While perusing my local neighbourhood Facebook group, someone posted that she had narrowed her list of real estate agents to two and wanted some advice on which to choose.
Some of the suggestions were on point and valid, others were simply made by clueless individuals.
Unsurprisingly there were agents that seemed to think now would be a good idea to pitch themselves.
First, let’s break down the valid comments because they were for the most part, good but I can still poke holes in them.
There are times going with your gut is the right thing, but then there are times when it’s not, like walking down a dark alley in Gotham City or helping a man with his arm in a cast load a couch into his van at night.
Going with your gut instinct to choose between two agents might be the way to go if everything they presented and promised to do to sell your house is equal, but looking through the comments I found that one agent included staging, while the other charged for staging.
If everything is equal with services, and since they charge the same, going with the agent that includes staging would be the way to go.
Excellent points were made here. Staging is important and all, but to me, the more important service, especially in today’s market is what state of repair the house is in.
Buyers a stretched to their maximum affordability these days and expect a house to be in move-in-ready condition.
Every single glaring item that needs repair or updating costs too much money to fix in the eyes of most home buyers.
Believe me when I say that home buyers are squirmish and will move on to a house in a better state of repair, and will even pay more money for it rather than try and negotiate on a house that needs “TLC” as some douchey agents would say.
“Do they have a list of clients who may be already interested?”.
Please don’t fall for this bullshit.
If agents had someone interested in your house and neighbourhood, and they were a good agent, actively trying to find a house in your neighbourhood for their buyer, you would have known.
They would have been posting in the local Facebook groups and even advertising around the neighbourhood already.
Also keep this in mind, if they have a buyer for your house already, who is their client and whose best interests are they representing in this scenario?
You can’t serve two people unbiasedly. Only one can be a client.
Who is it, the buyer or you?
Finding out how they negotiate is great too. Negotiating really begins at the time of setting the price. When a house is properly priced, it’s been said it’s 90% sold already. I think this is true.
As far as negotiations are concerned, if you think an agent can “negotiate” a buyer into paying exorbitant amounts of money for your home, you need a reality check.
With the amount of information available to home buyers today, they are savvier than ever and may even know more than some agents.
Good negotiations come from knowing what the numbers are in the neighbourhood and being able to convey that information so there is no room for questioning from the other side.
So yes, look at an agent’s stats and their knowledge of the area, not necessarily how many homes they’ve sold.
Communication is another great point they raised. Speaking from personal experience, I’ve had buyers decide against buying a place because the listing agent does not return messages.
I can only imagine how a homeowner would feel knowing that they had an offer on their house but because the agent was unavailable, they lost that opportunity.
Ask the agent you’re interviewing if it’s them you’ll be speaking with when you have questions or problems come up, or will you only talk to their assistant (who, by the way, will know nothing about real estate or your property).
After you sign the listing agreement, are you passed on to a team member? Some team members are great, I’ve been one before, but a lot of them suck.
Ask to speak with former clients.
If an agent has the type of relationship with clients where they are trusted enough to be able to provide contacts of past clients to vouch for them, that is a huge ringing endorsement and should hold a lot of weight in your decision.
I’m surprised that no one in the group suggested looking at the agent’s Google reviews. Those hold a lot of weight too because Google vets all feedback submissions and if any or fake, they get removed, but more importantly, the agent’s business page gets banned.
This is excellent advice and is the way I find all most all of my tradespeople. With personal recommendations, you know the people who are recommending them can be trusted and experienced first-hand the level of service and satisfaction they received.
I’m deducting points from this person though because they included the name of an agent.
The poster did not ask for recommendations.
But that didn’t stop people from doing so:
LIST SOME HERE
Then, of course, there were the agents that thought now would be a good opportunity to pitch themselves. Never a good look to be publicly begging, and I’ll save them further embarrassment by not posting their pitches here.
Rounding out this post are the clueless ones:
Detailing the fuck-ups I’ve experienced from people selling a house themselves or listing with a company that simply lists your home on the MLS for a flat fee is poor advice, especially coming from a random Facebook group commenter.
The troubles you can get into are too many for this post and I won’t get into them.
I know that commissions can be high when selling but trusting the sale of your most valuable asset to chance is a shitty plan of action.
This commenter does make a good point about spending time finding a good agent to help you find a house. Home buying is very challenging in this market and a lot of what posters have suggested in terms of choosing an agent to sell your home goes double when choosing an agent to help you buy a home.
Summing up, don’t strictly rely on your gut to choose a real estate agent to sell your home, ask for recommendations, ask if you can speak to past clients, read their online reviews and visit their website and see if they are actively posting about real estate and their experiences.
Dive deeper into the services they offer; staging can be defined in so many ways and the stager they work with (or do they do their own “staging”).
Updates and repairs are very important in today’s market and communication is key.
Also, if you are being passed on to a team member to work with after the paperwork is signed, you should interview the team member as well.