The problem with real estate agents is they are not all the same and it’s hard to tell the difference without really interviewing them. Agents come with varying experience and from differing backgrounds. There is no requirement for a college degree in Florida and it’s one of the few careers you can step into without any training. So what’s a consumer to do?
The agent you hire does make a difference. Agents with vast experience and marketing can net sellers ten’s of thousands more at the closing table than agents with poor track records. Being locked into a listing agreement with the wrong agent can seem like a lifetime if there is no communication and little activity for your home.
On the buying side, having an agent that works with you is invaluable. This is one reason most buyers do not buy For Sale By Owners. They want their agent advising them on price, inspections, zoning, schools, neighborhoods, etc. If a buyer is going to work directly with an owner they want a huge deal, because they feel like they’re taking a huge risk. The owner knows the home and neighborhood but the buyer doesn’t, so they feel at a disadvantage.
One of the reasons a home owner might sell their own is to save the commission, but the buyer and the seller can’t both save the commission, so it rarely works. Even if they come together on price, the deal rarely closes due to other issues they’re not equipped to handle, like inspections, appraisals, financing, HOA rules, etc.
I’ve seen two separate studies that show For Sale By Owners sell on average for 16% less with than an agent. This is not surprising. An owner desires to sell on their own only until they see the value of paying someone else to do it. When that occurs, it’s a no-brainer.
After that, which agent is the best? Only 4% of all buyers can actually buy right now. Many buyers have to sell something first, so somebody has to solve that issue before they become an actual buyer today. Other buyers don’t qualify for financing right now.
The answer is you need an agent that exposes your home to 100% of the market and can help with these facts about buyers. Imagine if you had an item on e-bay to sell. If there was just one buyer bidding on the item, how much would it sell for? Or, imagine you had 1,000 buyers bidding on that same item. Now how much would it sell for? The answer is, much more than just one buyer.
And this is the difference between finding a buyer and 100% exposure. Since we know only 4% of all lookers can actually buy, we need as much exposure as possible. Not all agents advertise the same. Some agents don’t advertise at all. They employ the 3 P’s. Put a sign up, Place it in MLS, and Pray someone else sells it.
The MLS doesn’t sell homes. Great agents do. If the MLS sold homes, all homes in MLS would sell, and that just doesn’t happen. Sellers need an agent who knows the market, communicates well, advertises extensively, studies changes in the market, and will tell the seller what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.
The market rarely stays steady. It changes every year, every month, and by the week. Buyers need an agent that is familiar with financing, knows the market, and will show them homes that meet their criteria. The bottom line is buyers and sellers both need agents that can listen, communicate, negotiate, and help formulate a plan to accomplish a goal. The agent should have experience and wisdom, or access to it at all times. The Ellis Team at Keller Williams has all of this.
Call us at 239-489-4042 if you’re in the market to buy or sell. If you’d like to get an idea of what your home might sell for, check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com If you’re looking to purchase, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com
Good luck and Happy House Hunting!
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