Real estate agents are not equal; each is unique. Remember about 10% of the agents do 90% of the business. Each has their own marketing techniques and advertising budget. By choosing an agent with a large advertising budget and company dollars to match it, you will gain greater exposure to the largest number of buyers, which is ideal. Reaching the greatest number of buyers equals better chances of a good offer.
Why would an agent willingly work for less than competitors? There is always a reason why a broker or real estate agent would discount a real estate fee. Sometimes it’s the only way the agent feels it’s possible to compete in a highly competitive business, because the agent can’t stand apart from the competition on service, knowledge or negotiation skills. If the sole benefit an agent brings to a table is a cheap fee, ask yourself “why?” Is the agent desperate for business or unqualified? Do you want to work with a “desperate agent”?
Sometimes full-service agents will negotiate a lower commission under special circumstances such as: 1) You’re buying a home and selling a home at the same time, giving both transactions to one agent; 2) You’re willing to do all the legwork, advertising, marketing, and pay for expenses related to the sale; 3) You promise to refer more business to the agent, which would result in multiple transactions; 4) You’re listing more than one home with the same agent; 5) You don’t have enough equity to pay a full commission; 6) The agent will lose the listing unless she matches a competitor’s fee; 7) The agent wants the signage (exposure to traffic) over charging a full commission.
If you are interviewing agents who offer similar services and can’t decide between them, ask to see a track record of each agent’s original list price and final sale numbers. Odds are the lowest-fee agent will show more price reductions and longer days on the market. The difference between an agent who charges 5% and 6% is 1%. Ask yourself how you come out ahead if your price ends up being reduced 2% because you chose a lower-fee agent who could not afford to actively market your home. Know what to expect from your agent – (see our post Characteristics of a Good Listing Agent for more details.)
Tip: If your home is located in a hard-to-sell neighborhood, hire an agent who lives in the neighborhood and/or sells homes in that neighborhood. Don’t hire an out-of-area agent who can’t adequately tackle the challenge without first-hand knowledge of the area.
At Atlanta Housing Source, we want to be your source for real estate. If you are considering selling your home in Gwinnett, Cobb, North Fulton, or Forsyth, we want to speak with you to see if we are the people to help.
If you would like a FREE AUDIO on how to sell you home with tips and strategies that we recommend you do prior to putting your house on the market, e-mail us at info@AtlantaHousingSource.com and put “FREE Audio” in the subject line and we will send you the link to listen to our recommendations.
Also, if you would like a personal home evaluation, we will be happy to meet with you in person to discuss your particular home and its current value.