Unfortunately that seems to be what many people think! They also think that the only thing that differentiates us is the commission that we’re willing to charge. It’s a rare day when a potential listing client doesn’t ask how much we’ll drop our commission or say something like “well agent X said he’ll take my listing for 6%, why should I pay you 6.5% or 7%?”. So the thinking is that we all offer the exact same services, so why not get the cheapest rate. Wrong, wrong, wrong! We do NOT offer the same services and we are not all equally qualified or experienced. It would be like going to a Ford dealer and seeing a car for $25,000 then going to a Mercedez dealer and seeing a car for $80,000 but offering only $25,000 for the Mercedez. “Well, Ford says they’ll sell me a car for $25,000 so why won’t you???” Sorry folks, as some say “that dog don’t hunt”. It just doesn’t work that way.
So let’s look at a few things that make us agents different. First of all, the company we work with makes a huge difference. Some companies, normally the larger ones, offer extensive internet/website capabilities, other do not. Wouldn’t that maybe be worth a little extra commission since they’re more likely to attract more buyers and therefore likely get you a higher price? How about advertising? Some companies/agents advertise a lot whereas some cut rate companies don’t advertise at all. Again, worth the money? As for open houses, some agents do many, some do none. How hard does your agent work for you? The harder they work, the more likely you are to get a faster sale at a higher price. Isn’t that worth more commission? How about just plain education – some agents get the minimum to stay licensed whereas some go above and beyond that to get advanced certifications and designations. Wouldn’t you think that someone who has the initiative to do that and who will likely do a better job for you deserves a higher commission? Have you ever thought about the pictures used in the MLS? Some agents will take them themselves using their cellphone camera whereas the truly professional agents will hire someone who specializes in real estate photography (at their OWN expense by the way) to shoot the pictures. And believe it or not, pictures sell houses! Almost everyone uses the internet to do much of their house hunting. A home with poor quality pictures just doesn’t attract much interest. What about flyers for the home? Some agents will, if they even do anything, print some inexpensive flyers on their own printer using copier paper. Others will spend the money to have slick, high quality flyers printed by the pros.
So if you’re thinking of listing your house for sale, before you ask your potential agent how much they’re willing to cut their commission, or before you compare agents simply based on how much they charge, you might want to ask them about some of the points above. It’s the old “you get what you pay for” adage. And no, you can’t have the Mercedez for the price of a Ford (no offense Ford).
Happy house hunting (or selling)!