Why 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!
Liz and Bill aka BLiz