The Truth About Real Estate Agents
How To Pick A Great Real Estate Agent Who Will Actually Sell Your House!
So a recent study showed that the average real estate agent in the U.S. sells fewer than 5 homes per year! In some cities, the average drops to just 3! Now I don’t bring that up to cast stones at these agents, but at the end of the day, these are professionals asking you to part with a pretty hefty chunk of your cash… In my opinion, that means their performance (Or lack thereof) is fair game! After-all, if the sales pitch is “Hire me because I can sell your house quicker than you can” then they should be open to proving it right?
So here’s why I bring this up. If a professional only manages to sell 3 – 5 homes for the entire year, then how long do you think those homes sat on the market before they sold?
We don’t really know for certain do we? But I’d wager a guess that it was a lot longer than you’d want your own home sitting on the market! If your goal is a quick sale, then that means you need to be selective about who you work with to sell your home. And that’s why I’m here. To offer you some tips on picking out the best possible agent who stands the best chances of getting your home sold sooner rather than later.
I strongly recommend that you put at least one of the tips below into action before picking an agent. A failure to do so could result in either your home sitting on the market unsold for far longer than it should – At which point potential buyers begin to ask themselves that inevitable question: “What’s wrong with it”? Not to mention a home that doesn’t sell quickly emboldens the low ball offer crowd… That’s a kick in the gut let me tell you… Folks offering you 50 – 90k under your asking price? (Shudders)
What To Look For
One of the questions that most home buyers ask agents they’re considering doing business with is: “How many homes do you sell per year”? That’s a pretty run of the mill question, and to be frank with you, it doesn’t really accomplish much, does it? I say that because unfortunately, the answers you get will rarely reflect reality if the agent is a below-average performer. It’s not too different from asking a sales-person: “Do you give good service”? Would you ever expect an answer other than “Yes”?
Now before you go thinking I’m just trying to depress you here, let’s talk about some of the proactive ways you can narrow down the field!
1. Speak With Past Clients
This is the easiest of questions to ask – “Would it be ok if I chat with some of your previous clients”? Or at the very least, ask for testimonials/reviews that you can examine. What you’re looking for here is obviously something pointing to how long it took the home to sell. This method isn’t fool-proof though as the agent could easily cherry-pick and only send you the examples of homes that sold quickly. But it certainly is a step in the right direction. Another option is to google the agent and look for online reviews.
2. Look for signs of success and designations
I’m sure you’ve seen the ‘alphabet soup’ of designations that can often be found on a real estate agents business card. Ever wondered what those really mean? (I do… If you really want to know, give me a jingle and I’ll be happy to lay it out on the table for you) So there are lots of different designations for real estate agents, and all of them mean something different. Some point to levels of success, while others don’t really mean a whole heck of a lot from a marketing and sales skills stand-point.
It’s often said that “success leaves clues” and I believe in that 100% – A high performing agent who tends to sell homes quickly will have:
- More often than not a lot of listings. Check the agents’ listings online. Google his/her name and designation, or even visit their website and see how many listings they have
- Awards – Most local Realtor agencies give awards each quarter, and each year for performance. Has the agent won any of these awards for performance?
- Designations. As I mentioned above, many of the designations have little or nothing to do with performance, but some do. For example: CRS = Certified Residential Specialist. Fewer than 2% of real estate agents have earned this designation, partly because you need to have proved expertise through the closing of millions of dollars of real estate before you can earn it.
Anyhow, point being that if the agent you are considering is truly a top performer that can sell your house quickly, and knows he/she can due to past performance, I guarantee you they’re more than happy to toot their own horn. So just ask about the performance, and pay close attention. Any agent can promise you the world. But only a true high-performance agent will be prepared to back those claims up.
3. Ask Someone In The Industry
Here’s my favorite tip – Primarily because it delivers the best results, but also because it gives me an excuse to recommend that you call me! Haha – Seriously though, I’ve been doing mortgage loans a long time. During that time I’ve worked with countless real estate agents. When I work with an agent, I work quite closely with both them, as well as their clients. This means I’m uniquely positioned to hear any complaints or compliments along the way… I see turn-around times, marketing strategies, and whatever goes on behind the curtains that you don’t see as the client – I’m part of the entire show from start to finish… I can tell you who will likely be a great match for you and sell the home quickly, and I can also tell you who would be a nightmare and make your selling process miserable! (You might be shocked by how many of this type is out there!)
I have 0 inventive to point you in any direction other than “hey, this person rocks and will sell your house ASAP” as I don’t get paid for my own services unless the house sells assuming I’m given the privilege of being your mortgage broker… (Hint, hint) So how about it? Want to see my recommendations for awesome, vs. not so awesome? All it takes is a simple call or text and I’m happy to share my observations with you:
416-908-2070 or firstname.lastname@example.org
8 Sampson Mews, Suite 201 | Toronto | ON | M3C 0H5, FSCO #10710
Please visit the Financial Services Commission of Ontario Directory for more information and to check licensing status at http://mbsweblist.fsco.gov.on.ca/agents.aspx