Beware of Discount Agencies
Believe it or not, some sellers hit the phones to conduct a quasi-interview with as many agencies as possible in an attempt to shortlist just two or three potential agencies. The aim of this process is to see which of the agencies are flexible on their fees and various charges. Then those sellers invite only those agents who agree to discount, without taking into consideration the tremendous differences between the services of discount agencies and full-service agencies.
There is a much smarter strategy of ensuring your property sells for a premium and in a shorter time, and this strategy has nothing whatsoever to do with the agent’s fees.
Interview A Few Agents
Here’s the strategy. Start by interviewing 2 or 3 different agents. You’ll treat this a little bit like you’re interviewing a new employee. Yes, that’s right, shop around, but not on price. You see, shopping purely on price could ironically be the most expensive and costly decision you could make.
You need to ask some key questions that will reveal their business practices and commitment to you before proceeding any further—
Ask These Questions
- “How will you promote my property and how will you get me a premium market price?”
- “What Value-Adding Strategy and Services do you offer?”
- “Do you offer a Guarantee and/or a Service Pledge? And what is your undertaking if I need to enact them?”
- “Tell me about your experience and success selling similar properties to mine”
- “I’d like the names and phone numbers of several sellers you’ve recently sold for.”
- “Can you show me some testimonials that demonstrate specifically how you have helped your clients?”
Finally, most importantly ask them to give you an appraisal in writing by way of a “Comparative Market Analysis” (CMA). This will document similar properties that they have recently sold.
“Remember you are interviewing a real estate agent for the incredibly important and complex job of selling your property”
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CMA
Whatever you do, don’t list your property with anyone who is unable or unwilling to give you a written CMA. Don’t ever compare your home’s value against what other homes in your neighborhood are being advertised for. The only numbers that matter are the prices comparable homes are really achieving upon sale. That’s why the CMA is so vital. It’s a tangible, specific indication of what is really happening in your local area.
Ultimately this is a business relationship. It’s important that you feel 100% comfortable with the agent you choose to employ. Get the specific answers to your questions so you can make a sound decision. Whichever agent you choose one thing’s for certain. Choosing an agent – a good one or a poor one – to sell your property will have a lasting impact on your future and the premium market price you achieve for your house.
“You owe it to yourself to undertake sound research and choose your listing agent wisely and stay well away from discount agencies”