5 Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing a Realtor (For Sellers)

Mistakes every home seller should avoid.

Mariko Baerg Realtor Headshot
Written By: Mariko Baerg, REALTOR of Bridgewell Real Estate Group
If you’re looking for a realtor to help you sell or buy a property, call me today

The market is getting softer, so we’ve been receiving calls from people that listed their home with another agent and haven’t sold. They’ve been referred to us through friends, checked us out online, or seen our signs in the neighbourhood and now they’re looking for a second opinion, and to be honest, we’re OK with being second choice. They’re often asking why their home didn’t sell. Usually, it’s for one of three reasons: the home was overpriced, the home was marketed poorly, or the home didn’t show well. When we get deep in to the discussion of what the issue could be, a lot of the times we find out the sellers weren’t educated properly on the comparable properties, or the realtor didn’t have any background in the neighbourhood, or the realtor didn’t have systems in place for marketing and showing the home. When we did some digging, we found out that 70% of people are only interviewing 1 agent for the job of the listing agent. This really made us think: how are people finding their realtors these days? Turns out the results aren’t so pretty… so we thought we’d make a list of all of the WRONG reasons to hire the WRONG agent for you.

The Wrong Agent for the Wrong Reasons – Mistakes Sellers Make When Picking a Realtor

  1. Choosing an agent based on listing price – they offered the highest price

This is a common tactic that agent’s use to get the listing. It’s so common actually that there’s actually a real estate term for it: “buying the listing.” An agent will come through, they give you some crazy number that sounds great but isn’t really based on anything, and you get so excited about the thought of making that much profit that you list your home with them. Here’s a play by play of the next 90 days. It sits on the market. The agent hammers you to reduce the price. It still sits on the market. More bullying. Another price reduction. 90 days later it finally sells at what the market value was in the beginning – or more often than not, less. Why? Because the longer a property stays on the market the more a buyer thinks there’s something wrong with it. Result: a low ball offer. Truth: Agent’s don’t decide what your home is worth, the market does. Which is why it’s so important to look at what the market is saying, run the numbers, and choose an agent based on marketing and negotiation. Those are about the only 2 factors that will increase your home’s value above what the market is saying.

  1. Based on commission

The negotiation process during offers is a huge player when it comes to getting more money in your pocket. Real estate is 100% commission based, and if as a realtor we can’t even negotiate on our own behalf to feed ourselves and our family, then how do you expect us to stand strong and be a shark when it comes to negotiating on your behalf?  It’s not going to happen. Discount realtors just don’t have the skills, which is exactly why they discount. That’s the only value proposition they have. The realtors that are out there, hustling for you, grinding for you, and ultimately that are going to get you the highest profit are often times going to be the most expensive. Don’t make the mistake of saving money on the front end (commission) only to lose money in the backend. (sales price)

  1. They’re your friend or family

We have absolutely nothing against you choosing an agent that is your friend or your family – we have clients that are our friends and family members too! Just make sure that your friend or family member really is the best agent for you. Do they know your neighbourhood, or are they an out of town realtor? Do they have a strong online marketing presence? Ask the basic questions, and just make sure you do your due diligence and make the best decision for yourself. If it turns out they’re not the best decision, be honest with them – they’re your friends/family – they will understand.

  1. They’re a new agent – you want to give them a shot

You have about a 1 in 10 chance of getting a new realtor that’s a hard-working grinder. 90% of real estate agents fail in their first 3 years. It’s a tough business, and it’s not for everyone. The biggest concern with new agents is they’re not always confident with the contracts, so we see a lot of agents missing clauses or terms that we would normally put in. Safety is our biggest concern in this realm, so just make sure you have a new agent that’s a go-getter, has a mentor, and knows what they’re doing if this is the route you’re going to take. In most cases, you’re better off to go with the veteran.

  1. They tell you that a solo agent will focus more on you, teams are too messy

This can go both ways. Solo agents can be unorganized, teams can be unorganized. Here are some pros and cons to think about when you’re hiring a solo agent versus a team.

Solo agent:
Pro – they know your home inside out, they’re the one answering the calls, they’re on the ground & they’re in control.
Con – they’re working on one schedule, trying to wear multiple hats (marketing, sales, negotiation, online web, showings, tours, etc.) & working with multiple clients and in turn are more likely to get overwhelmed, they can be difficult to get a hold of if they’re not organized.

Team:
Pro – multiple schedules & multiple skill sets, more well rounded, usually easier to communicate with, tend to have systems set in place for organization and training purposes.
Con – if the team is too big then you may have people answering questions about your property that have never seen it, you might not actually be working with (let alone ever speaking to) the team leader who’s the biggest and the best, if the team is too big you may end up with a newbie agent anyways that’s just under the team name.

Every team and every solo agent is different. So take these pro’s and cons in to account when you’re interviewing either and ask them how they work around the issues at hand. In terms of how we deal with things, we’re a duo. We’ve identified the issues of a solo agent and a team, and tried to find a happy medium so that you can enjoy the perks of both.

So as a seller, what should you be focusing on when hiring an agent?

Marketing & online presence – 95% of buyers are finding their home online, you need an agent that is tech-savvy and on trend to guarantee your home maximum exposure.

Negotation – Do they have extensive knowledge of the contracts? Do they have sales and negotiation experience? Can they effectively communicate the numbers? Do they have strong presentation ability?

Experience – How well do they know your neighbourhood? Do they have any reviews from past clients as reference? What have they sold?

Do your due diligence the first time around, and don’t ever feel pressured in to an agent. Check out your options. Do your research.  It is easier, faster, and more profitable for you to hire the right agent the first time around. If you’re looking for a realtor to sell your home and would like to learn a bit more about us and how we help our sellers to achieve their real estate goals, call 604-765-0376. Prefer text? 604-319-0200 or email mariko@bridgewellgroup.ca to start a conversation.

Need to make sure your home sells quickly and for the most? We have you covered.

GET IN TOUCH WITH A REALTOR

Want to talk right now?
Give us a call 604-765-0376 or text 604-319-0200.

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