So, you’re thinking of selling your home. Maybe you could sell it yourself and save the commission – but no, that would be too much hassle. So then you decide to interview a few real estate agents so you can pick the best one for the job. If you are one of the few people who don’t already have a neighbor, friend, or relative who is an agent…you call around and make appointments for 2 or 3 agents to come by and try to convince you that they’re the best you could possibly get.
Agent A is well dressed, obviously well trained, presents you with tons of information on them and their company along with a comprehensive, detailed Competitive Market Analysis, or CMA (some people call it a Comparative Market Analysis, either one works). Based on their research, they recommend that you list your home for $350,000 and tell you that it should sell in a reasonable period of time at that price.
Agent B comes along next. Maybe he (or she) is well dressed and obviously well trained…but then again maybe not. He doesn’t have all the information that Agent A brought along for you. He doesn’t present you with a CMA at all, but he glances around the home and because of his vast experience in your area, he knows that he can get you $410,000 for your home. No doubt about it. He’ll even give you a discount on the commission. Just sign right here on the dotted line.
So do you want to get $350,000 or $410,000??? Sadly, most people will go with the $410,000 from Agent B. After all, it’s their home. They know it’s worth a lot of money because they fixed it up, they painted, they improved it. Plus, Agent B promised a lower commission! How could it possibly get any better than this???
Then weeks go by with little interest. There hasn’t been a single ad or open house. Agent B stops by and says it looks like you’d better lower your price because of the low activity. By now, the house has become stale on the market. So the price has to drop again – and again. It might even finally drop below the market value just to generate any buyer interest at all.
Unfortunately this scenario happens time and time again. So here’s what you, Mr. Seller, need to know:
A REAL ESTATE AGENT CANNOT SET THE SELLING PRICE OF A HOME. Nope. No way. No how. Not ever. They just can’t do it. THE MARKET SETS THE SELLING PRICE. No agent can guarantee to get you a certain price for your home. An agent can recommend a listing (asking) price but you should be the one to determine the final listing price. The market will then determine what it will actually sell for. It’s only worth what a buyer is willing to pay – not what an agent promised you he could get for it.
So when it comes time to choose your agent, please don’t fall for the promise of a higher price (or lower commission, since you usually get what you pay for). Make your choice based on the agent’s (and their company) qualifications, how well they relate to you, and how hard they’re willing to work for you.
Until next time, happy home selling/buying. And as usual, if you have any real estate questions, I’d be happy to answer them for you.