Over the last few weeks my local Realtor® association has bombarded me with emails reminding me it's time to apply for the 2011 Awards and Recognition. Thank you but I'll pass. It's not because I haven't qualified for the Top Residential Producer Award from the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® (NVAR) but because I don't think the phrase means anything to the average consumer when they see it on a business card.
First let's say that "Multi-Million Dollar Producer" and "Residential Top-Producer" in Northern Virgina are different meaning depending on what Realtor® association you belong to.
If you belong to NVAR to qualify for the "Multi-Million" award you must have sold at least $3 Million or 24 units and for "Top Producer" at least $6 Million or 48 units. However drive just a little bit south to Prince William Association of Realtors® (PWAR) and the criteria for those awards changes. Members of PWAR only need to sell $1,750,000 for "Mutli-Million Producer" and for "Top Producer" the award level is $4,500,000.
Now what? If an agent proudly walks in to your home and says I'm a member of the Multi-Million dollar club you don't know if that's for under $1.7M worth of sales over $3M. And the next question is should you care? Some folks are awarded lifetime achievement awards as "top producers" who haven't sold the minimum required to make a club in years. Others like myself don't pay to put the title on our business cards.
What you should be concentrating on is the professionalism of the agent you are hiring to sell your home. Do your homework. Will they take the time to make your home stand out on the Internet, where 90% of buyers start their new home search. Ask to see photos on their website, blog or in the MLS. How do they look? If they are dark and blurry quickly say NEXT. Are they reachable during reasonable business hours? Do they have a track record of success in today's difficult market? Ask to see their MLS sales record for the last year? What's the list to sales price ratio of their sales in the last year? Will they give you the number of a recent client so you can talk to them?
There's a big difference in having a professional Realtor® working with you to sell your home and a Realtor® who wants to brag about the number of clubs they belong to or the number of designations after their name.