Maine Home Selling Strategy - Selecting a Realtor
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Selling Maine Real Estate

Choosing the Best Realtor to Sell Your Home

Selling a home should be like any other business transaction, but all too often sellers make emotional or impulsive decisions that cost them money and time. Choosing the right Realtor to market a property and negotiate the sale is the most important step in the process.

My friend (Or family member) sells Real Estate

Friendship alone isn’t enough to establish a professional’s credentials. Use tough standards when selecting an agent, just as you would when hiring an attorney, a doctor, or an accountant to handle your taxes. A true friend will understand and appreciate that this is a business decision and will offer their credentials and expect to compete for the listing. Besides, if a problem or challenge develops while selling your home, do you want to risk damaging a friendship or family relationship?

You’re the only agent who agrees with my selling price

Some agents tell you what you want to hear. In the real estate profession, this is known as “buying a listing” and is employed by shortsighted agents who are more interested in themselves than they are in you. However good it works as a short-term “sales tactic” in getting your listing, it is an extremely poor strategy in selling a home at the highest possible price.

You see, your house gets the most attention from other agents when it is a “new” listing. If priced properly, lots of agents will show it to their buyers. If you price it too high, no one will show the house and it will sit on the market for some time. When you finally drop your price to reflect its real value, your house is “old news” and buyers may think you are growing desperate. Therefore, the prices you are offered will come in lower and lower - and you may find yourself accepting a price that is below what you could have received had the house been priced properly to begin with.

Besides, pricing your home too high will only make similar houses for sale look that much better. Overpricing helps sell those houses, not yours.

I’m going to list with the agent who has the lowest commission

You get what you pay for. Paying a cut-rate commission will often get you a sign in the front yard and placement in the Multiple Listing Service, but little additional effort from your agent.

Realize that agents and real estate companies put up their own funds to market and advertise your home. Marketing and advertising costs money -- the lower the commission, the less incentive for an agent to put up his or her own money to market your home.

Incentive plays a very important role in sales. A “full service” agent earning a full commission will often “drop everything” to handle any challenges that come along - an agent earning a small commission does not have that same incentive.

Incentive is also important to the buyer’s agent. Since there are almost always two agents involved in every sale, they split the commission according to the listing agent’s instructions. One agent is your listing agent. The other agent is the buyer’s agent. When your listing agent dropped his commission, did he also reduce the commission that will be paid to the buyers’ agent? If so, you won’t find as many agents willing to show your house - they’ll be showing houses that offer a customary commission to the buyer’s agent.

All realtors passed the same test so they must know the same things

The real estate profession is constantly changing and, as mentioned above, the best real estate professionals stay abreast of those changes by continuing their education. Some go beyond the required minimum requirements. Many agents acquire “professional designations” that show they took additional specialized courses.

I want an agent who lives in my neighborhood

Knowledge of the local market isn’t only acquired by living in the immediate neighborhood. Sure, your agent should have intimate knowledge of recent sales, models, schools, businesses, and so on, but that is easily achieved through extensive research. Convenience shouldn’t be the primary reason for choosing an agent.

This agent sold more homes last year than anyone else

That should only be the beginning. What is more valuable - an agent who listed 35 homes and sold 15 - or an agent who listed twenty homes and sold all twenty? So you need to ask some questions. How many of their listings did not sell? How many were reduced over and over before they sold? How long were the houses on the market? How smoothly was the process handled? How accessible was the agent when there were questions or problems?

Quantity is important, but only if all of the quality questions have been answered satisfactorily.

Conclusion

The best agent is the one who will do the most effective job of marketing the property, negotiating the most favorable terms and conditions, and communicating with the seller to make the process as smooth as possible.

    
    
  


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