When Should You Fire Your Realtor?

Home Stager with www.rethinkhomeinteriors.com
unstaged living room--neat but not staged

I have worked with a few clients over the years who had fired their Realtor or were thinking about it when they called me.  Their house was getting next to no traffic and they were frustrated.

No one ever expects that their house won't sell when they list it with their Realtor but a smart Realtor can tell you exactly which one of their listings are in for a long, drawn out sales cycle full of low offers.  How do they know?  It's actually really easy.  It's the sellers that don't listen to their selling advice or who don't want to hire a Stager because they think it's too expensive.

 Guess what?  Your Realtor isn't the key to selling your house, you are.

More specifically, your strategic effort.  Wait, what?  Yup, not unlike so many other things in life, if you want real estate success, you need to put in some effort and that effort should be focused.  This happened with all of my clients who struggled on the market.  We put into place a strategic Staging plan and they got immediate results.  So, rather than firing your Realtor, here are 6 things that you can do to be a smarter seller: 

Analyze Your Situation

This is the hardest step for most sellers.  You have to disconnect yourself from your house in order to really hear what your Realtor tells you about the market conditions and the state of your house compared to your competitors.  You should, literally hang on to every word that Realtor tells you even if they tell you that you should hire a Stager.  Why?  Because they only make money when you sell.  Think about that.  They carry the costs of advertising and marketing your house until you settle.  They know the competitive landscape better than you do too so they know what you are up against.  So, you really have two choices.  Listen to your Realtor or Stager and sell faster or drag it out, keep your selling process stressful, blame the neighborhood, the style of the house, the Realtor and then, fire them.   Rinse, repeat.

I believe that selling and moving can be fun, inspiring and transformational when you know what to do.  Here is how I'd like you to analyze your house.

Set a Realistic Deadline

Deadlines are so important to anything we do in life.  It gives us an endpoint which we humans need.  Your deadline will be the day that you schedule your listing photos to be taken.  But, remember, things usually take a little longer than you think.  So, firgure out when you want your deadline to be and add a week to it.  That is the date that you will schedule your photos for.  Now work your butt off to make it to the finish line with a beautifully staged house!


same room as above--staged and fabulous! these homeowners decided to love their house after staging because it felt so much better. bonus, they increased the value of their home by $80,000 with aggressive staging.

Create A Plan

Have you ever taken on a large project at work or home and just gone about it completely willy-nilly?  Most of us even keep lists (ie a plan) to accomplish our daily errands.  Don't you get more done on those days?  Getting ready to sell is no different.  Your best bet is to go through your house, outside and in and make a big "to-do" list and then prioritize what will take the most amount of time or will require bringing someone in to help.  Start working on those immediately and then move on to the smaller tasks.

Decide What To Delegate and What To Do Yourself

Don't try doing it yourself if you don't know the difference between a hammer and a wrench.  It is always better to bring in a professional when you are planning to sell if DIY is not on your list of talents.  You will have a home inspection at some point and a home inspector worth their weight in gold can uncover many a shotty job. You will save money and time in the long run hiring a professional.

Set Micro-goals

Micro-goals are HUGE!  To keep yourself moving in the right direction even when life is busy, you have to set small, achievable goals for yourself.  Even if that means you are just cleaning out a linen closet, go for it.  Setting micro-goals for yourself each week will help you feel accomplished and keep you motivated.  Here is a list of ideas for micro-goals.

Reward Yourself

Have a guilty pleasure?  Schedule it in when you have accomplished a few micro-goals or one of your bigger goals.  The best reward of all is that you took action and gave yourself the very best chance possible to sell your house.

Now, if you have done all of that, and your house still isn't getting traffic--then you can think about finding a new Realtor.

If you want to sell your house faster and happier, become a client so I can make your move a fun and successful one!


Posted by


lori fischer


Rethink Home Interiors                                                

Moving can be stressful.  If you live in the Philadelphia Suburbs and need to get organized to sell, let Home Staging expert and Moving Concierge, Lori Fischer of Rethink Home Interiors help you get your project started + give you peace of mind.                                                                    

www.rethinkhomeinteriors.com                                                               lori@rethinkhomeinteriors.com                                                                  610.724.1108

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Comments (4)

Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Real Estate Advocate

Hi Lori ... after seeing some of the photos and videos that are attached to a listing... I can see why SOME homeowners should fire their Realtor!!  The photos are absolutely terrible in telling the story!!  In some cases, they are so blurred, you are not sure what room you are viewing!!

Apr 02, 2013 01:33 AM
Karen Steed
Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton - Tallapoosa, GA
Associate Broker Haralson Realty

Lori  Great post!  Sellers need to understand that a staging will HELP the real estate agent sell the house. 

Apr 02, 2013 01:43 AM
William "Bill" and Karen Farragher
EXIT Blue Water Realty, Matawan, NJ 07747 - Matawan, NJ

Lori, well written and lots of great advice.  If all sellers did what they were told more and more houses would go under contract quicker.  We always recommend staging but do they listen, I think you know the most frequent answer.  Thank for sharing! ~Karen

Apr 02, 2013 02:39 AM
Lori Fischer
www.rethinkhomeinteriors.com - Fort Washington, PA

I hear you, Dan!  I am always amazed when I see poor quality photos.  I always hope that those people are fsbo and took their own because I can't imagine that a professional would ever use those kinds of pictures. But, yes, if a professional realtor puts blurry, dark pictures online, I think that as a home seller, I would question things.

And, to both Karens : ), isn't it amazing when you are hired for your expertise and then the seller doesn't want to do what you say?   My husband is a physician and this happens all the time.  It always leaves me scratching my head.  Why did they bother engaging a professional if they weren't going to follow through on that professional's recommendations.  

Apr 03, 2013 01:20 AM