Choosing The Wrong Agent Can Cost You Thousands

Dated: 11/16/2014

Views: 554

Most sellers don't know which criteria to use when choosing a Real Estate Agent to sell their home.
As a result, they interview several agent,s and often list their home with whichever agent give them the highest recommended list price. This is done with little regard to whether or not that agent can actually deliver on that price.

This strategy can often mean that a lesser experienced agent who lets the seller dictate the asking price rather than pricing based on market conditions gets the listing.  
This sets both the agent and the client up for failure and can cost a seller THOUSANDS when offering a home for sale.  
Let me ask you one simple question,  would you want  choose a doctor to treat a life or death condition based on which doctor was willing to treat your condition based on what YOU think the correct course of treatment was?  Or would you want the doctor who had the best training and knowledge of the most innovative treatments available.  We hire EXPERTS in important aspects of our life in hopes that they have MORE specialized skills than we do in a specific area, so that we can leverage THEIR knowledge and skills to help us.  So a good rule to live by is  NEVER hire a Real Estate agent that knows LESS than you about how to market your home.  
When choosing a listing agent to sell your home, whether in Kenosha County or anywhere in the country, there are several things that you should consider, and several questions you should ask.
  1. Experience - Lets not confuse EXPERIENCE with SENIORITY!  Chose an agent that is experienced at actually closing real estate transactions such as yours.  A good question to ask is, "Can you provide me a list of EVERY listing you have taken in the past 12 months and what the current status of each listing is now?".   That list will show you how many of those listings were sold, how many are still sitting on the market and how many of those listings expired.  A follow up to that would be to get a list of the current status of all those expired listings.  A good agent will still have a percentage of expired listings, but it should be under 30%.  Look to see if those that expired had to be listed with another agent for LESS money in order to sell.  If the agent you are interviewing has a low closing ratio , or a high percentage of properties that ended up selling with another agent for far less money, chances are he or she is trying to "buy" listings by telling sellers what they WANT to hear, instead of what they NEED to hear.  A good agent will turn your listing down if you insist on too high of a price as opposed to wasting your (and their) time.
  2. Marketing - Find out what your agents marketing plan is.  If their marketing plan is, MLS, a little print advertising and maybe an open house, and counting on their vanilla corporate website and the internet to do the work for them... RUN.  Did you know that over 93% of ALL buyers are using the internet to buy their homes but LESS than 1% of internet leads results in a sale?   A good marketing plan in this day and age includes a WELL THOUGHT OUT internet marketing strategy and a plan for capturing and immediately following up with leads.  Does your agent have such a strategy?  How do leads get called back when they are interested in your home?  Does your agent do local mailings?  Does your agent follow up with phone calls?  Does your agent do ANYTHING other than hoping the MLS and their brokerage's tools will do their job for them?  Do they market with Video online?  Do they know how to use blogging and search engine optimization to attract MORE buyers than they have listings?  Do they have a way of sorting and qualifying buyers so that they can reach all the qualified buyers in your price range THE DAY your house goes on the market?
  3. Pricing and Showing Strategy - What are they basing the pricing on?   Your home should be based on SOLD properties (Not properties currently for sale... unless they are LESS than the sold properties and creating lower priced competition) that are similar in age, size type and location.  Amenities do NOT mean your house will sell for the NEXT higher price range.  Amenities DO mean your house can sell more quickly and for slightly more in the SAME price range if your home is TRULY superior. Ask to VIEW competitive listings currently ON the market to truly compare your home.  Remember again... a good agent will tell you what you NEED to hear, a desperate agent will tell you what he thinks you WANT to hear.  Don't fall into the trap of PRICE FLATTERY.  It will get you nowhere fast, and cost you thousands.

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Ralph Nudi

Ralph is a lifelong resident of Southeastern Wisconsin and an expert in real estate sales, and real estate values in Kenosha, Pleasant Prairie, Somers, Bristol, Salem, Paddock Lake and the surrounding....

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