Do you ever get tired of every agent claiming to be #1? When you're selling your house, you want an agent to whom the sale is as big a deal as it is to you. After all, your concern is quality of service, not quantity of sales -- why do you care that an agent sold 30 other homes that year? When I got into this business 25 years ago, I made the commitment to put quality ahead of quantity, and I still do. It is clearer to me now than it was then that an agent cannot sell even 25 houses a year and take care of each customer in the optimum way.
If you think about it, the reason becomes clear: most agents selling more than 25 homes (and very few agents exceed that) do so with what is actually a small company of assistants. The "name" agent comes out and interviews you, but the assistants are the people you generally end up dealing with. As you can imagine, assistants are assistants for a reason: they tend to be relatively new in the business and, if they had sufficient experience and expertise, they would hang out their own shingle. If you end up having a smooth transaction, the assistant is probably sufficient; however, you don't know what pitfalls the escrow is going to run into to until you're into it. A lot of the problems that arise during an escrow could have been avoided if the agent's full attention and expertise had been applied from the outset. This, after all, is the main reason you are hiring your agent.
On the other hand, if an agent is selling over 25 homes a year without an assistant, he's not going to have a lot of time to devote to any one of them, which includes you. And it isn't just the activities directly related to the transactions; to sell over 25 homes a year, an agent has got to spend a lot of time prospecting for new business, which is time he's not paying attention to your sale. An agent who operates this way is going to have a lot of listings that don't sell, and a lot that fall out of escrow, so while the result may be a lot of sales, yours may not be among them. Obviously there is a balance -- one or two sales a year raises other concerns.
I made the decision early on that I would sacrifice notoriety, income, and lifestyle so that I could be exactly the kind of agent I wished I'd had -- one who pays the kind of meticulous attention to every sale that I would want. One who personally meets with every agent, appraiser, inspector, termite man, escrow officer, lender, etc, and whose considerable expertise is brought to bear in each case. This results in nearly all my listings and sales reaching a successful conclusion, and a long list of satisfied clients, some of whose Testimonials appear on my website.