I was reading a really thought-provoking post this morning from Loreena Yeo on Active Rain, Perfecting Your Inventory Knowledge in Your Neighborhoods, and it got me thinking about a situation that is happening a lot more with the current economy – taking listings in an area you’re not all that familiar with. This is probably because, as the market has cooled, a lot of agents are trying to supplement their business by expanding the area they cover. They’re also more likely to accept a listing in an area they’re not familiar with, where a few years ago they might have referred it out. Check out her post to get the whole story, but here’s a few things that I got out of it:
I can understand the pressure of a softer market, and the need to accept listings you may not have previously (hey, we all have bills to pay!), but you have a responsibility to your client to provide knowledgeable and comprehensive service. This includes taking the time to know the local real estate market, and research comps as well as other properties that are for sale that may not be comps, in order to get a bigger picture of what’s happening around your seller’s home.
Be prepared to do more work than usual to become familiar with the area and stay on top of changes and new listings/sold properties that come in. That’s the price you’ll have to pay in order to earn the commission you’ll be getting for taking this listing from out of your area. I like Loreena’s last line -
Until then, you haven’t deserved to earn your paycheck from your sellers. Be either very good or don’t play. Don’t ever let your Sellers know more or sooner than you do in his/ her neighborhood.