DOES IT REALLY MATTER WHICH REAL ESTATE AGENT YOU CHOOSE?
I spend a lot of my time looking at houses for prospective sellers, preparing CMAs (comparative market analyses), and then comprehensive summaries.
This past week I made a listing recommendation at $350,000 that I expressed was on the high side; the seller found another agent to list it for $374,900. When I had followed up with the seller, he said, "It really doesn't matter who lists it." Wow. I was amazed that what I thought to be a reasonably intelligent person could actually believe that. I asked him did he not think it mattered how his house was depicted. He was oblivious to the importance of first impressions on the web and getting media rich, memorable images (just one aspect of marketing the listing).
I've discussed in previous blog posts what effective marketing does for you in time on the market and list to sale ratios. But what's even more critical are the negotiating skills of the real estate agent you choose. I turned down a listing this week over a commission difference of 2%. The seller wanted me to take a listing for 2% less than the fee at which I normally list. The way an agent negotiates on your behalf, from not only the price, but to other terms carrying on into the inspection process, can net you thousands of dollars more that you would net in relying on your own skills or that of an unskilled negotiator. If I can't stand up for and negotiate my own fee that goes in to my own pocket, what does that say for how I'll negotiate for your money?
I have made commission concessions to get deals together during the negotiating process after we get an offer. And often times, it was being able to make that commission concession that got the deal together. Had I listed at a reduced rate of commission to begin with, there would have been no negotiation room left. Therefore, I don't negotiate commissions at listing time. If a commission is to be negotiated, it's not at listing time.
I saw on one of the news shows this past week that the 'wave of the future' will eliminate what they called the traditional agent with a posting service similar to that you see with craigslist with sellers paying only 1 to 2% to sell a home. While consumers, buyers and sellers alike, can find all the information they need on the internet, the savvy consumer will still rely on the skills of an experienced real estate agent to analyze that information and make recommendations based upon the analysis. I'm not just selling houses or real estate. It is the service I provide with my analyses and negotiating skills that my savvy clients respect and value.
If you're considering selling, please contact me via my website at KimWaters.com Here's a listing I just listed...And don't miss the video at NorthHallLakeLanier.com