Location, Location, Location!! That is and always will be the golden rule...or phrase that is always proved true in the world of Real Estate. In today's market we are still experiencing a buyer's market...which depending who you talk to the definition may vary, but the majority will tell you it is when inventory is over 6 months. As a listing agent in these tough times it can be very trying. There are still many misconceptions on the duties of a listing agent, but educating the sellers is first and foremost true duty.
Almost every listing appointment I go to the seller's conception is that the listing agent brings a buyer in the house every other day and has buyers lined up and it's just a matter of which house they will choose. This is just one of many misconceptions....which the reality of this one is the Internet and buyer's agency has almost completely eliminated dual agency. Let me explain....Years ago when an agent took a listing they would spend tons of money on magazine ads, newspaper ads and other print communications to advertise properties and then, when there was no buyer representation....(all agents represented the seller), agents would have their own buyers to showcase their respective listings. Enter the Internet. Print ads are a thing of the past. Agents still use magazine ads for listings, but the ad is not for the sellers....it is for the agent. Chances are someone will call about a particular listing and more than likely they will not pursue that particular house...., but the agent will then try to represent the buyer in the purchase of another property...nothing wrong with that at all....but the seller should know that a magazine ad is not the most prudent and effective way to market their home. With the Internet, agents can advertise their listings with a push of a button...after paying for the service of course. It is so easy to market listings now because they are "pushed" to almost every real estate website available. The Internet is like a 24 hour car lot where shoppers can browse all inventory and at their leisure select the ones they would actually like to see....that is why Open Houses don't work anymore. You can eliminate a lot of houses on the Internet without having to waste a tank of gas on Sunday driving around. Enter Buyer's Agency. About 7-10 years ago buyer's got representation. Meaning instead of ALL agents representing the seller, buyers could have an agent represent them and their interests. With this service available, buyers now surf the web, select a few homes they want to see.....and instead of calling 5 or 6 listing agents on the respective properties, they have one agent, a buyer's agent represent them...show them all houses they want to see and viola....make an offer. If you call the listing agent and make an offer through them...it's called dual agency...when one agent represents both parties, but the agent is merely a liaison between both parties, they cannot negotiate either side to hurt the others position. Dual agency can be done successfully, but the agent MUST disclose to both parties the situation.
So knowing the above information and going back to my initial "Location" declaration....The listing agent puts your home on the market, promotes it, receives calls from other agents and inquiries and hopefully brokers it to closing. Some houses will sell in a week and some in a month or a year...maybe never if the price or other factors are not tweeked. Some things you can't change. LOCATION is the main thing. Depending on where a property is determines how many views online and showings it will get....I see it every day through my statistics on my listings. I have listings that do sell in a week and some that have been on the market at least a year.....those listings all share a common trait....guess..............LOCATION.
So listen to the agent you choose to sell/market your home. You may think you know a lot about your market, but I guarantee your agent knows more than you...they are there to help and educate you. Listen to them the first time...if it is about price or painting a room...they have experience to back up their statements...or should anyway.... There is an old saying that pertains to many occupations and Real Estate Agents are not exempt...You don't pay them for what they do....you pay them for what they know.