Does your agents location matter?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with CENTURY 21 Professional Group, Inc.

Being a strong internet marketing person, often times I get calls to list homes out of my area.  One of the first questions I get from these folks is how are you going to market my home if you are 45 minutes away?  Luckily, its not hard to answer.  I explain how we use a multifaceted marketing plans that basically makes their home a virtual open house 24/7. 

Truth be told, sometimes I have to decline a listing due to distance, but it’s not due to the marketing.  It’s distance.  Allow me to explain.  I can market any home.  What I cannot always do is provide the customer service that a seller requires in a given situation.  Take my friend Juan.  He has a home out by Lake Nona and I live in Ocoee.  The issue is that the home requires extensive set up to be shown, including the removal of a large dog.  I am a huge pet person and never have a problem setting up a listing, but having to drive nearly 45 minutes for an appointment and then waiting on another agent is simply not realistic for me to promise to the seller.  Yes, I’d love to sell a high end home but I cannot deny the fact that my location sometimes severely limits the service I am able to provide for this client.  In this business, I see many agents who do not take this into consideration when they take a listing and the sellers unknowingly hire and agent that actually limits their showing ability.  For example, in my own neighborhood, there is a seller who has hired a Miami agent to list their home.  I saw the sign but could not find it in our MLS system that agent here use.  I finally found it on  The issue?  Miami is NOT a part of the Central Florida MLS, therefore their agents listings do not show in our system.  Not a good thing for the seller.  Other times, we see out of area agents with listings that require an appointment.  These agents sometimes have a hard time getting to the house and many times opportunities are missed.  This is especially true in our market.  I cannot begin to tell you how many times I get called from out of state buyers who have one day to see homes and they make their decision quickly.  Homes with unavailable agents or accessibility often get overlooked in the interest of time. OUCH!  The other part of this equation is familiarity with an area.  While I can market anywhere, it doesn’t mean I should stray into an area where I don't know the market. This lack of local information could easily lead to a lower list price or missed marketing opportunities.  I’d be better off referring a local agent instead of being greedy and trying to take every listing opportunity I get.  In the end, I truly believe it hurts some agents when they spread themselves too thin.  They can’t provide the service and they don’t know the market. In my humble opinion, if your agent is more than 20 minutes from you, it’s probably best you find another one, me included!

So, before you hire an agent to list your home, make sure you know where they are located. Check their phone response time too.  If your call or message goes unanswered for more than a few hours, chances are buyers are getting the same response when trying to view your home.  It all matters, so get the info up front before you make a costly mistake and end up in a listing agreement with the wrong agent.