HERE