Comps and credibility as a listing agent

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 MD594797

When I begin working with a new seller, I immediately put their neighborhood or zip-code on my watch list (if it isnt' already on it), and pay close attention to any new activity. 

When new listings pop up that are very suitable comps, I'll make an appointment to preview. Comps and credibility are not only important when talking to clients, but also when it is time for the appraisal. 

I make every effort to meet with the appraiser in person and will present pertinent information that the appraiser may otherwise not be aware of. 

By doing my homework, I am in the best position to share information that supports the value of my listing. I am able to explain why I disregarded one comp that looked so perfect on paper, or made bigger than usual adjustments for another. I am not only relying on public information and MLS print-outs because they simply don't tell the whole story. 

experienced listing agent in Silver Spring

By viewing a comp myself, I learn facts that I would otherwise not know about. Last week I toured a few homes in 20901 Silver Spring, two of which I'll most definitely include as comps when nailing down the price point with my sellers and when meeting with the appraiser. 

One of the comps was listed as a 3 bedroom in the MLS and all public records. But it is not. To create a more open concept and a music room, the current owners eliminated one bedroom. There was a note explaining what had been done and how easy it would be to turn it back into a bedroom, but the fact is, it's now a 2 bedroom home. 

The other home looked just so charming and perfect in all its pictures but in reality, while still charming, it wasn't near as perfect. There was some cracked tile in the bathroom, and all the gorgeous wood floors throughout creaked horribly. There were some maintenance items that should have been done, and a yard in need of TLC. 

These two are perfect examples why I preview comps. Home facts can be flawed, public records wrong, and virtual tours do not tell the whole story. 

Only in-person will you hear the floors creak throughout, see the mildew stains on the caulk and not hear the fan turn on, realize that the yard pictures are from years past, and the 3rd bedroom is no more. These are pertinent facts that are written nowhere, nor can they be learned from a drive-by. 

Comps and credibility as a listing agent

Posted by

Andrea Bedard
Thompson Co., REALTORS®

Silver Spring, Maryland

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Comments (36)

Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

Bravo. I am big believer in previewing homes. Pictures are great, but you can't see the broken tiles or the leaky roof. Don't get me started on smells

Apr 25, 2021 04:19 PM
Andrea Bedard

So many homes look stunning in pictures but in reality are not quite as charming, or luxurious, or clean, or maintained. And, yes, the smells! There were times I wished the appraiser was required to look inside the comp(s) as well vs. just driving by and getting an exterior picture. I suspect some appraisals would have had a different outcome. 

Apr 25, 2021 06:42 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

It's so tough on out-of-state buyers especially in today's market, so anything we can do to make it easier for our buyers and sellers is the right way to go.

Apr 25, 2021 05:15 PM
Andrea Bedard

The trend in MD is that new listings come on the market on Thursday and offer presentations are Monday or Tuesday. It allows us to plan and have a chance to see the homes but previewing is not possible... homes are just not on the market long enough. 

Apr 26, 2021 07:47 PM
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Well said...and imho an agents level of knowledge and competence is based on "actual" knowlege...although I will say w/our current activtiy/mulitple offers anywhere from 10 to 20+ offers can be a challenge even to get an appt. to show.   However for me personally a "drive-by" is also helpful. 


Apr 25, 2021 07:14 PM
Andrea Bedard

It certainly is a challenge Lynda. There have been properties that I really wanted to see but wasn't able to get an appointment when it fit my schedule. In that case, I do a drive-by at least. 

Apr 26, 2021 07:42 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Those kinds of perks are usually part of the gig when you get to that stage, and I think you're on the right path

Apr 25, 2021 08:59 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Andrea, I love that this post was featured. Your clients are so darn lucky to have you. You have always given so much and gone that extra mile for everyone you work with! 

Apr 25, 2021 09:50 PM
Andrea Bedard

Margaret, thank you for the beautiful compliment! Love being featured right beside you - you are the best company & such an inspiration. 

Apr 26, 2021 07:33 PM
AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

Depending on my customers personality I take them with me, so they will have the same experience and knowledge.

Great job...success to you always.

Apr 26, 2021 05:40 AM
Andrea Bedard

I do, too, when timing is on our side.. it's a bit tricky right now. 

Apr 26, 2021 07:41 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Previewing was definitely affected by COVID, in SoCal, unless it was vacant, we were not allowed into the house with out a pre-approval and a PEAD form. It eliminating a lot of the previewing, thankfully that's starting to relax now.

Apr 26, 2021 07:49 AM
Andrea Bedard

Hopefully things will slowly but surely get back to normal (or a new normal) Thomas. I know you were much more restricted in CA than we were in MD - lots of safety precautions are still in place, but I am able to preview and tour with up to 2 "decision makers" as long as we mask up, disinfect hands, and wear boot covers. 

Apr 26, 2021 07:37 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Andrea, great post and lots of valuable information.  To have all your ducks in a row when meeting the appraiser just helps ensure there won't be mistakes, IMO.

Apr 26, 2021 10:10 AM
Andrea Bedard

I learn so much from chatting with appraisers, and have found that many are happy to share some words of wisdom/input - nothing specific about the property, of course - and receive information that they would not have otherwise. Thank you Joan!

Apr 26, 2021 07:39 PM
Shannon Jones
The Shannon Jones Team - Long Beach, CA
Long Beach CA Real Estate

Such good information! We've been having to do this a lot recently!

Apr 26, 2021 12:41 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Now with the various Internet platforms like the R's & Z's of this world knowing the inventory and comps is more critical than ever. Sadly our market is so fast that with Covid Restrictions you barely have a moment to see a property before it is sold.... Great strategy on your part, Endre

Apr 26, 2021 09:14 PM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

Also, until the photos come with "scratch and sniff technology" you need to show up to see if the home smells like cigarettes and / or cats.

Apr 26, 2021 09:36 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

You are so right, having an opportunity to preview the comps will tell a different story. For sure an appraiser will not take the time to do the same and if approached properly will listen to the story.

Apr 27, 2021 03:21 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Good morning Andrea, if we have the opportunity to preview the comps, it is of course great for our clients. Your buyer and seller clients are in great hands with you.

Apr 27, 2021 05:35 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

That's great Andrea. You can also check for odors when you go in person. I just sold  a house for way over list price. The neighbor listed their house for a very high amount. Then they started lowering. I went to view it and what you couldn't see in the lovely photos is the deferred maintenance. The work that was done was shoddy at best. The moment you walked up to the front door you could see cracked siding. It had been a rental and while they tried to cover up some of the issues, it still looked bad. 

Apr 27, 2021 06:03 AM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Amen, however, because of Covid, restrictions and physical touring may be suspended or difficult for buyers to inspect properties even with agents, so, the platform is evolving and becoming more challenging, don't you think?

Apr 27, 2021 09:26 AM
Toby Barnett
KW North Sound - Marysville, WA
Toby Barnett

Good on you for being a thorough listing agent! Bravo!

In my area, we're seeing other agents call listing agents to get info on how to price their properties. Typically these are newer agents with less experience and are trying to look good infront of their potential sellers. I'm not very helpful to these agents.

Apr 27, 2021 10:08 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Andrea, I do the same...however in this market, I can't always preview the new listings--they go on and off the market so quickly!  I always keep up with the 'competition' re new listings.

Apr 27, 2021 12:47 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

In our area comps are somewhat meaningless, every home will receive multiple offers way over the highest ever sold. I am unaware lenders will not consider overbid sold homes. Buyers are prepared to put down more or have other lenders in place. The most recent one in east bay was $1,000,000 over the comp. 19 offers with all over asking price. No one was surprised it got sold that high.

Apr 28, 2021 07:10 AM
Leslie Scholfield
HomeSmart - Centennial, CO

Thank you for that reminder.  We use to do the same-but have stopped because of the showing restrictions and COVID.  It is importaint in hot markets and cold markets.

May 10, 2021 11:16 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Andrea, being on the buy side, it is important to figure out the "appraised value" so the buyers know what their appraisal gap will be. 

May 17, 2021 06:39 AM