In today's real estate market with record-breaking low inventory, any listing opportunity is enticing to motivated agents. After all, taking new listings is the meat and potatoes of our business. But is it in your, or your client's, best interest to take certain listings?
Scenario: You have a dear friend who owns a home in your state. Your friend wants you to list it. Because you care about your friend, you want to make sure they get the best service possible. And because you need some listings, you want to take it.
The thing is...the house is over two hours away from your home base. But...your real estate license allows you to list or sell property anywhere in the state. Should you take the listing?
The answer, like many answers in real estate, is "it depends." Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have a good, solid, working knowledge of the area?
- Do I know trusted professionals in the area to refer to my client for additional services?
- Do I have detailed, reliable local market data and comparable properties?
- Will I be able to show the property to interested buyers who contact me?
- Will local agents have access to vital, agent-only listing information, such as disclosures, private remarks, and showing instructions?
- Will local agents be able to easily schedule showings?
- Will I be able to do an open house if the client wants one?
- Will I be able to properly market an open house if the client wants one?
The following questions are pertinent if the property is vacant:
- Will I be able to help if an agent tries to show the property and the key is missing or the lockbox malfunctions?
- Will I be able to fix the problem if a neighbor calls to inform me that lights were left on after a showing?
If you can't answer "yes" to these questions, you should really consider interviewing an experienced agent local to the listing area and referring your client to one you feel will do an excellent job. The REALTOR Code of Ethics Duties to Clients and Customers begins with (emphasis mine):
"When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. "
At the end of the day, no matter the circumstances, the best interests of the client trump all else.