I found myself at loose ends this weekend, so I decided to visit open houses in my area. My purpose was to learn more about the neighborhood, but what I got was another type of education - the chance to see other agents at work.
At house number one, I had the experience that I expected. The agent came to meet me as I entered. She was pleasant, knew the history of the house, and was familiar with the comparable homes in the area. Her style was similar to mine, so naturally I thought she was great.
House number two was described in the listing as "panoramic view, ocean view". Great! Buyers love a nice view. I showed myself through the house, as the agent was watching TV and texting. After looking in every room, I got her attention and asked where the view was. "Out front," she replied. Bewildered, I looked toward the front of the house. "Out in the street?" I asked. "Pretty much," was the answer. Hmm - that is why I preview houses before taking clients there!
On to home number three. The agent in attendance was not the listing agent, but that's OK. It is a common practice that enables sellers to have more open houses. He didn't know much about the house or the neighborhood but he was polite, and he gave me a flyer.
House number four was not far from where I live. Since I claim to be an expert in this area, I make sure to preview every house that comes on the market. It was an older home, not too attractive from the street, but the owners had done some remodeling inside so it seemed pleasant and cozy. When I introduced myself, the agent commented that he was surprised I came in, as the house looked so terrible from the street. He gave me a flyer while informing me that the place is greatly overpriced and he didn't believe that anyone would ever buy it because it is in such poor condition. I didn't know what to say.
I don't know how much commission the sellers of these homes have agreed to pay, but I do know that each seller gave up their afternoon at home so that the agent could present their property to the public.
ARE all agents the same? Should a seller select a realtor solely by the amount of the commission? Which agent would you trust to sell your home?