8 Real Estate Pitfalls to Avoid When Hiring a Realtor

Pitfall # 1: Family/ Friend selling real estate. Use real standards when selecting a real estate agent. Make sure they have credentials and you get references. Your friend may be upset that you’re not using them, but a true friend will understand and appreciate that this is a business decision and will offer their credentials and compete for the listing. Plus, what happens if there’s a problem… do you want to damage your friendship?

Pitfall # 2: You’re the only agent who agrees with my selling price. Some agents just tell you what you want to hear. This is commonly known, in the real estate industry, as “buying a listing” and is employed by shortsighted agents who are more interested in themselves then they are in you. Look out for the realtor who tells a homeowner their home is ready to be listed for sale when asked if there is anything that should be done to prepare it for market. This alone can cost a seller valuable time and money.

So here’s how it works… your house gets the most attention from other agents when it’s  a “new” listing. If it’s priced properly, lots of agents will show it to their buyers. If you price it too high, no one will show the house and it will sit on the market for some time. When you finally drop the price to reflect its real value, you house is now “old news” as its been on the market for a while. And potential buyers often think there’s something wrong with the house.

Pitfall # 3: List with the agent who has the lowest commission. As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” Keep in mind that most agents and real estate companies put up their own funds to market and advertise your home. Marketing & Advertising costs money; the lower the commission, the less incentive for an agent to put up his or her own money to market your home. If a realtor agrees to a lower commission with no resistance or very little, can you imagine how strong their negotiations will be on your behalf when you receive an offer?

Pitfall # 4: All realtors passed the same test so they must know the same things. The real estate profession is constantly changing and the best real estate professionals stay abreast of those changes by continuing their education. Some even take specialized courses. Your agent should have intimate knowledge of recent sales, schools, business and so on, but that is easily achieved through research.

Pitfall # 5: This agent will hold an open house every week. Only a small fraction of the homes held open are sold as a direct result of the open house. Open Houses are good ways for agents to prospect for potential clients. Good agents know better than to pin all their selling efforts on an open house. They use their time in more efficient marketing methods, such as getting other agents interested in your home, and if done correctly it will multiply your sales force beyond just one individual.

Pitfall # 6: This agent sold more homes last year than anyone else. That’s a great starting point. But is it the quantity or the quality? What is more valuable: an agent who listed 35 homes and sold 26 homes, or an agent who listed 15 homes and sold all 15? Make sure you ask additional questions like: how many listings did not sell? How many were reduced over and over before they sold? How long were the houses on the market? How smoothly was the process handled? How accessible was the agent when there were questions or problems?

Pitfall # 7: Choosing a Part-Time Realtor. Many realtors get into the business part time because they believe it can be done on a part-time basis. Think about it. How available will a part-time realtor be to answer inquiries on your home if they’re busy with a 9-5 job? Plus, will they be able to get your home maximum exposure?

Pitfall # 8: Hiring an agent with no sales record in your area. You don’t need your agent to live in your neighborhood to sell your home, but be on the lookout for agents who exaggerate their expertise in your area. Don’t believe them unless they can show you listings they’ve sold in your area.

Choosing a Realtor plays a huge role in whether your home selling process will be successful or not. Same goes for buying a home. A Part-time agent may make you miss some amazing opportunities. The best agent is the one who will help you through the process and will do the most effective job of marketing the property, negotiating the most favorable terms and conditions, and communicating with you to make the process as smooth as possible.

Call us at 740.346.2899 if you have additional questions about your Real Estate Transaction.

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