Choosing the wrong Realtor
…and how to avoid it when selling a home
Oh the choices. They all present themselves as bright and shining diamonds. Priceless. Yet, are they really?!
How bad can it really be if you choose a less than stellar Realtor? You likely have no idea what the effects of a bad choice can do to you when you’re trying to sell a home. It can be monumental. Huge. Significant. You won’t want to go there.
Oh the stories I could share. Representing both Home Sellers and Home Buyers, I’ve seen it all and many Sellers have no idea of how ineffectively they’re being represented! Let me tell you from my first hand experiences
What Can You Expect?
Pricing your home at the price you as a home Seller wants is flawed pricing. Wait, you wonder. If it’s what I want, why is this a bad thing?! The Realtor is pleasing me, I like that. Telling you what you want to hear about your home’s value won’t get your home sold if the price you’re considering is above fair market value. The Realtor is simply “buying your listing” only to propose future price reductions when the inflated price isn’t bringing in Buyers. There is a tried and true method to pricing a home accurately.
Instead, find out the Realtor’s list price to sales price ratio. You want a high list price/sales price ratio. Ask to see some homes the Realtor sold; what they listed and sold for and how long did it take to sell. How many homes that they listed, did they sell? Remember, it’s all about selling a home not listing a home! It’s easy for them to provide you with the property address, list price, sales price and how many days the home was on the market prior to selling. Ask the questions. And remember, you want to know the “original” list price, not calculating ratios after a few price reductions. It’s a common ploy to reduce a price a few times and then by the third or fourth price reduction say that the home was sold at 100% when the Buyer’s offering price comes in at list price after several prior price reductions; talk about deception.
Poor or no home preparation. No recommendations on how to prepare your home for the sale. Unmistakably, dreadful overall image of your home. No WOW! You may be thinking that your home is lacking in WOW, so you don’t expect it. I say, we all have a bit of WOW in us that we can uncover, even if it’s as simple as sparkling clean Kitchen counter tops. It’s up to your Realtor to discover the WOW in your home and present it masterfully.
Shoddy Photos or no photos at all. Shoddy Video or no video at all. Ho-hum Real Estate listing descriptions.
These all sum up a shoddy presentation for the home you want to sell.
Instead, take a closer look at the photos and videos of the Realtor’s current and sold listings. How are and/or were they presented? Can you tell the Realtor takes pride in the work they present to draw in home Buyers? Were the homes free of clutter? Were the toilet seat lids down? Were there plenty of photos in order to get a good feel of the home and it’s flow? Were there people and pets present in the photos? Were the photos bright and of high quality?
You’ll want high quality, brightly lit photos. Toilet seat covers in the down position. No clutter. The maximum amount of photos is a must. If the local Real Estate board’s MLS accepts 35 photos, you want 35 photos, in most instances. Keep yourself and your pets a secret.
Plopping a sign in the front yard, then hoping that it sells. Your home isn’t on the Realtor’s website or worse yet, the Realtor doesn’t even have a website to advertise the home you’re selling. No website. No Blog. Your Realtor has no online social media presence across any of the major social media platforms and doesn’t understand the power of the world wide web. They’re ineffective in their digital marketing. They are SEO illiterate.
Why are these scarcities a problem for you as a homeowner trying to sell a home? It’s because over 90% of home Buyers search for a home they want to buy over the internet and your Realtor better have an online presence if you want your home to get noticed amongst the competition.
Instead, “Google” your Realtor’s name you’re considering hiring and see if the first page is filled with sites with their name. Can you tell that they’re a Realtor who sells homes for a living? If you can’t find their Real Estate presence online, they’re not able to compete in today’s age of the internet in order to reach the 90% plus home Buyers who are searching to buy a home. You want them to have a firm grasp of technology in this digital age and understand the power behind SEO. You want your home to be visible to the masses!
Not knowing the local Real Estate market, inadequate Real Estate contract knowledge, missing Real Estate transaction contractual deadlines, not knowing the step by step process of the Real Estate transaction, poor negotiation and communication skills and not utilizing technologically advanced tools during the sale of your home, can and will cost you money and perhaps even stop you from selling your home. Results into a zero rate of success.
Did you know that it’s not unusual for a Realtor to obtain their license, sign up at a Real Estate brokerage and then they’re thrown to the wolves to learn on their own. Crazy, I know! It takes a committed and driven individual to learn all they can to be the best in their field rather than simply winging it.
Instead, you want to make sure your Realtor knows their local market. Ask them questions on what type of local market we’re experiencing; is it a Seller’s Market, a Balanced Market or a Buyer’s Market. Local markets vary and can change right down to a specific neighborhood. Ask them about inventory levels, absorption rates and trends. Ask them to let you know what to anticipate during the selling of your home – what are the steps that you’ll go through. What rate of success have they had in negotiations and how are their communication skills? All critical, must have attributes. Signs of a knowledgeable Realtor when they can answer with precision.
Your Realtor needs to make sure contract terms and dates are not in conflict with one another. Make sure that you do not miss critical timelines of a Real Estate transaction, such as a few shown below:
Acceptance of offer by specified date – do you know that, as as home Seller, you must accept an offer by a certain date in order for the contract to be binding? What happens if you sign after that date, will the Buyer be able to cancel their interest in the home you’re selling?
What if you’re a Buyer and the Seller counters your offer to be returned by a set date and you miss the date? Can the Seller now accept another Buyer’s offer?
Could you imagine if your Realtor didn’t know how to handle this?!
Escrow(s) due date(s) – Again, same thing; if there’s an escrow due date on contract, you’re going to want to make sure that your Realtor is on top of this for you to remind you and stress the importance.
Inspection time period – Home Buyers have an inspection period in which they must complete the inspection of your home and notify you of their intentions resulting from what the inspection reveals.
Financing commitment date – Home Buyers need to keep you up to date on the process of their loan approval and they have until a set date to provide you with a loan commitment letter from their Lender.
The consequences of not meeting such time periods as discussed above, could result in a Buyer forfeiting their escrow should they ever decide to cancel their purchase. Default. Make sure you understand the nuts and bolts of a Buyer’s offer.
Calls, texts, and emails going unanswered is always cause for alarm.
It may begin before you even hire the Realtor and that’s your first warning sign that you should pay attention to in order to avoid future problems.
You’re selling a home and the phone calls start coming in from Buyer’s and their Realtor, yet you Realtor isn’t answering their phone nor returning phone calls. Imagine this?!
Instead, take a closer look at reviews of the Realtor to see what is said about how they have communicated with customers. Are they a customer advocate? Valuing customers should be of utmost importance to any Realtor you’re considering hiring. Valued customers won’t have to worry about a lack of communication as their communication skills will be second to none. Customer reviews will scream of the excellence in communication that they experienced during their Real Estate transaction. There is no other way. Period.
In the End
Check off these 5 items and you’ll culminate to a slow sale, less money in your pocket and worse yet, the possibility of your home failing to sell. Or you can review what to do instead that I discussed, in order to discover the right Realtor. Don’t make the wrong choice. Choose right. Less stress. Better results.
In life it’s always about the choices we make and it isn’t any different here.
Notable Real Estate Articles to add to your reading list:
Best Real Estate Resources for Sellers by Anita Clark
4 Ways to Dramatically Increase your Home’s Value by Home Advisor
What to Expect from a Realtor by Rochester Real Estate Blog
— Lynn Pineda (@LynnPineda) August 4, 2016
Today’s Real Estate article “5 Things To Expect When You Choose The Wrong Realtor” was written by Lynn Pineda. You’ll find Lynn selling homes in Southeast Florida in the cities of Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Coral Springs, Delray Beach, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Margate, Parkland, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Sunrise, Plantation and Ft Lauderdale areas within Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Lynn Pineda, a licensed Southeast Florida Real Estate Agent serving Southeast Florida since 2005. eXp Realty. Real Estate Promises Delivered. You can speak with Lynn by calling/texting her at 954-464-1100 or you can email her at: LynnP@ImagineYourHouse.com if you need to buy or sell a Southeast Florida home. Your local, trusted professional when it’s time to buy or sell a home. Real Estate promises delivered.