As you probably know, having a real estate license doesn’t make someone a great agent. In fact, in any given market, a relatively small percentage of the total number of agents are responsible for a majority of the business. This means that when you’re evaluating agents, the odds of picking someone with relatively little experience or actual skill can be disconcertingly high.
So how do you know you’re in danger of working with a rank amateur? Here are some standard “sniff tests” to help you sort through the masses:
1. Is the agent’s top-selling point the fact they offer a lower commission? If an agent is eager to buy your business by promising to work for less than the competition, be wary. Professionals are compensated for hard work, and a true pro won’t make commission cutting their go-to reason for representing you in the sale of your home.
2. Is the agent’s proposed listing price for your home way higher than everyone else? It can be sweet to hear, but sometimes sweet things are poisonous. In the business, this is called “buying a listing,” It usually works this way: An agent says your home is worth more than it is to get you to sign with them. Then, as the home languishes on the market, the agent will begin discussing price reductions. Instead of a quick sale for a fair price, you endure the heartache and expense of a home that takes longer to sell.
3. How is the agent marketing their current listings? Ask to see some listings for homes their representing right now. Are the photos terrible? Does the advertising copy for the house sound generic and unhelpful? Have all the homes experienced price reductions? How do the homes compare to other listings online? Can you find the home online easily? The agent is suddenly going to be working harder on your listing. How they’re treating their current listings is how they’ll treat yours.
4. What comes up when you Google the agent’s name? If it’s a common name, you may need to add “realtor” or “real estate” to the name. What comes up? Do they have a website? If nothing shows up, that’s a bad sign. If they’re a ghost online, beware. After all, that’s where buyers are starting conversations about buying!
I promise you I pass all four of these with flying colors, and I’m eager to help you sell your home. Let’s talk soon: