How do you choose a realtor? Are there times a realtor needs to be fired? This is a hot topic, especially for a Realtor to be writing about. There are times, as a home buyer or seller, when the Realtor you are working with should be fired. Every profession has bad eggs. Obviously, if they are breaking the law, being unethical, untrustworthy, uncommunicative, and so on, then you can tell them you no longer want to work with them. (Make sure you let the realtor know you are letting them go! Don’t just avoid them. Plus, if you have a contract with them, then you may be obligated to pay them, unless you cancel the contract- but make sure you know what your contract says!) But…there are times when you should NOT fire your Realtor too.
This is not one of the reasons
I’ve seen it time and time again: a home goes on the market and it is priced over market value. The sellers are hoping a buyer will bite, especially in this market. Inventory is low and buyers are desperate right? Buyers are smart. They have access to information and study it. This is the average buyer I’m talking about. Some buyers go even deeper. The average Buyer knows what homes, just like this overpriced listing, have recently sold for. They know how long homes are taking to sell, what the seller originally paid for the home, and, if a home was on the market recently and didn’t sell or fell out of escrow. Sellers mistakenly think a buyer will make an offer and if enough buyers make low offers then they will take the highest they can get. That isn’t how it works folks.
In Butte County, the list to sale price is 101% and has been for a couple years now. What that means is that buyers are only paying 1% over the listed price on average. For a $500,000 home that is only $5,000. So that means that if the market value of a home is $500,000 and a seller has it listed for $525,000, hoping someone will bite, they will not get any offers! Or they might get one, but buyers will wait for the listing to become stale and make a low offer.
Now we get to the part when the seller fires their realtor because their house isn’t selling. The realtor most likely told that seller what market value was for their home. But the seller did not follow their realtor’s guidance. So the seller fires the realtor and is frustrated. Then the home is pulled off the market. Hungry realtors who watch for this every day, will begin to call the seller, promising them THEY will get their house sold. Then, for some reason, the seller will re-list the home at the price their original realtor advised them to, and the home sells in a matter of days. Of course it sold. It wasn’t the realtor who sold it. It was the price.
How to choose your realtor
A GOOD realtor, representing a seller, will do the following:
1. Communicate clearly and regularly
2. Be honest and trustworthy
3. Understand the local real estate market and advise you on the best way to meet your goals (example: you want to sell for the most amount of money in the least amount of time; or you want to sell for the most amount of money but you have all the time in the world; etc)
4. Help you prepare your home for sale by giving suggestions and working within your budget, abilities and timeline. Preparing the home right will pay off big time. (Decluttering, cleaning, painting, cleaning up the yard, staging the home, etc)
5. Professional photos, 3D tours, and even drone video
6. Well-written description, fully filled-out MLS listing with accurate information about the home, and captions on the photos
7. The realtor will be on the phone, making sure that all the realtors in the area who represent the majority of the buyers, know about this listing.
8. The realtor will return calls from interested parties promptly and keep you informed on the activity of the home.
9. The realtor will understand all the facets of the sale, like any local regulations, special insurance needs, whether or not the home is lendable and which loans can qualify, and be able to anticipate and prepare the seller for demands buyers may make. Actually, the best realtors prepare the home to sell so buyers don’t make any demands.
10. Leave you, the seller, feeling fully informed, in control, and satisfied with the entire process.
If you are thinking of selling your home, it is a good idea to interview three agents. How do you choose your realtor? Ask them to show you comparables of your home, their marketing strategy for selling your home, as well as proof of their success (past client reviews, homes they sold in the past year, things like that). Choosing a good realtor will make all the difference in your experience and, when you know you’ve chosen a GOOD realtor, then you can trust their advice…and follow it.
Written by Kim Jacobi, of the Jacobi Team of Century 21 in Chico. Check out our recent Google reviews here!