I am going out on a limb here. For me, if I have a current agent, and I am very happy with her service, I would not even consider using somebody else. However, the fact that you are going on Trulia and asking if you should use this agent to also list your OP home or ask Patti to list your OP home; itâ€™s a very good indication that you displayed the desire to use Patti for OP home because you have read her answers, got to know her on Trulia and have confidence in her ability and what she will and can do for you!
I am not in Chicago and I don't know how far apart La Grange and OP is; so I did a quick search on the map
If I am looking at the map correctly, I see that La Grange is 13 miles out of Chicago while Oak Park is 8 miles out of Chicago. My assumption is that even though they are both burbs of Chicago, people who are looking for La Grange will not go to Oak Park just because there are identical houses in both places.
From the map, it looks to me that OP is the same distance from both Chicago and LG Perhaps by using a Chicago agent, you will be getting buyers from Chicago and OP as well as LG from the other agent.
This is to presume that the Chicago agent (Patti in this case) spends time to learn about the particulars (what I said below) of OP, is in the right MLS, will market in OP and do the Broke Open house (if there is any) and all the internet marketing as appropriate.
Although I personally think Patti is up to the challenge, but this is not my house. You know this as well as I do, Ruth, sit down and have a cup of coffee with Patti, ask her to give you her listing presentation / marketing plan and then find out for yourself if she can effectively be your listing agent. This is your choice to make.
Hope this helps.
Unfortunately, real estate is not immune to unprofessional behavior.
Rember, it's always the little things that could hamper you if you don't use a local expert, not just a local agent. An example...Hosting Broker Tours on the right days and at the right times. Believe me, most Oak Park agentsfeel like it is their God given right to have your listing. If an out of area agent hosts a Broker's Tour in south Oak Park in the afternoon time slot, the local agents won't drive ALL the way to south OP to preview it. Same if they host north of the tracks in the 9-11 slot. It's ridiculous, but it's true.
Most out of area agents do not grasp the differences in pricing based on location/school districts.
Homes on the east side of Euclid are in Irving and on the west side of Euclid are in Lincoln.
Same thing with homes on the 1200 north, 8 and 900 south and along Madison that don't sell for as much based on location. I don't know the ins and outs of Hinsdale or Burr Ridge etc., city agents and LaGrange area agents don't know Oak Park's inticacies. I realize most agents in the city cover wide geographic areas as do agents in the Western Suburbs. However, OP is different, no for sale signs, no directional signs for Sunday Opens etc.
If I were looking for good criteria for a listing agent, ask her/him to give you concrete data for the last four years showing their listings with initial list price, last list price, sale price, percentage of each and days on market for all of their listings.
In Oak Park, the Wed Journal also runs special advertising only for members of the Oak Park Area Association of Realtors offices.If you list with an out of town agent you will never be in the special section for the "Saturation Issues" which are delivered to every home, regardless of subscription, once a month.
Given all that, if your agent is a good, and I mean very good, top 5% of their board etc. then you will be alright. If they are a middle of the road agent, one that is not feeding their family with their production..., then I would be hesitant. Single family units were down 6.5% in 2007, days on market was 25% longer and prices only went up by 2.4% Make sure you give yourself your best shot at being successful.
I have seen several instances where the agent has answered the question directly... but was not as charming or as cute, and not only did they not receive a TU, but they have several TD's. (and, no, now I'm not talking about ME).
I didn't realize that both of the properties you were talking about belong to you... and that you only need to sell one, so you're right... no conflict.
A listing agent brings the following to the table:
1) Knowledge of the real estate process. This can vary by areas within a state, but despite subtle differences, a competent Realtor in one suburb will probably have a very good handle on this. Competency transcends the geography here. Most referral pros that the Realtor works with will travel reasonable distances. i.e. inspectors, for example. (I understand you are selling and the buyer agent will be helping the buyer with inspectors....just an example.)
2) Marketing know how. Much of the most effective marketing is via the web, on such sites as this, among a count of several others. In certain markets, a local edition paper might still be effective. Effective photo shoots, copy descriptions, and placement on websites will be accomplished best by the agent who possess stronger skills, with geography being secondary.
3) Presentation and negotiation skills. A skill set not limited to trade or geography. Some newer Realtors are stronger than veterans as a result of prior training and developed skills.
4) Willingness to work hard. Is the out of area agent willing to work hard for you? There might be a few extra steps required of the out of area agent here. This is a matter for the two of you to explore. There is not a right or wrong, here. Who will ck the sign to make sure it isnâ€™t blown over? Who will replace brochures at the property as needed? Who will check on a vacant house after a showing to make sure all lights were turned off and doors locked? A dedicated Realtor answers calls and emails quickly regardless of location. The listing agent may need to invest a few hours in studying the local area to ensure they are able to answer phone or email inquiries promptly with correct info. i.e. How far is the bus stop? Train station? Do the kids walk to school or take a bus? In my opinion, a sharp and dedicated pro can learn this data fairly quickly........if they believe that the listing makes a win-win for them and the seller.
It is hard to teach presentation and negotiation skills. It takes experience and mileage to gain a comprehensive understanding of real estate; along with a nack for the biz. I would hedge my bets on the individual who has developed the strengths that take time, energy and innate abilities. Those shining stars are few and worth their weight in gold. (And if they are tiny, maybe 2x their weight in gold!) If that person is a few miles down the road, but willing to do beef up on local data, go with that person. .
It might take a team effort on a few of the things a Realtor might regularly do for a listing that was within a stoneâ€™s throw, like checking the lights and locks.
Best of luck.
the Western agent with both identical homes listed... again, not sure the two homes make any difference. Yes, two homes to showcase, but potential mini-conflict, too... so pretty much a wash, in my opinion.
I'd choose the agent that I had the most confidence in and best rapport. Assuming all else is equal, I leave the choice up to you. (sorry, the ball is back in your court!) Neither of the criteria you mentioned carry any weight with me.
I, too, have "heard" of blackballing out-of-town agents, but have not truly experienced it. I find that buyer's agents will show properties that suit their clients specifications, regardless of the listings agent/agency or even FSBO.
Today's real estate market is constantly changing. When 80% of potential buyers are using the internet to find their home, sometimes the VIRTUAL location of the selling agent is more important that then PHYSICAL location.
I hope that helps! Tom
In fact, I was working with one client who, in a panic, ditched me because she felt it would be "wiser" to use a local agent. She came back one month later because she said she felt more comfortable with me and felt my "services were better".
Some may believe that using a local agent is best because of the local connections they may have, but today's connections are no longer just made locally. Thanks to technology, they are made easily nationally and even internationally. Look at us, for example!
That's not to say there isn't any merit in using a local agent. I just don't believe that the choice of an agent should be based solely on location of an office or residence. In my opinion, what's more important is their marketing plan, their style, and how comfortable you feel with that person and your relationship. A good agent will take care of the rest.
Most of the most experienced and successful agents effectively work in multiple towns and even multiple counties.
It is important to choose an agent who markets their properties hard (personally advertises their properties consistently and effectively), who is knowledgeable, and who is experienced.
Thank you very much for your response!!! Deborah, Sylvia, Mansur and Patti could all tell you I'm more than a little bitter. They've been hearing me complain for 6 months now. Now that someone from Oak Park has ventured beyond their little world, I need to get busy and delete all of my nasty comments. Top Voices will also tell you that I have a sense of humor about the whole thing too.
My "ventured beyond" Oak Park comment comes from a surreal agent that worked one of my open houses. I put an ad on Craigslist saying "Children and Dogs Need a Yard, Move to Oak Park." When I first stopped by the open house the agent was all doom and gloom overpriced. When I went back at the end to lock up her comment was,
"There were all these people from the city?! Where did they come from and how did they know about the open house?! I couldn't believe it, they all said the house is such a bargain!!!"
Which it is.
The agents I fired were comping the house with homes half the sq ft, half the lot, not fixed up and only 1.1 baths. I really like Pat McGowan but don't feel comfortable giving her the listing because she has the buyers whose contract fell through.
I've got a showing Sunday at noon, stop by if you have a chance. Current comps are in the reference.
Most recent posts feedback this time.
Deborah, I have been anxiously awaiting your input on this one, it's about time. I even posted to this question once or twice just because I knew you were on Trulia.
"Who will ck the sign to make sure it isnâ€™t blown over?" What? Did you see our weather report before posting this? I was nearly killed when I walked my dogs tonight and the "I look beautiful inside" add-on portion of a For Sale sign went whizzing past my heard. Auntie Em, Auntie Em. Excellent input as usual. Gold Star.
Sylvia: Thank you for going out on a limb. It's interesting, after I got off the phone with my long time local agent, I realized that "mentally" Patti and I know each other better than Cathy B and I. My only concern is that I have ruffled Oak Park agent feathers because I am Ruthless and I like Patti P because we both speak our minds.
Elvis: I really needed to hear that neither criteria carried any weight. As for conflict of interest, since I really only need to sell one of the two homes, there is no conflict with Cathy B. However, my HUGE conflict of interest is that I would love to hire Pat McGowan but she represents my buyers that haven't sold their property yet. I'll email privately regarding "blackballing".
Sylvia again: As you found out, it is just a stones throw either way. Everyone knows Oak Park, which is why I think the locals are so protective. It's just too easy to sell because it has so many advantages. Same thing when I was selling beachfront property in NC. Who wouldn't want to buy on the Atlantic Ocean for as little as $83,000 in 1995? The reason I was successful and the locals weren't, is because they couldn't do math. (OK, I really wasn't successful â€“ talk about blackballing - and I had far greater skills than just math, but they really could not do math.)
Everyone: Very VALUABLE input. I appreciate it very much.
I keep going between Elvis and Sylvia for Best Answer. I had to let the TUs decide (which was 2 to 1 when I chose).
Find the one you can trust and local enough to know the area, I think it'd work.
Call me when you decide to buy in Marin - we will have a great time! (O.K. Just kidding, you all!)
I want to HEAR Patti's input but it really doesn't count because I am choosing between her and my WS agent. So although I have enjoyed getting to know Thomas, Staci, Elvis and others better, I've really gotten to know Patti online and via emails. We still haven't gotten together of drinks yet though.
And Mansur, if both sell, I'll be talking to you because my bread and butter income in the DC area. Oh, how I miss that income!!!
Lorie, my flat rate agency offers the marketing you are talking about. And as a consumer, Trulia "Find Homes" bites, or at least did. It was so bad, I don't even read the email alerts from them or give them a fifth chance. Trulia Voices is the best thing to ever happen in real estate for the consumer.
And Thomas, I checked out your website. Rubloff and Western Suburbs? What and why the Western Suburbs?
My opinion, a great agent is going to be a great agent no matter the distance. I have actually helped my Father via phone buy property in Florida. An agent that delivers bad service is going to deliver bad service regardless of where the property is located. I have been in communities where the listing agent lives in the community but the flyer box is empty or they do not return their phone calls.
If you like the agent and the agent is willing to list the property then I would not worry about the agents mileage or gas bill... that is for the agent to worry about. The agent does need to be a member of the MLS for your area if it is a different MLS from the agents hometown.
So what if the local agents dislike outside agents as much as flat rate brokers?