Mistakes Sellers Make - Hiring the Wrong Agent

Real Estate Agent with ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 anita@cbssk.com

Mistakes Sellers Make - Hiring the Wrong Agent

We have all seen it, the big colonial home on the hill or the cute as a button ranch house that the "wrong agent" somehow ended up listing. You know the agent...the one who never answers their phone, has another job that constantly keeps them away, is shady, doesn't follow-up, throws a sign in the yard and disappears, has nearly zero marketing...yes, the one that gives our industry a black eye!

This often happens because some sellers are too eager to get their home listed and instead of finding the "right agent" they:

  • Call the first person they see on a sign
  • Call a big brand and take whomever is available
  • Use the person their step-cousins friend knows
  • Make an impulsive, frustration, or anger hire

The point is, sellers MUST do their homework before hiring a listing agent. Take the advice of trusted friends, go online and do research to see if the agent utilizes the Web as part of their marketing plan, read reviews from past clients, and lastly, make sure to interview all potential candidates.

While there are many more questions that can be asked, here are a few that sellers can ask prospective Realtors® before deciding on the right agent to list and sell their home.

  • How long have you been in residential real estate?  Is it your full-time job?
  • What designations and certifications do you hold? How will they help you sell my home?
  • How many homes did you sell last year? How many in my neighborhood?
  • What is your average list-to-sales-sales-price ratio in the last 12 months? What is the market average?
  • Are you mainly a seller's agent or buyer's agent?
  • Do you practice dual agency?
  • How familiar are you with my neighborhood?
  • Do you use social media? If so, what sites?
  • How will you market my home? 
  • How will you keep me informed of showing activity?
  • What methods will you use to stay in touch?  How often?
  • How many are on your team? Will I deal with you or an assistant?
  • What sets you apart from all the other agents in town?
  • What listing price do you recommend? How did you come up with that price?
  • How can I enhance my homes appeal?
  • On average, how many days does it take you to sell homes? What is the market average?
  • Can you provide me with references?
  • When are you NOT available?
  • What percentage of your listings expire?
  • Will you recommend service providers to help me with home repairs, staging, etc.?
  • What is your business philosophy?

The bottom line for sellers is to take your time and make sure the agent you choose to list your property is one you are comfortable working with and meets all the criteria you are looking for in an agent.  Happy selling!

Mistakes Sellers Make - Hiring the Wrong Agent


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tammie White, Broker 01/18/2014 12:50 PM
  2. Scott Fogleman 01/19/2014 05:55 AM
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Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Anita - Yes, I see this often, so I'm never surprised when the house just sits there even though we have a lack of inventory.

Jan 18, 2014 10:38 PM #58
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Michael: It would be a very good addition to an agent's marketing plan.

That is the one constant you can guarantee, Michelle. The house will most likely sit on the market.

Jan 18, 2014 11:18 PM #59
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

it is a tough road to navigate on when one doesn't know one agent from another

Jan 18, 2014 11:31 PM #60
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

No doubt about that Richie. That is why online research and an interview is vitally important.

Jan 18, 2014 11:32 PM #61
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Too many sellers make this mistake.  There are certain agents that have a lot of expired listings.  That is a tell tale sign!  Thank you for sharing!

Jan 19, 2014 08:11 AM #62
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Those are excellent points to make when hiring a listing agent!  You mention agents who don't answer calls.  Agents with the most listings, can sometimes fall into that category, because their focus is getting more cans on the shelf, rather than providing the best service.  It's about quantity rather than  quality.

Jan 19, 2014 12:37 PM #63
Linda De Fusco
The De Fusco TEAM Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
The Arizona Rainmaker

master your market, price it right...all the rest doesn't matter. Most consumers wouldn't know all the questions you post or the expected answer. They just want the highest price in the fastest time and convenience.



Jan 19, 2014 03:28 PM #64
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Karen: It really is a good indicator but many sellers may not know unless they ask questions.

Myrl: Hopefully if they get that busy they will hire some staff to assist.

Linda: That's why we need to educate them so they do know to ask the right questions.

Jan 19, 2014 07:42 PM #66
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Anita~ Great post. We are working with a buyer now who has a house to sell in another state. They have told us a few times that they wish we could represent them on the sale of their house. I'm just not confident their seller's agent is giving them good advice.

Jan 20, 2014 02:38 AM #67
Raymond Patterson
The Patterson Team @ Keller Williams Excellence - Lutherville Timonium, MD
President - Patterson Team Homes

I wish that schools could teach real life stuff like this.  How to purchase a home, how to mange money, or what ammortization means, but that is not the case.  You really need an educated agent.

Jan 20, 2014 03:28 AM #68
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

You set the bar high Donna...shame the other agent does not measure up!

Raymond: I agree, this type of "real world" information would really help consumers get a foundational understanding before they ventured into the market.

Jan 20, 2014 04:20 AM #69
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Great post Anita and congratulations on making the list in the AR info graphic on seller mistakes!

Jan 23, 2014 07:19 PM #70
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

Great list Anita - sellers need to be careful when selecting a real estate professional to represent them.  Picking the wrong agent creates stress for the seller and ultimately will cost them both time and money.

Jan 23, 2014 07:45 PM #71
Richard Michaels
Richard Michaels & Associates LLC - Washington Township, MI
100% Dedicated to Servicing My Clients

I run into this often with clients looking to list their home.  Too many of them think, well as long as its on the MLS we are good.  Too often they accept the agent that offers a discounted comm. rate.  As far as that goes I usually tell them if they are so easy to give up their money how easily do you think they will give yours away...

Jan 23, 2014 10:43 PM #72
Kimberly Hutson
NextHome Prestige Realty - Norman, OK
Your local real estate expert

I needed this information to pass on to some sellers.  Thank you!

Jan 23, 2014 11:21 PM #73
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Thanks Bob. I was not aware this post made the list of 10 until I read your comment and went and found the actual post. ;-)

It sure will Terry, and it can mostly be avoided with having a firm set of questions to ask all those who come by with a CMA.

That is a great point Richard. Discount oftens means the service will be discounted too.

My pleasure Kimberly. I hope they read it and make wise real estate choices.


Jan 24, 2014 03:27 AM #74
Paul Francis
Francis Group Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes

Great list Anita...

I particularly like the "Will I do deal with you or an assistant?" (or another agent on their team) question. WAY too many times I've come across the seller that thought they were listing with Top Lister Suzie or Sam who sells 300+ homes a year only to find out that they never see them again after they sign the listing agreement and everything is handled by somebody else (less experienced) on the "team".

I know more then a couple of agents that don't really practice day to day real estate any longer but still list a lot of homes underneath their names and probably haven't seen 90%+ of the homes "they" have listed.


Jan 26, 2014 02:08 AM #75
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Paul: I have seen it too and it is an important question for sellers to ask. Thanks.

Jan 26, 2014 02:33 AM #76
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"


Good points. I also offer current client references. Folks I have listed their homes and sold in the past year. I also agree with Paul #75. (Unless the people are fully aware of how a big team operate; which is at times very proficient) 

Feb 01, 2014 11:43 PM #77
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Dana: Many want to ask someone who has first hand knowledge of our business practices...I always clear it with former clients first.

Feb 02, 2014 12:29 AM #78
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