Not a lot of thought is given by Sellers to determine which real estate agent to use when selling a home. In fact, most people spend more time researching different brands of tv’s. There are a lot of agents out there to choose from and we all say the same thing so usually Sellers rely on a referral from someone they know, use someone they have used in the past or pick an agent that has listings in the area already.
Good and bad real estate agents can sell real estate and as a result both types of agents have people that will refer them and (somewhat shockingly) both types of agents can have a lot of listings. In our multiple listing system, multiple agents have the opportunity to sell your home not just the agent you hire personally.
Not a lot of people (less than 5%) try to sell their property themselves despite the costs of using a real estate agent. Most people decide to use a real estate agent to sell their home for the same reasons they use a mechanic to fix their automobile or a lawyer to deal with a legal matter.
It is possible to sell your property yourself. In fact, I have seen Sellers get more than top dollar for their property selling their property. But selling your property yourself usually results in less than ideal results – from a monetary position, and from a risk position. What you save in commission is what you usually lose in sale price and you can exposure yourself to added risk of dealing with strange people and on rare occasion stranger legal issues, wasting a lot of time in the process. The term “private sale” is funny because there is nothing private about a private sale. Most of the time, when a Seller is happy they sold their property themselves is when they got a price that was actually less than market value but they actually think they saved a lot of money in real estate fees.
As you probably know already, real estate agents tend to help you with the following:
- Get a good price for your property
- Keep you at arms length from potential buyers so that you can maintain your privacy.
- Provide you with a fiduciary duty to limit your liability of getting into any sort of crippling legal lawsuits and generally work in your best interest.
- Be available to answer questions and screen potential buyers to help make sure they are qualified to buy and not just wasting time.
- Give you insight on current market conditions and provide real estate advice when needed.
- Makes sure your property standouts.
Every consumer is different but after years of experience I would say that this would be kind of the order of importance for the average Seller. Surprisingly, marketing and real estate advice are typically not a top concern for most consumers when it comes to picking an agent. This is why when you look at properties as a Buyer you can see pictures of listings, and descriptions of properties that are poorly done. A good number of Sellers leave all the details of selling their home to the real estate agent and don’t bother to check on them or even really care about it. Here is an example of an advertisement for a home in Kamloops back in 1999:
Despite the poor hand drawn picture and the write up this house sold for 96.4% of asking in 4 days. Most people would probably think those are some really good results – something the listing agent could boast about. This is an example, of why those numbers don’t mean much when picking an agent.
The Value of a Good Real Estate Agent
The real estate industry is big business. For example, in Kamloops with a population of about 90,000 on average there is about $75 million dollars of transactions per month in our real estate market. As a real estate agents that only gets paid when something sells, collectively we all try to make that number as big as possible. Like any successful business having a good management team is critical to being as efficient and productive as possible. A large portion of the average persons wealth is tied up in their home and there are many direct and indirect jobs related to real estate home values. A good management team can affect this wealth and jobs and ensure that the real estate market is as healthy as possible.
Real estate agents collectively are like the managers of the real estate industry and for their services they charge Sellers a commission usually no more than 4%. In return, Sellers hopefully get a good management team that consistently makes their wealth improve by more than 5% to offset this cost. I say management team because when you hire one agent you are indirectly hiring all agents, even agents that don’t even work in the same city sometimes represent clients that will buy your house(it is not a recommended practice).
Typically, sellers rely on referrals or superficial metrics like how many listings an agent has or has sold at any one time when determining which real estate agent/brokerage to hire. Agents who are busy get even busier because of these factors working in their favor.
What Should you look for in a good Agent?
Look for good management skills and entrepreneurial spirit. Good managers not only have good people skills, work hard, and are honest but they also tend to be always looking at ways to make things more efficient, informative and transparent. Good entrepreneurs always have the energy to try to become more efficient and effective.
When you are seeking a real estate agent keep these managerial skills in mind because they should be at the heart of any good real estate agents business. Surprisingly, better people and information management skills rather than better marketing skills tend to lead to a better selling experience in the long run. When a property doesn’t sell or sells for less than it should it usually means the property was poorly managed and not poorly marketed.
OK, How Much is my House Worth?
The short answer is its worth how much someone is willing to pay for it. One of the reasons you want to list your property with an agent on the multiple listing system, is because that helps ensure you are getting the best price for your property. That ensures that all Buyers have a fair crack at the property. Bank appraisals for a home can be ten’s of thousands of dollars off, and property assessments can be 100’s of thousands of dollars off true market value. The market value for a property always falls into a range – the ideal buyer will buy at the top of the range and a less ideal buyer will buy at the bottom of the range. There is always more less than ideal buyers than ideal buyers. Depending on a Sellers personal circumstance/preference actually can play a role in determining how much their house is worth.
Any good real estate agent will think owning real estate is a good idea and they shouldn’t be trying to convince a Seller otherwise. Price is the easiest thing someone can change about a property. A Buyer’s preference in floorpan, location, features, etc are much harder to change. Your house could have an ‘excellent price’ to a certain buyer but to other buyers they would not be interested in it for any price.
Are you thinking of Selling a Kamloops and area property? Help with this change in your life is an email or call away when you are ready.
Andrew Thompson, REALTOR(R)
Call or txt: 250-320-0154