"I'm a Listing Specialist So I Don't Work with Buyers"

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

If you don't work with buyers on a regular basis, you don't have the expertise to accurately price homes for market. Many experienced agents snottily declare that they Don't Work With Buyers - they only handle listings and hire buyer agents to show homes. I know a few agents in my area who are huge listers and have never shown or previewed one of my listings. I don't understand how they can claim to be a neighborhood expert when they don't know the competition...don't have an understanding of how buyers think.

Because I work with both buyers and sellers equally, I can help a seller look at his home through the eyes of a buyer... and the buyer's agent. I know what is currently in vogue with the local buyers. I know what will WOW a buyer as he walks in the door...and what will immediately turn him off.

I can advise my client on the upgrades and improvements that truly matter in OUR market, even specific to his particular neighborhood. I know how important a walk-in closet is... or isn't. I know if buyers will overlook a dated kitchen... or if they won't. I know if buyers will balk at the lack of a garage... or if they will be tickled just to have off-street parking.

I know how much value to add for being close to a popular coffee shop... or how much to subtract for being on a bus route. I know how to price an asbestos-sided house so that buyers will consider it... over the vintage brick Tudor they really want.

Other things I know because I work with buyers...

I understand why a 1,200 sqft Bungalow is far more valuable than a 1000 sqft Bungalow (aside from the difference in square footage.)

I understand why a main floor master bedroom is undesirable for many buyers.

I know that in certain neighborhoods, one-story Bungalows are selling far more quickly than two-story Victorians. And I know why.

The real estate market changes on a daily basis and data from the MLS tells only part of the story. What you knew about the market six months ago is irrelevant to the market conditions today. To truly be a "listing specialist," you must also be committed to knowing the inventory... and to knowing the buyer.


copyright Jennifer Allan 2007

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Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer
Excellent post Jennifer!  This is correct on so many levels.  I *do* believe it is possible for a list agent to be just a list agent and still have the pulse - HOWEVER - this takes much research and education that you just can't become the "neighborhood expert" overnight!
Mar 18, 2007 05:14 AM #1
Beth Bastian
Rosemont Financial Inc - Simi Valley, CA
Simi Valley Real Estate
I am with you, I really have never understood an agent who will turn their back on half of the potential clients.  
Mar 18, 2007 05:32 AM #2
Kelli Fronabarger
Bend River Realty Inc. - Bend, OR
Realtor - Bend Oregon
Jennifer- Good job! Working with both buyers and sellers really helps me to keep in touch with what issues are important to each as well. Thank you for posting this valuable insight : )
Mar 18, 2007 05:59 AM #3
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
I couln't agree with you more.  I work only with buyers and I really do know the market.  Often I have heavy listing agents asking me WHAT the BLEEP do the buyers want.  So -- I tell them -- Don't have a co-broke fee which is ridiculous e.g. 1 1/2 apples -- don't give a bonus to the buyer's agent -- have the seller give something back to the buyer -- e.g. a credit,  or pay a point -- etc.  I think a lot of agents who haven't worked with buyers don't have a clue-- and then they seem to have a very arrogant attitude toward buyers. 
Mar 18, 2007 06:01 AM #4
Rich Kruse
Gryphon USA, Ltd. - Columbus, OH
I need to agree with Renee on this one.  I almost never work with buyers.  Being in the trenches instead of the office all the time is what help keep a finger on the market.  It can be done, but isn't for everyone.  The biggest reason?  I just don't want to do something I hate to do.  I already have enough of that.  Plus, there are a lot of other agents good at buyer, that like buyers and hate sellers.  Good trade off.
Mar 18, 2007 12:36 PM #5
Duayne Weir
Investment Realities LLC/MarketLink Realty - Ham Lake, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Agent

Good post Jennifer,

Good perspective on being a buyers agent and knowing your market and inventory.

Good Day!! have a cup of java and a smile on me :)

www.duayneweir.com REALTOR in Minneapolis Minnesota

Mar 18, 2007 04:10 PM #6
Aziz Abdur-Raoof
RE/MAX Rewards - Columbia, MD
Howard Co. Real Estate Scoop
I have worked with buyers more than sellers, and want to continue to do both.  I have a listing that went under contract in less than 14 days b/c I spent the time researching the neighborhood and priicing it correctly had it in excellent condition. Also, I think more importantly WORKING with the buyers agent to get a win-win for both parties.  Actually, they are all important aspects.

Excellent post!  I give you a red star --you just can't see it!( graphically challenged on this forum) 
Mar 19, 2007 02:08 AM #7
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
Well, thank you! I'll take a star any way I can get one... even if it's invisible!
Mar 19, 2007 02:09 AM #8
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

I too, can not relate to an agent that wants nothing to do with buyers. It DOES get you out into the trenches and you see what is available in the market. Usually when I list I do preview all the current active listings in the area and I work with enough buyers to have a good idea on what is good, bad & ugly.

Mar 19, 2007 10:35 PM #9
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

I'll never understand how an agent can accurately price a home without previewing the competition... but many don't! And if they don't work with buyers, how on earth do they know what else is out there????

I've heard that in some markets, previewing isn't allowed. I discuss previewing heavily in my books and I've had many new agents ask me "What's Previewing?"

Mar 19, 2007 11:58 PM #10
Diane Rice
Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL - Lansing, IL

Hi Jennifer:  Our team could use the wisdom you share.... we are getting our feet wet together.  We have an advantage over many by having trusting tenants looking to own, however we realize there's much more to learn.  Thanks for your teachings - we are watching, learning, and becoming enriched for the sake of our clients.

Mar 20, 2007 02:26 PM #11
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

Jennifer - Aha.............now I get it. You can not post your vast superior knowledge all in one post. Well, since I happen to agree with almost everything you say (we will just have to agree to disagree on the value of Pizza.) I think you should sit down and write a book.

kiss kiss

Nov 05, 2007 12:23 AM #12
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
Thought you'd like it. Hopefully the pizza obsession will pass shortly...
Nov 05, 2007 04:01 AM #13
Josette Skilling
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Bethesda, MD

Funny, but I just had this conversation with a manager in my office.  I really do prefer the listing side as I was saying to him, but he said exactly what you just said.  We have to always know what buyers are thinking or we lose our value to our sellers. 

Not previewing?  Good grief.  How did they figure out the market if they didn't see anything else??

Nov 06, 2007 02:36 PM #14
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Josette - I have no idea how agents function without previewing... but, obviously, I agree with your manager - to truly be a market expert you have to know, first-hand, what the buyers want - and you certainly can't rely on feedback from the agents who show your listing. This is another reason I think Open Houses are important - it's a great opportunity to gather feedback on your listing from the general public, even if you don't sell the house.

p.s. I don't really enjoy working with buyers either, although most of the time, once you're into it, it's fun.

Nov 06, 2007 09:53 PM #15
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