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LIME REALTY GROUP posted a blog yesterday about choosing a listing agent.  We discussed the two biggest mistakes sellers make when choosing an agent.  Looking for the highest listing price and lowest commission rate.  We looked at reasons why listing at the highest price isn’t a good reason for choosing an agent and today, we’ll discuss commission rates.

First, let’s just get this out of the way and say it…  Real estate agents are not equal.  Statistically, in a given area, 90% of all business is done by about 10% of the active agents.  Choosing the right agent with great marketing skills will gain your property greater exposure to buyers; which is the whole point!

Now there are always reasons an agent might discount a commission, but sometimes, it’s because the agent can’t compete in a highly competitive market without it.  If the sole benefit an agent brings to the table is a cheap fee, ask yourself why that is…  Are they desperate for business or simply unqualified?  

Of course there are reasons good agents will negotiate a lower commission under specific circumstances such as a client buying and selling a home with the same agent a client is selling more than one property, a client doesn’t have enough equity to pay a full commission, the agent will lose the listing if they don’t match a competitor’s fee, or the agent sees an opportunity to gain exposure through the listing.

If you have agents who are similar and you’re not sure which one is best, ask to see a history of the agent’s sales.  Chances are the lowest fee agent will have more price reductions and properties that spend more time on the market.  If you pass up a great agent at 5% for one who will list at 4%, you’re only saving 1%.  Now ask yourself if you come out ahead if your price ends up being reduced by 2% because the lower fee agent didn’t market your property effectively.

A great agent markets!  Why?  Because marketing sells homes.  Some of the things a great agent will do include professional signage, including the agent’s cell phone, lockbox, follow up reports and feedback, staging advice, local advertising, MLS exposure with 12 to 25 professional photographs, virtual tours, full color flyers, financing assistance for buyers, open houses, strong online presence with social media and a knowledge of neighborhood facts, trends and recent sales.

Now no single tactic is fool proof, but an agent who is active online and in other ways promoting properties, is an agent who devotes time, money and effort to successful marketing and no doubt has the track record to show it.

So far we’ve discussed the two main mistakes sellers make when looking for a listing agent.  In our next blog, we’ll talk about some of the characteristics buyers and sellers look for when it comes to picking the best agent for them.

And don’t forget, Lime is the clear choice for real estate in Southern Utah.  As agents, posting blogs like this could be hazardous if we weren’t completely confident in our ability to market successfully and sell!  Make the call today and choose Lime.