In my 29 years of real estate, not a lot has changed in how people choose their agent to sell or lease their home.
Home owners call in maybe two or three agents based on what they call ‘extensive’ research into the performance of the agency.
The agents then arrive to inspect the home. They rave about the features, encouraging the seller that it would be in their best interest to pay for extensive and expensive advertising. This ‘advertising’ actually does more to promote the profile of the real estate agency than it does to find a buyer for the home.
The seller considers all of this with the hope of an exceptional sale price based on comparable sales the agent has carefully picked for the seller. But of course, the agent agrees with the seller that their home is much better. So, in the end, the seller chooses the agent based on their ‘thoroughness’ and ‘careful’ market analysis.
Then everybody wakes up from the dream.
The reality is most people choose an agent based on:
- Who quotes the highest price for the home (biggest liar gets the job)
- The pile of glossy photos and computer generated books
- The cheapest fee
- Advertising/marketing (which is really seller-paid promotion for the real estate agency)
What should you really do to choose the right agent?
- Ask for referrals from neighbours, friends and family
- Call in as many agents as you feel are necessary (that could be 1 or 21)
- Don’t discuss the price of the home or fees
- Don’t be a afraid to ask the tough questions – you want to know the agent is familiar with the area
- Choose the agent you feel you can trust (go with your gut on this one)
- Check the agent’s skills, especially their negotiation skills
- Then go back to the agent you can trust to discuss price and fees
Although it may take you longer to find an agent using this method, you will be sure you’re finding the right agent for you. It’s a vastly superior process to comparing prices and fees.
Just remember, how you choose your doctor, dentist, lawyer or even your mechanic is how you should choose your real estate agent – with careful and thorough research.