I'll assume for sake of illustration that I'm your listing agent. Every agent has a different program. Here are a few of my highlights:
The listing agent handles the entire transaction from beginning to end, and helps you with the many difficulties that develop along the way.
Prior to marketing, your listing agent will help you arrive at a price that will give you the best chance to sell your home in a timely fashion. This is of amplified importance right now.
Your listing agent will hire a professional stager to evaluate the appearence of your home and make suggestions on how to make it appeal to the widest possible audience.
Your listing agent will design a website for your home that will contain photography, video, documentation, floor plans, virtual tours, etc. Something like this: http://www.127river.com
Your listing agent will help you meet your legal obligations in disclosing certain facts as required by law. To accomplish this, your listing agent will help you complete the long and involved seller's disclosure statement.
Your listing agent will advertise your house in the local print media. Over and over for as long as it takes.
Your listing agent will market your home to the local agent community.
Your agent will place your home on television on Optimum Homes channel 606. Buyers can search on TV for their next home. Your home will come up in their searches.
Your listing agent will advertise your home in the New York Times to attract regional buyers.
Your listing agent will place your home on hundreds of Internet sites to attract buyers from across the country, especially transferees involved in corporate relocations. Your listing agent will make sure your homes STAY on these sites, because they are prone to disappearing. 80% of the public finds their home on the Internet, so comprehensive Internet exposure is extremely important.
Your listing agent will give you feedback from all your showings so you know what needs immediate attention.
Your listing agent will place a computerized lockbox on your home so all showings will be managed and followed-up. Homes with easy access and a lockbox will get shown before your home. Homes that require an appointment with the homeowner usually get shown last. You really want to be shown first.
Your listing agent will prepare first-class marketing materials to hand out to potential buyers who visit your home.
Your listing agent will mail out "Just-Listed" cards to everyone in the neighborhood.
Your listing agent will schedule, advertise, and staff open houses to attract buyers from the area.
Your listing agent will write compelling ad copy and photograph your home using state of the art camera equipment to make your home look as big and bright as it possibly can.
Your house is in competition with many others. Your listing agent's job is to make sure your home looks better than others in its value range.
Your listing agent will place a yard sign on your property with night lighting and sign riders that reference
your house website.
Your listing agent will handle the difficult issues that arise following the home inspection when your buyer decides they want you to rebuild the house for them.
Your listing agent will handle your buyer's appraiser and make sure he is supplied with adequate comparable data to enable him to appraise the home at or above the purchase price. Many appraisers come from outside the area and will need to be schooled.
Your listing agent will make sure you meet all the town guidelines with respect to fire and occupancy inspections so your closing does not end up falling apart because something was forgotten.
Your listing agent will make sure that the attorneys have everything they need on a timely basis so that the deal proceeds smoothly to closing. A thousand things can go wrong along the way. Your agent will act to minimize the chance of a glitch.
Your listing agent will keep everything organized and up to date. If you have a price change or add a feature, your listing agent will be responsible for making sure the hundreds of internet sites where your home is posted get updated immediately.
MLS exposure is just the beginning these days. The marketing effort of a professional agent far exceeds simple entry in the MLS and serves to expose your home to many more buyers so that the highest possible price is achieved. A professional listing agent is a problem solver. And trust me, there will be problems that need creative solutions.
There's more, but these are the basics
Attack - insults? You need to grow thicker skin. If you consider anyhting I said an attack or an insult you should continue to stay in your place of residence in the dark.
Sarcastic at best, which the original post was.. noting how quick and on the ball the answer was. I do not believe your post was a response directed to a "timeless" question, I think you saw someething in your area and answered it.. 18 months after it was posted.. not having a clue it was posted that long ago. And I busted your chops about it.,
Wipe the tears, stop shaking, sit down.. the big bad man will not respond any further.
I am sure you noticed that most of the folks advising you to hire a realtor are in fact agents. I am not questioning their motives -- in fact I am confident they all genuinely believe that they provide a service worth the very large commissions. But it is worth noting.
My opinion: If you are considering not hiring a realtor to keep more of your home's market value, that is a somewhat risky decision. *BUT*, if you are willing to use that extra 1/2 of the commission to price your house more aggressively -- that is probably the best way to move your house fast in this market.
You will need to do more work, that is for sure, and definitely need to do your homework too. But if you are priced 3% under the market your home will sell, realtor or no.
Just my 2 cents.
I'm confused ... You write things like this:
>> According to me, these threads should provide value to readers, not provide a venue for personal communication.
>> Trulia does not exist for the purpose of bringing novelty into your life.
>> All I ask is that you remember that there are other people checking in and that some of them are in search of actually useful information.
And I broadly agree with these points. There are times when any of us will go off on little tangents if only to keep it light and not be strictly "on topic" all the time. Clearly, you are more than capable of providing helpful accurate information to consumers that are asking for assistance. That is obvious and anyone here would likely agree that you are a seasoned professional that has been around the block and then some.
But, then you write other things, that show a hard edge that isn't helpful to the consumer and less likely to be well-received. I would imagine that you might agree that the delivery of a message is perhaps more important than the message itself?
So ... why then write stuff like this:
>> Sure, I'll have my pigeon fly it on over to you. (different thread/post)
>> Now, of course, there are some lame agents. Here's a little secret: DON'T HIRE THEM
>> etc (I would provide more examples but I'm reasonably confident that there's no need for additional specifics)
My intent in writing this is not meant in any way to be a personal attack. But I would request that you consider a moment of reflection - in that your contributions here could be SO much more valuable, if you might "dial it back a notch".
Thanks and regards,
It seems that what happens when people ask this question or (one of the many variations of it) is that (most)realtors say the same thing over and over again - we are valuable, we do so much, use us, you NEED us, feel free to contact us, blah, blah, blah. Some realtors say these are the steps you can take to do it on your own but proceed with caution and then (some) non-agents say of course you don't need a realtor, save the money. Then usually what happens is some agents get their dander up (did I really just say that?? What the heck is a dander, anyway?) and start getting defensive and the next thing you know, you got what happened below.
This has been repeated over and over on many many threads. The exact same pattern.
This IS a legitimate question but I think it has already been answered quite thoroughly. I have a lot of respect for a lot of you guys. Perc, I get the impression you have something of value to add.
But can we all think of something new and fresh to add to the perennial questions of should we use a Realtor or not, a full service or not, are we worth it or not, do people see our value or not, are we just a bunch or self-promotors or not, etc.
I get it..What I don't understand are your insults and don't you have something better to do crap...
Your opinion is important for people to be aware of so they can decide it's value for themselves so I honestly hope you keep sharing it and assist people however you feel it should be done.
Me, I'm not that interested in your take on things or what has value according to you cause half the time I don't think you even know what Forum you're in..simple as that.
But I'm willing to admit others may find value in your comments so I'm actually glad you share them and hope you always do so......
Let's just agree we disagree
So glad to hear you'll hang around and as far as "I know I have much more to learn than I have to offer" none of us is half as smart as we think we are or half as ignorant as others claim...
The opinions/views of consumers about their experiences with Agents, perception of Agents, buying/selling process can only help us all understand what is most important to us...Services needed, Services provided....
That's important in my not so humble opinion, and with that same unhumble opinion maker I have concluded Trulia can be/is a better place for Agents and Consumers if people like you share/speak up.............
Thanks and looking forward to hearing what you think or know or wish was better explained..........
Perhaps eventually if more like you help, Trulia will become a more civil and informative place for Consumers to inform themselves in preparation for what may be the largest Financial decision/obligation of their lives......Now wouldn't that be a good thing?
You have to be careful posting on ActiveRain as a Non-Agent/Consumer...The Realtors are not use to it and it throws all their timing off on the back-slapping process..It will most likely be days before another Agent posts on that blog to get the BS (Backslapping) process restarted ; )
@Alan..You are your own personal Marketing program, I just like the message/honesty enough to want other consumers to see it... Youse a good Realtor, now if I could just bring you back from the Darkside long enough to see the Mayor pro...awwww nevermind ; )
@Percolator...I hope you stick around and contribute to the Forum, I have no doubt it would be better for it....
..Help Alan and Rockinblu cancel out my idiotic comments so it will be better.....
Realistically, an agent doesn't provide any value at all by just being an agent - there are people who specialize in industrial properties, for example, who would not be able to add a dime's worth of value to you.
Since there are about eleven trillion books on the subject of "How To Sell Your Home," and many of them are written by real estate agents, reading two or four of them might be better than reading whatever thirty- or sixty-second pitches we could come up with.
However. Over 2/3rds of home sellers elect to hire a full-service agent than to go it alone.
It's a topic that is timeless, don't you think? Someone already rated it helpful.
But I guess you have no relevant rebuttal so you attack a meaningless issue.
Sandy's question was not about FSBO. It was about flat-fee MLS. Buyer's agents, will you or won't you bring your buyers to a home for sale that will pay you the same commission you would get from a "traditional" listing?
According to you I guess Agents can dig up old questions to repeat Hire a Realtor over and over but non-agents should not use them to express their opinions or have any conversation..
I think you may appreciate this New Alan May Blog
But, I'll tell you, the bickering is tiring to read, because really - nothing anybody has to say here is of any use to anyone (not to mention of any interest to me) if it doesn't help to answer the question at hand.
And, you know what, a lot of these threads that are old and boring to you are actually of interest to some people, and wasting valuable space castigating people for reviving them - even if they're primarily motivated by self-promotion - is annoying, insulting, and a waste of everybody's time. Including yours.
Would it hurt anybody's feelings if we respond in such a way that new readers might actually gain some useful information from clicking on the question?
Again, I apologize for shoving people around indiscriminately.
To go a step further, what ISN'T BEING ASKED FOR is how agents ARE NOT WORTH THE COMMISSION.
to RIB: I apologize, in re-reading, that doesn't reflect my opinion.
Thanks for your continued politeness and professional discourse.
I do have a thick skin -- that's why none of those posts have bothered me enough to respond in kind (which would have been real low hanging fruit, BTW).
I also find it ironic that those have have had their "hot buttons" admittedly pushed and respond to that with personal insults are the ones telling others they need a thicker skin!
Thanks for your support and kind words, as well as the anecdote showing what I suggested can work.
Sorry that your support resulted in your post also being insulted and called "stupidity". That was undeserved.
And yes, I will stick around. I find the rancor motivational, and I have always believed if you present your opinions and facts politely and with conviction people learn to trust you. That's the approach I will take.
As for my original post: (as rockinblu points out) it was a suggestion that had not been made in the thread. Why should it not be offered? And why would it not work?
Not only do you not answer the questions I respectfully asked, but you respond with "you had your 15 minutes"? Your petulance is shocking to me, especially for a professional posting under his own name. If that is the way you hope to convince folks here to list with a Realtor... well I might question that strategy. There is room for polite disagreement on this important topic, if you want to proffer that. However, from this point forward I will not reply any further to your insults.
Answer these two questions please:
1) If your answer was not an ad hominem, how was it helpful or germane to the issue?
2) What in my first post was wrong or irrelevant?
Attack? Please, don't flatter yourself. And yes I see that "someone" rated it helpful. It is kinda weird that "someone" rated that response helpful. To which of have doubts of the rating's validity.
I also don't sleep much.....as it is currently 3am. I learned how to be an effective road warrior long before I became a real estate agent....and that was without a laptop.
I respect and value my client's time. There are times when my blackberry is off and I don't have my laptop....but, whenever I can multi-task, or grab down time and make it productive I do.
Sandy....I actually generated this post in response to the recent direction the thread has taken....
But........as you consider your options in choosing a lsiting agent.........time management, effectiveness, multi-tasking, are additional skills worth evaluating in addtion to those already covered on this thread. Limited service companies cannot offer this level of service and availability.
Best of luck to you, Sandy.
Trying to answer your question above the noise... Use the agent who commits in writing to the best program for getting your home sold. The physical location of the agent's office is irrelevant, especially in this day and age when so much importance is vested in your online presentation. It's all about what your agent will do, not about where they are located. And remember, you are hiring an agent not the agency. The agency has little or nothing to do with the quality of your marketing. It is the talent, expertise, and experience of your agent that will be brought to bear on the problem of getting your home sold. Two agents who work in the same agency could be as different as night and day when it comes to implementation of a solid marketing plan. Agents are independent contractors. They work "in" agencies, not "for" agencies. Most of the best agents are hardly ever in the office anyway. A good real estate agent is a road warrior rather than a desk jockey.
You absolutely kill any credibility you might possibly have when you print ludicrous statements like this:
*** .. Much like a doctor, lawyer .. ***
You might consider righting your ship instead of trying to sink it:
Didn't you leave off at: "trusted advisor for life..."...??
But .. we're all still waiting with bated breath for the "clincher" ...
How about we just do this ..
Without showing us anymore spurious NAR figures, lets just have Marc and Scott show us the difference by county or state or maybe by zip code, whatever works best for them ... but please, no more NAR figures.
-- this should be a very simple task since you're so ardent about this subject ...
If you're one of those people who is knowledgeable about what your home is worth, and are wiling to handle all the aspects of the sale (making appointments, taking the calls, showing the property, advertising, sitting the open house, negotiating an incoming offer... you get the idea), then flat-fee MLS is a great option.
Most people haven't done the research required, and don't feel comfortable handling the showings, calls, negotiating and paperwork involved, and they hire a full-service agent/agency. Mark outlined well, many of the things that a full-service listing agent will do for you. Some do less, some do more (although Mark's list is pretty extensive.. .hard to imagine MUCH more... ). Only you can determine how much you feel comfortable handling for any potential savings you might gain.
Listing with flat fee mls is basicaly the same thing as being an fsbo, but with better marketing (agents will see it on mls and mls feeds data to a number of websites) you also won't get any solicitation from agents to hire them as listing agents, since you are "working" with an agent, even if they do nothing but spend 5 min to put your house into mls.
However, just like with fsbo, you are going to do everything else. Advertise (outside of mls) hold open houses, set up showing appointments with/for buyer's agents, do all the paperwork, negotiate and ensure that transaction is going the way it's supposed to and that everything is moving along.
Now, weather or not that is worth anything at all is up to you, some people can sell their house fsbo, some can't. Some people really shouldn't sell on their own (there was a thread earlier today here about a seller whose transaction went/going really bad, which most likely wouldn't happen if they had an agent to guide them through the process)
Lookit, Jefferson, pal, buddy, generally fine fellow - everybody doesn't have to be deferential and self-effacing all of the time. Some people do, and that's fine.
While I appreciate your interest, sort of, how about you have your style, I'll have mine, and we'll call it good, OK?
And, if Trulia doesn't like my style, well, that's really fine, too. Again, I'm a volunteer. With fifteen years and a lot of home sales under my belt.
Now, going off on tangents is one thing, fifteen, twenty messages at a time basically kills a thread, don't you agree? Here's Lisa Jones, trying to get a word in edgewise, and what do we do? Shout around her, that's what.
I think that the regulars in an establishment have a greater obligation to maintain the attractiveness of the business for the rest of the paying public. What's been going on all too much is that we're blocking the front door being rowdy, when all people want to do is step inside.
Lookit - regardless of my hotheaded responses, many of you guys actually make a valuable contribution. But this isn't an exhibition of it. Let some things be. Let people raise the dead posts. Realize that agents are going to go YOU NEED ME WITHOUT ME YOU'LL DIE A MISERABLE DEATH ONLY I CAN SAVE YOU CALL MEEEEE NOWWWW!!!!!
Don't worry if YOU'VE been over the topic a hundred times - Trulia does not exist for the purpose of bringing novelty into your life.
Every time I see this dam headline, I keep thinking that somebody is actually going to have something useful to say.
Most of you should have real, actual friends to talk with and argue with.
And please note that I am not taking this time to please you regulars with my posts. You guys - no offense - are not my target audience. If you're entertained, that's fine by me. Since you probably already know it all, you guys can place fact-checker for all I care. All I ask is that you remember that there are other people checking in and that some of them are in search of actually useful information.
You know where to find me if you feel the need to discuss the matter further.
Many of these questions are, in fact, timeless - and Trulia should hope that a new batch of readers comes through periodically for information.
This thread is now totally useless, since nobody in their right mind is going to wade through thirty posts thinking that things will get better - that there will eventually be some actual useful information here if they did deeply enough.
If you really don't have anything better to do with your time, then I apologize.
In this market you really need a professional assisting you and marketing your property. Simply placing it in the MLS is just not enough. You need to remember that the listing agent is the one representing your needs and interests.
Best of luck to you!
I still think my original post was relevant and valid and haven't seen any substantive rebuttal to it at all. Your very recent post about "Agents know more than you do about marketing houses" is a valid opinion, certainly a true one, and something anyone who might be deciding how to sell their house can consider.
I castigated no one for their opinions and would not do so. Just for their personal attacks. And I was the one attacked for "reviving" this thread.
I appreciate your considered apology though, if I am in fact one of those it was directed toward.
Now, of course, there are some lame agents. Here's a little secret: DON'T HIRE THEM.
Also, I never knew that when a question was asked only one opinion was expected. I had always thought differing points of view were valuable, and I believe my posts reflect that.
1) If your answer was not an ad hominem, how was it helpful or germane to the issue?
2) What in my first post was wrong or irrelevant?
I realize you do not like my suggestion because it is in conflict to your personal interests, and I suggest it riled you up so much because your expertise has you know it to be true. That is usually the case in "attacking the messenger" situations.
Answer those two questions if you can. Continuing with insults as you have or ignoring it altogether will tell me that the above paragraph is spot on.
There are lots of great agents who work for flat fee companies. Many offer the total array of full services. The problem with using them is that agents from traditional companies may choose to not show your house to their buyers.
I advertise my properties on about 25 different sites beyond the MLS to gain attention for my Sellers. I'm not worried about Buyers Agents bringing Buyers, in fact that's my goal! Get the property exposed so the Buyers can see it. If the Buyer has to tell their agent about the home then I've done my job! The listing agent's job is to get the home exposed so a Buyers Agent can sell it. Make the door open and close like a turnstile at an amusement park! this is what the listing agent is supposed to do.
When you hire a flat rate discount broker you'll pay an up front fee (usually in the thousands) and only get your home on the MLS. Then you are typically responsible for 'Open Houses', signage and anything else. the MLs doesn't sell homes the way it used to do a few years ago. You have to be more savvy than that. Have you noticed companies like Foxton's and Help-U- Sell companies going out of business? Guess why? Because they are discount brokers who only offer discounted services. The old adage still rings true: You get what you pay for!
By the way, I have a listing where my current Seller spent $4000.00 on a 'Flat rate' Broker and got NOTHING except her pocket picked for $4K. Now I have it listed. In less than 60 Days I have two offers and thousands of bonafide web hits to share with my Seller to prove the marketing I'm doing on her behalf. Do you think she's happy now?
See the link below to get a small idea of the property that was listed with a 'Flat Rate' broker who only made my seller $4,000.00 broker.