Our Stats May Not Tell The Whole Story, Apples, Oranges & More

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

Agents are different, so don't compare apples and orangesWhy Generic Listing Agent Interview Questions Might Not Pick the Best Listing Agent For You

You're ready to interview listing agents to sell your Mason home. 

You've done some initial screening and you've selected a few agents to consider.

You've even got a checklist of agent screening questions. you found online that you plan to use to help select your agent.

But here's the thing, agents vary GREATLY, and our stats don't ever tell the full story.  While some number might SEEM objective on the surface, they may actually prove to be anything but that when placed into context, so here are a few things to consider:

Final sold price vs. Initial List Price.

If we do our job right with a listing, our seller understands (and agrees) that our initial list price is appropriate for the market and that's the price.  HOWEVER, some sellers will see all the objective data in the world for a price, but feel their home should sell for more than our professional opinion.  We may decide to list that home at the "elevated" price anyway because we've had a frank discussion with the sellers about what we expect to REALLY happen, and almost always what we expect to happen, DOES happen. 

And final sold price?  That's ultimately the decision of the sellers and buyers.  We've had plenty of occasions where we've been confident that we could have gotten more $$$ for our seller, but for them, being DONE was more important than the incremental profit.

Days on Market:

See the first example above.  If a home starts out overpriced, it WILL take longer to sell.  It's not a statement about our ability to market, it's a statement about pricing.  For us, it was a business decision to accept that initial price.  We won't take a listing that we KNOW we can't sell.  And for us personally, one of our niches are homes that have expired on the market (didn't sell the first, or maybe second, time with an agent).  Those homes are typically a bit more challenging to sell, so days on market may be longer than for an agent who only sells "normal" homes.

Additionally, we may have had several offers along the way while working for the BEST offer for our sellers.  Again, time on market lengthened, but it was in our client's best interest. 

And selling a home in Middletown is a lot tougher than selling a home in Mason.

How many homes have we sold?

That's more a measure of opportunity than our skill.  Some years we have more sellers than buyers.  Lately our balance has been a bit more towards buyers.  Other years more sellers call.  What we're NOT trying to be is the #1 team in Warren County.  We only take on clients that we can comfortably serve to our (and your) level of expectation.

So when you're ready to hire your listing agent, a few suggestions:

  • Look carefully at actual examples of a listing agent's work.  Examine their pictures, marketing remarks and accuracy.  What you SEE is a lot more meaningful than what might be promised.
  • How's responsiveness?  Was your initial email/phone call answered quickly?  And no, this doesn't mean they HAD to answer the phone when you called.  If we're with clients, we're NOT answering the phone, but we will call you back as soon as we can.
  • What's the track record with homes LIKE yours?  Selling a short sale is more challenging than a Pottery Barn, move in ready subdivision home.  The closer (including physical location) to your home in style, price range, etc., the more meaningful the comparison.

And one last point, if TRULY the only thing that REALLY matters to you is commission rate, then just skip the rest and get straight to what is really critical to you.  It may save both of us a lot of time!

Other questions about buying or selling a Warren County area home?  Just ask!  Call 513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com!

Serving Warren County home buyers and sellers,

Liz and Bill aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

 

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

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Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Spot on Liz and Bill! Great post. Most buyers (and sellers too, for that matter) don't realize buying and selling a home is a team effort. No wink or pun intended here, it takes many key professionals from different aspects of the industry that put in their time and work together (cooperate with each other) utilizing expertise, talent, experience, and knowledge and all following the laws and guidelines they must follow to make it all happen successfully... 

Dec 05, 2014 07:54 AM #49
Rainmaker
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Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Liz and Bill Spear ~ it's all about a team effort and creating stats clients adorn.... The better team you have in place the better chances of putting up stats for clients to cheer

Dec 05, 2014 08:42 AM #50
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1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Bliz,

This is such a valid and good read.  Every person that is thinking about selling their home, regardless of where it's located, could do well and be benefitted by, reading this and paying attention to it!

Dec 05, 2014 10:05 AM #51
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Tom, We always hope they're receptive to what we're tyring to tell them.

Rene, No doubt, we have to team with our clients and plenty of other key players to get that home sale completed

Jon, We try to supply the stats and hopefully we can provide a clear message.

Judi, We hope we can help them make the right choices with our help.

Dec 05, 2014 11:18 AM #52
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Okay, so I'm going to share my point of view and my experience in my neck of the woods...aka the devil's advocate!  

Sellers tend to hire the agent who gives them the highest estimated sales price.  That agent lists the property and continuously has to reduce the price, prolonging the days on the market, showing the actual stats for those agents.  They do this intentionally (price it high) to win the listing.  The consequence of 'playing the game' in that manner is reflected in their stats.

Now, those agents' stats compared to agents who price the home RIGHT initially ARE going to be skewed...but, it's THEIR fault.  The agents who price it right, market the home properly and are expert negotiators WILL have the highest list-to-sales-price ratios and the fewest days on the market.  And, what do ALL sellers' want?  The most possible money for their home IN the shortest amount of time.  

As well, as Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner mentioned, the good agents will NOT take an overpriced listing JUST to land the listing.  They will wait...patiently...while the home languishes on the market and then many sellers wind up hiring the good agent when their listing expires because they realize that agent was right in the first place!

And, I agree wholeheartedly with the commission comment - don't waste anyone's time if that is your #1 goal!!  For SURE!

Dec 05, 2014 01:00 PM #53
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Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Well said, Bliz. It's not always about raw numbers. Sellers can easily chose an agent because of numbers and have their home languish. We have a couple agents in our market that will take a listing under any conditions. Their signs sit around like flower gardens. Many of the homes go into short sale or foreclosure, but out of the 100 of properties they take they may actually sell 50. The numbers are in their favor, but does that make them the most qualified, or is it the sheer volume will produce something eventually?

Dec 05, 2014 08:52 PM #54
Rainmaker
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Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Goood morning BLIZ,

Excellent post and a well deserved featured post! I loved Debe Maxwell's comments "I agree wholeheartedly with the commission comment - don't waste anyone's time if that is your #1 goal!!  For SURE!"

Dec 05, 2014 09:45 PM #55
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Debe, sometimes it would seem the sellers don't know what they don't know and think they're collecting the right information to make a decision, when they're actually setting themselves up for failure.

Mike, The complement question to how many homes did you sell last year might be how many did you also NOT sell last year?

Dorie, Not a fan of being asked 15 questions and spending 1-2 hours with a potential client and THEN it comes out all they REALLY care about is how much??

Dec 06, 2014 04:03 AM #56
Rainmaker
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Dan Dee McGinnis The Pumpkin Man
HomeSmart - Phoenix, AZ

very good enjoyed your comments here on this post

Dec 06, 2014 04:37 AM #57
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Dan, Thanks, and thanks for subscribing also!

Dec 06, 2014 09:02 AM #58
Rainmaker
1,317,601
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

This is a very inforative post. It is difficult to get these point understood by the consumer... and many agents use the stat to get business without discussing the things your have pointed out.

Dec 06, 2014 10:56 AM #59
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Joan, Smoke and mirrors :)

Dec 06, 2014 11:54 AM #60
Rainmaker
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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

No wonder Debbie Reynolds suggested that we all check out your blog posts! Thanks

Dec 06, 2014 12:10 PM #61
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Lisa, We appreciate Debbie sending you our way!

Dec 07, 2014 02:56 AM #62
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Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

Seller's family, friends and neighbors know more than professional agents, Bill. It's good to go totally prepared, Bill.  Well-done. 

Dec 07, 2014 08:08 AM #63
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Toni, Not much fun when you know someone is whispering in the client's ear throughout the process.

Dec 07, 2014 10:46 AM #64
Rainmaker
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Barbara Altieri
Kinard Realty Group - RealtyQuest Team, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Liz and Bill -- Great points. There are just too many variables to just rely on stats. To have a seller choose a brokerage because they sell the most properties, well dig a little deeper on that one.  They may also have hundreds of agents thereby showing high numbers but a shrewd seller can see through their analyses. You nailed the last three suggestions.  

Dec 08, 2014 10:35 AM #65
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Barbara, There are just so many variables with the stats, and many of those variables make the numbers less than pertinent.  Which would you rather have, a person who LIVES in your subdivision, or a person who's 3 for 3 selling homes in your subdivision with multiple offers on each?

Dec 08, 2014 01:00 PM #66
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

BLiz

We all know real estate stats can be manipulated or distorted. And picking the right person to sell your home is not about just the statistics

Jeff

Dec 10, 2014 10:42 AM #67
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Jeff, The stats are just a portion of it aren't they?

Dec 10, 2014 11:52 AM #68
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