If you're in the market to sell your home this year, hiring the right agent is critical. The listing appointment is traditionally the first, and most important, step in the process. This is your opportunity to interview your agent and for your agent to interview you. It's not always a one-way street. Compatibility is key in teaming up to get your home sold. Here are a few pitches you might hear during the initial meeting to be careful of:
"I Already Have A Buyer For Your Home (In MLS)"
They don't have a specific buyer per se. When an agent says they already have a buyer lined up, it's easy to get excited. If the agent sitting at your kitchen table does a lot of business in your neighborhood, they may be telling the truth, but chances are he/she is referencing the Multiple Listings Service or MLS. The MLS is still the most effective way to sell a home, despite the sweet new tools we all have access to online. This statement is deemed completely valid by some, because your agent does have access to the most powerful home selling tool, the MLS. But, if they claim to have a buyer already, don't hesitate to ask a little bit more about their buyer's situation.
Your Home Won't Sell For $50,000 Above Market Value
Your agent knows your home won't sell for your price, but agrees anyway to get the listing. Or worse, the agent proposes a high listing price to get you all fired up. If one agent is telling you $375,000 and the other says $325,00, which would you choose? This is known as "buying the listing". Once you're locked into the listing contract, out comes the price reduction hammer. Agreeing to an unrealistic listing price doesn't benefit you and here's why. Overpricing your home means you accumulate days on market and each price adjustment eventually feels like a kick in the gut. Statistics show the more days you track on market, the lower you net from your sale. Remember, you can set the price, but the market sets the value.
Commissions Are Always Negotiable
This can be a touchy subject for some veteran REALTOR's out there, trust us, we know. But only because agents are conditioned to correlate their income to the value of your home and not the actual hours spent working towards the goal of selling your home. Commissions are not set in stone at 3%, that's called price fixing and it's illegal.
Open Houses Are Not For You (And That's Okay)
Generally speaking, less than 4% of the time a buyer walks in off the street and buys your home. Typically, an agent wants to host your home open to obtain buyer and seller leads. There is no better way to get face time with prospective buyers and sellers in your neighborhood. With that said, it may help sell your home faster. Some websites like Zillow and RedFin drive more web traffic to homes that are being held open and we all know, the more eyes on your home, the better!
That Contract You Signed Has Some Very Important Fine Print
Don't feel rushed to sign that listing agreement. There are some key points you will want to consider and discuss before providing your John Hancock. One of the most important elements of a listing agreement is the contract duration. Once a contract is signed, you could be tethered to your agent for 6 months or more even if you don't see eye to eye! You can't just do your best Donald Trump "You're FIRED" impression and they suddenly go away. The reason? Your agent is going to be spending time and money out of their pocket to market your home. Sometimes that amount adds up to thousands of dollars! Some experienced agents add a cancellation clause to the listing contract that allows you each to go your separate ways if the differences can't be reconciled.
The more you know, the better equipped you are to make the right decision when selling your home. There is an art to selling fast and for top dollar. Check out our article HERE to learn more. If we can answer any questions about the process of selling your home, please contact us. We're here to help!