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Ray Akers' Blog

By Ray Akers | Agent in Seattle, WA

Not all real estate agents are created equal

Dear Ray,

My condo has been listed for months but there have only been a couple of showings.  My agent doesn’t have any creative ideas for marketing my condo.  She’s slow to return my calls and I feel like I’m wasting my time.  I’m thinking of taking the condo off the market until the real estate market improves.  What is your advice?



Dear S.B.,

You raise two issues, the “creativity” of your agent and the sluggish real estate market.  Let’s deal with the agent first. 

Not all real estate agents are created equal.  Skills and experience vary widely from agent to agent.  Perhaps your agent has a limited background in marketing?  Or maybe your agent has no experience in marketing properties during an economic recession?  Does your agent work full-time or part-time?  Does your agent specialize in condos?   Does she have an established reputation in your community?   I don’t have answers to these questions but you should. 

If you are unhappy with the performance of your real estate agent, and she’s ignoring your phone calls, you should ask her to cancel your contract before its end date.   A reputable agent will honor your request.  Remember, a listing agreement is a two-party contract and both parties must agree to cancel the contract.  

Next, I advise you to contact two local Realtors with established reputations in your neighborhood.  Invite both to prepare a market analysis for your condo.  Share your concerns about the importance of an effective marketing strategy and request their proposals include a detailed marketing plan. 

You may have chosen an agent that was the wrong fit or one that has poor communication skills.  I encourage you to spend a little more time interviewing your next agent.  Good communication with your agent is extremely important so make sure you choose an agent with whom you have an easy rapport.

Your second issue, the "sluggish real estate market", is rapidly changing.  There are more sales every day and most major cities are experiencing a real estate come-back.  Keep your property listed.  Begin immediately to interviewing agents to replace your present listing agent.  Make sure you hire a full-time Realtor; someone with deep marketing experience.  Listen to your agent; presumably you’ve hired an expert so follow their advice.  Price your condo correctly.  Discuss buyer incentives with your agent.  Consider an offer to pay all or a portion of the buyer’s closing costs from the proceeds of your sale.  Coming out of the recession, folks are poorer, and closing cost assistance is very attractive to a buyer.

 Good luck!

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    Ray Akers is a life-long resident of Seattle and a licensed Realtor for over 25 years.   You may contact Ray at (206)723-2800 or send an email to ray@akerscargill.com 

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