"...you need to beware of agents who set the list price on homes at unrealistically high levels simply to get listings or through sheer inexperience..."
While many agents may promise to sell your home for the money you want, the reality of the real estate market today is that this simply doesn't always happen. The fact of the matter is, the majority of homes sell for a price which falls short of what sellers may have been lead to believe.
There are two factors at play here. On the one hand, you need to beware of agents who set the list price on homes at unrealistically high levels simply to get listings. This is really unfair because it can set homeowners up for disappointment and failure.
On the other hand, you have homes that are priced correctly, but are marketed ineffectively. Without a proper marketing program in place to ensure a home is exposed to the highest number of qualified buyers, many homesellers feel forced to accept a lower offer.
There's nothing worse to a homeseller than to have their home sit unsold for many months, sometimes now even years, because of improper pricing and/or marketing techniques. Needless to say, either of these situations is highly frustrating to any homeseller. But more than that, it can be financially crushing if you're counting on the full proceeds of the sale of your home to fulfill some other obligation.
To prevent this scenario when selling your home here are some points to consider before choosing the agent you want to represent you.
Deciding Upon an Agent
A good agent knows the market and has information on past sales, current listings, a marketing plan, and will provide their background and references. While years in the business should not be your sole criteria, there is really no substitute for experience in what is a sometimes tricky and complex process. Evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of their experience and qualifications. Like anything else in life, not all agents are equally qualified, skilled or dedicated and those differences can translate in to many thousands of dollars difference in the outcome of your transaction, not to mention the ease and speed of it too.
Are they pricing your home correctly?
Home prices are determined by the marketplace not by your emotional attachment or by what you feel your home is worth. You should work closely with an agent who will provide detailed market information so that you can establish a realistic price for your home. They will help you to objectively compare the price, features and condition of all similar homes in both your neighborhood and other similar ones which have sold in recent months. It is also important to be familiar with the terms of each potential sale. Terms are often as important as price in today's market.
Do they set themselves apart from the others by offering innovative marketing plans to sell your home fast and for top dollar?
Will they set up an aggressive marketing program to ensure your home is exposed to hundreds of qualified buyers? How much money does this agent spend in advertising the homes s/he lists versus other agents. In what media do they advertise, (internet, billboards, direct mail, newspaper, magazine, etc.) Do they use a 24 hour hotline, "For Sale" signs, lock boxes, video or slideshow presentations? What does this agent know about the effectiveness of one medium over the other?
Experience, skill, integrity, dedication, proven track record, these are the qualities to investigate. Picking an agent randomly makes no sense and listing with a "friend" could also be a mistake when it comes to the most expensive transaction you will likely make in your life. Choose thoughtfully.