Sellers often make two of the biggest mistakes while searching for the right agent, when their search is solely based on:
- Highest price for their home
- Lowest commission
Those two criterion have very little to do with hiring a competent agent and often are completely irrelevant. Here are the reasons why:
A Listing agent always has the ability to show you a Comparative Market Analysis as well as the pending sales that surround your home. When it comes down to it, YOU are the one that chooses the list price. Your agent will advise you one way or the other and the Buyer will “tell” you if your home is priced well or not. Always ask your agent to show you numbers that will support their suggested list price. If they cannot or do not provide a comparable in your neighborhood, they may not be being completely honest about what your home can realistically sell for.
Many factors play into the range in which your home should be priced such as, location, temperature of the market and upgrades made to your home.
Choosing an agent based on a lower commission isn’t always the best idea. Have you ever heard of “You get what you pay for?” Every agent is different. They each have their own marketing strategy and budget. Choosing an agent with a larger marketing budget and company dollars to match it, is ideal and will help gain more exposure for your home if done correctly. The more exposure that your home gets, the more likely it is that you will receive a good offer.
Some agents are what you would call “discount agents.” These agents will usually lower their fees based on the fact that they aren’t able to stand apart from the competition often based on a lack of knowledge, negotiation skills, or customer service. Are these areas that you would feel comfortable giving up in order to pay a slightly less fee?
However, there are other legitimate reasons that an agent might lower their fee. Some full-service agents might lower their commission based on:
- You are Selling your current home and also Buying another home at the same time using the same agent.
- If you are willing to do or pay for marketing costs aside from commission.
- You are Selling more than one home.
- You have referrals to pass to the agent which can result in more transactions.
I challenge you to find out why an agent might be offering a lower fee before you hire them.
Characteristics of a Good Listing Agent
While looking to hire a listing agent, most Sellers would say that they key characteristics that they would look for are:
- Sympathy and Understanding
- Negotiation skills
- Great communicator