First off, let me say that there are a lot of good Realtors out there, with many different brokerages. There is not just one brokerage that is good and there is not only one good Realtor out there. Many go to work every day taking care of their clients and doing the best job they can.
Many real estate agents are not good at their work- not good for the industry or their clients. Of all the Realtors in the three states (Utah, Colorado, California) I have been a broker in, I would estimate that about 5 to 10 percent of real estate agents are what I would consider to be really good Realtors. The majority of brokerages and agents either put themselves above their clients, or are simply average at what they do, selling a few homes eachyear to family or friends, but not excelling in their field. The good ones learn their business well, continue to grow and always put their clients first.
If you call three agents, even from the same office of almost any real estate company and ask them to present you with a market analysis and marketing presentation to sell your home you will almost certainly get three completely different marketing plans and three different values for you home. And these are three people in the same office of the same company. Why?
Because each agent decides how much money they want to spend marketing a home based on any number of factors, including how much money that agent has, how much time they want to spend creating marketing, how much they think they will make from the sale of the home, how talented they are marketing, the resources available to them, the culture of their company, the seller’s needs and demands, etc.
The opinion of value will vary because each person has their own opinion and use their own comparables, but also because some agents want you to believe that your home is worth less than it really is so they can get a quick sale and some agents will tell you your home is worth more than it really is just to get the listing, while other agents will be fair and honest with you.
And if an agent doesn’t want to pay for a virtual tour do you think they are going to say to the seller, “I’d rather not pay for a virtual tour, even though it would really help us sell your home, is that okay with you?” Of course not! They’ll tell the seller that they don’t need a virtual tour or that tours don’t sell homes or they just won’t bring it up at all. But no matter which of these options they choose the seller loses. The seller, their client, is the one who is hurt. And this is from the person they are asking to help protect them.
The agents usually want to price it right and put it on the MLS. “Price it right” usually means to price it for as low as they can get the seller to price it. So they are actually trying to get the seller down in price, working against their own client, before they even start.
And then they “put it on the MLS” hoping that another agent will sell the home. The lowest priced home in any group of comparable homes will theoretically sell first. But who wants to be the lowest priced home in a group of comparable homes?
I teach our agents to always put the client first. And this includes giving the sellers the very best information on pricing so we can price the home to get the seller as much money as possible, even if it takes us a little longer and costs us a bit more to sell. Because that’s what the client wants- as much as they can get. If the seller wants to price it lower for a quick sale than that’s their decision, but it won’t be because we pressure them into it trying to make a quick buck.
Flexibility in marketing homes= BAD. Making sure every home has a full marketing package= GOOD.
Using a below-market price as the marketing plan= BAD. Helping a seller decide the highest price they can get and then marketing the home to get that price= GOOD.
Our company, BlueRoof, has standards that are higher than most brokerages when it comes to representing a seller. When we market a home we start by representing our clients.
We are a full-service real estate company. We do not do “entry-only” or ‘limited services” listings. We represent our clients- all of our clients. We schedule the showings and present the offers and negotiate on behalf of our clients and we coordinate the entire transaction, all the way through closing. We market like crazy and work on nights and weekends and we (gasp!) answer our phones.
Over 90% of listed homes sell because of the MLS and internet. Either another agent finds it for their buyer or the buyer finds it online. This is where much of the marketing value comes into play, but we market everywhere (including print, postcards, and radio) because we don’t want to miss any buyers out there.
We market homes for less commission than some brokerages, and more than others. I know what my services are worth and that is what I charge. When it comes to personal services, you get what you pay for. Hire an attorney or a landscaper and you’ll find the same thing- the best charge more because they are worth more.
Bad agents sell homes as quickly as possible, good agents sell homes for as much as possible.
Bad agents tell you what to price your home at, good agents help you determine the highest price possible.
Bad agents are hard to get ahold of, good agents are easy to get ahold of and have an assistant to help.
Bad agents take a listing and then you don’t hear from them, good agents have systems and are accessible. They coordinate the transaction.
Bad agents count on other agents to sell your home, good agents market directly to buyers as well as the MLS.
Bad agents do as little as possible, good agents do as much as possible. Bad agents try to convince you that the higher their commission is, the more money you’ll make, good agents negoatiate a commission that works for you, and explain that buyers and selers determine the final sales price, not the agent (or their commission).
Bad agents do not like their competitors, good agents appreciate working with other people in the industry and realize that these people help them, and their clients, when they work together.
There are some major differences between brokerages and agents, and there are good Realtors and bad agents in every market. It’s always good to know your options…