Recently we interviewed with a seller for helping them sell their home. They wanted to list with us because of our longevity, experience and proven results. However, at the last minute decided to list with the agent that supposedly specializes in their neighborhood and lives in the area. This of course isn't the first time a seller has told us no we're going to list with someone that works, knows, specializes, or lives in our area. Here we are months later in the hottest and strongest seller's market I've seen and their home is still NOT sold. It's here at Smith Mountain Lake. Now, over the years I've lived in three different homes at the lake and sold many homes at the lake. At this time however I do not live at the lake and as a result lost the listing. But who is really losing out here? To me, it's the seller. They are two months into a contract with a listing agent that hasn't sold their home and likely had them sign a six month contract.
The obvious question I have for sellers is, why do you feel it makes sense to list with what you call the neighborhood specialist or someone that happens to live in your neighborhood? I wonder if sellers understand and realize we are licensed to sell homes in the STATE of Virginia, not in xyz neighborhood. This means we can list and sell homes anywhere in Virginia. Many times sellers have said you live too far away. But, shouldn't that be our choice as the agent as to how far we're willing to drive to list, show, and sell homes?
What's really the most ming boggling to me is how a seller wouldn't actually prefer an agent that isn't right in their neighborhood. I mean when we list homes from The New River Valley to Smith Mountain Lake rather than just the lake, just Roanoke, or just Blacksburg, guess what? We have listings, which means buyers, looking in all locations. Don't you think it makes sense to get the most exposure for you home as possible? I mean after all the buyer is likely not coming from your neighborhood so why would it matter if the listing agent you choose lives there or not?
In today's market more than ever it truly matters who you choose as your listing agent. Here's a few highlights on why it matters:
Homes values are stronger than they've ever been before. You need an agent that actually understands the market statistics so you aren't leaving any money on the table. There are strategies in this market to ensure sellers get top dollar for their home. I promise you real estate agents that have only been selling in the upward trending market cannot possibly understand this.
In today's market we're navigating a plethora of showings on listings, followed by in many cases multiple competing offers with escalation clauses. Here's a scary thought for you. Some agents show their own listings, bring the offer to the sellers, and aren't telling them about some of the competing offers. I've heard this happen in multiple situations. Why do you think they would do that? Well, if they bring the buyer guess what? They get to keep the entire commission rather than splitting it with one of the other agents. I would strongly suggest looking for someone with the utmost morale, ethics, and integrity.
Many agents are taking photos themselves on their little I phones rather than hiring a professional photographer so they can save some money. Why on earth would you want to save money on such an important piece of selling a home in today's market? The greater percentage of buyers are going online first to find the homes they want to see. Without high quality professional photos your home could easily get overlooked.
Did you know there is a huge difference between a buyer's agent and a seller's agent? Think about this; how hard do you think it is to either put a buyer in your car or meet them at the houses they want to see, pop the lockbox, the buyer chooses which home they want to make an offer on and the buyer's agent fills in some paperwork. Versus an agent that has to properly price, stage, market, advertise, and promote the home then weed through the multiple competing offers to help the seller choose the best offer in light of all terms and conditions? Trust me there's a huge difference and many agents out here simply don't have the experience in taking and getting listings sold. Be sure you ask the agent before you sign on the dotted line how many listings they've actually listed, advertised, sold, and closed.
Since 1991 I have primarily focused on listings, servicing sellers, and getting listings sold. Sure we also help many buyers find their homes as well however that doesn't take years of dedication that becoming a listing specialist does. If you're thinking about selling your home we would love to interview with you and apply for the job of helping you. There has never been a better time to sell and realize top dollar for your home. Here in Roanoke, Virginia and surrounding locations we are still experiencing a historically low number of homes for sale and many home buyers waiting for the right one to come available this is the perfect recipe for selling your home.