Finding best agent to market property

Asked by Shelley V, Salem, WI Sun Sep 23, 2007

awesome totally private 25AC estate 3br 3ba fireplaces wet/dry sauna horses allowed wooded 2 ponds -- listed 2x, no buyers!. how do we find right agent/broker? market stinks, no good comp's for last 3 yrs 'cause nothing sold similar! near WI-IL border; need advice how to find right agent for job (all say they're good, but not true.) need help to find right agent/broker to market. frustrated.....

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Web reference:


Emily Erekuff, Home Owner, Menifee, CA
Wed Sep 26, 2007
Hi Shelly,

Sorry to chime in here but I want to clarify some spam concerns that were brought up in this thread.

Below Jim Walker says, "It is entirely appropriate to recommend one self or a respected referral when the consumer makes a specific request for professional services."

Jim is absolutely correct. Such referrals are considered spam only if the referral is unwarranted and there is no attempt to provide an informative answer to the question. Ian's answer below does address the question and the referral he provides is warranted judging by the content of the question.

Thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention Jim.

Best Wishes,

Emily Gibson
Customer Service Representative
2 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Tue Sep 25, 2007
It is entirely appropriate to recommend one self or a respected referral when the consumer makes a specific request for professional services. Ian was given thumbs down by readers who do not understand the difference between responding to a request for service and trolling/ spam. I invite the Trulians who gave thumbs down to Ian to apologize to him
2 votes
ian cockburn, Agent, New Orleans, LA
Sun Sep 23, 2007
Choose an agent / broker that can give you more exposure specific to your type property...if this is a higher end property, consider a Sotheby's Brokerage in Chicago, email tell Janice Corley I referred you. They can promote your home to international clients in addition to the national affluent customer base.

Make sure the agent you choose is hungry, and will actively promote your property.
Web Reference:
2 votes
Patti Pereyra, , Chicago, IL
Mon Sep 24, 2007
If nothing similar has sold for the last 3 years, then perhaps it's not the agents' fault your property has not sold; it might just be that all of the similar properties in the area have a tough time selling.

Have your past Realtors been able to show you active comparables if not sold comparables?

If there are not even active comparables, it might also be a "hard to sell" property due to its location.

It could be a number of things that are beyond your Realtor's control. The key is to determine what the "might be" is, and address it specifically.

Price? Lower it.
Too unique? Targeted marketing (i.e. equestrian magazines, luxury home demographic, etc.)
Area too remote? Global marketing. Find a Realtor that knows how to advertise nationally -- even internationally -- if necessary, to attract a larger pool of potential buyers.

Properties such as yours require specialized strategies.

The right Realtor will help you truthfully narrow down what the obstacles are in selling your home and plan its marketing accordingly.

Good luck.
1 vote
Ruthless, , 60558
Thu Oct 4, 2007
You have generated a little controversy here. My suggestion is to see if you can find an agent licensed in both IL and Wisc. Your description sounds so luxurious but the reality is probably, location, location, location. You are probably WAY OVER PRICED for your area but DIRT CHEAP for what you are offering. You need to target specific PEOPLE, the Kohler family, the Pritzker family, the Crown family. I don't think your location will appeal to the typical luxury, international market. You need to find the rich mid-Westerners.

You might also want to look at "highest and best use." Could this be zoned as a horse camp resort or a B&B?

Jim is quite the character and I'm glad he came to Ian's defense. You might also enjoy his posts to my similar question:…

Later, Jim found a WSJ article titled "Underpriced at $100 million" that he forwarded to me. That is in the web reference.
0 votes
Jolie Muss, , Upper West Side, New York, NY
Thu Oct 4, 2007
It sounds like your home is very special and might be desirable to an elite group of buyers...
What have the agents done to market your home and help you prepare your home to sell?
Was your agent a realtor? (MLS) Did they advertise, do they have a web presence?
Have they held open houses & broker open houses? Did they place a sign?
Did they advise you to inprove curb appeal,declutter, remove personal items and perhaps stage your home? Have they recommended you and your pets not be present during showings?
You could consider incentives in financing or a higher commision split..
You might hold interview/ listing presentations with 3-10 different agents, perhaps on the same day to see what they have to offer in terms of marketing and preparation and what selling prices and comps they bring and then chose your agent from the best...
Let us know how it turns out...
0 votes
Javier Varon, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Wed Sep 26, 2007
Ask to see production numbers. Make sure you get an aggressive salesperson. However, being that you've been on the market twice already, I'm pretty sure the problem isn't the agent, but the price. Comps are just that... comps. As long as you were listed on the local MLS, you would be exposed to all the buyers... so drop the price or hold on to the property.
0 votes
Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Wed Sep 26, 2007
Shelley, You seem to be getting no feedback from the Realtor/agents who are showing the property. This can be the most helpful advice currently on your property. Did your agent NOT follow-up with this? If s/he did and you ignored the feedback then you are THE problem. If you have had NO SHOWINGS then you must be incredibly overpriced!! However, that said, you must have some cards from the Realtor/Agents who showed your property. These folks represent the prospective buyers. Call them and ask them what feedback their clients gave on the property after the showing. Look for the honest agent who gives you the unvarnished truth about your property. My first question to you would be, "Do you really have to sell this property?" If you hem and haw, don't give me a straight answer, or tell you no, we've got all the time in the world, then YOU need to get real about why it is you are selling. The last thing this market needs is another overpriced, unmotivated Seller clogging up the market. Remember, DENIAL ain't just a river in Egypt!
0 votes
Kurt Thomas, , 81501
Wed Sep 26, 2007
I agree with Jim, I have read the rules, actually spoken with trulia and they have indicated that it is just fine to do this. They also indicated that if you think an answer is spam to just flag it and not post your own personal opinion about others on the site.
Emily Gibson the primary moderator for voices wrote the following in an email to me:

"I have contacted (some voices and indicated) that while we don’t allow commercial postings on Trulia we don’t believe that it is harmful for those who supply informative answers to questions to reference their own websites or offer referrals to other professionals"

"In the meantime I have asked to simply flag questions or answers that one may believe are spam rather than saying so in his posts and I ask that you do the same with any posts of others that you believe are inappropriate. "

The above text came directly from Trulia moderators. If you dont agree with them then perhaps it may be time to start your own Q & A site?
Web Reference:
0 votes
#1, , San Francisco Bay Area
Tue Sep 25, 2007
According to the Trulia Community Guidelines Ian's message is in fact spam, or self-promotion.

I heard from the moderator today and she told me Trulia is working on clarification on what is appropriate and what is not.

I anxiously await the grand pubah decision so I know how hard to push my own marketing as per Trulia.

Things... they are a changin'...
0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Mon Sep 24, 2007

If you were listed for quite a while, it may be that price is your obstacle. You cannot advertise your way into a sale of an overpriced listing. The buyers will simply opt for a property that gives them more bang for the same buck.

If other properties sold, even not direct comps, look at how many and evaluate, with the help of Realtors why buyers chose those properties. Ask what is selling in your area. Ask what features buyers are seeking.

Notwithstanding the critical importance of correct pricing, you still need an agent who will provide your property exposure to a wide pool of potential buyers. Would buyers who may be interested in your property be from out of the area? If so, a Realtor who is prepared and capable of providing strong internet marketing, and area information will be important. Video might be helpful for your property; plat maps or survey info available online or via email may be helpful. The marketing costs for your property might run higher in order to provide this, so keep that in mind when you discuss seller agent compensation.

I am not an advocate of over-investing in buyer agent compensation in hopes of finding a buyer. Instead, allocate that amount that you would pay in a price adjustment to attract buyers. Pay a fair and competitive fee to buyer agents. Without that, you might shortchange yourself out of a showing or two. Discuss buyer agent compensation rates in your marketplace with prospective selling agents, review this data in other listings, and set yours competitively.

The best Realtors cannot sell overpriced listings with unlimited advertising, so do price right.

I don’t have any referral sources to offer you that I have in your area. You might try, as agents who have achieved their CRS have education and transaction history and represent only 4% of all Realtors. Also, try a local chamber, neighbors, etc in search of names of active agents in your area. Don’t be fooled into a false sense of security because one has several listings. Discuss marketing strategies and pricing opinions in depth before choosing your Realtor.

Good Luck!
0 votes
Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Mon Sep 24, 2007
Even though all agents are not the same, your price is the most deciding factor to selling your house. Think of it this way--if your house was for sale for $100, do you think it would sell? You need to keep lowering your price until it becomes attractive to buyers. There are buyers out there. When your home is priced cheap enough, they will make offers. If you are not ready to reduce it to that price, then take it off the market and wait for the market to rebound. It will.
In the meantime, do find an aggressive agent, one who is internet savvy is important in this market. Ask the questions that Jonathan recommended, and choose someone who you like. You will be working closely with this person.
I disagree with Keith's comment that paying above average commission as a way to attract Realtors' attention. In this market, agents are happy to sell houses at any commission rate. We just want to make the sale. If we have a client who would like your house, you can be sure we would bring them by.
Good luck.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Jonathan Osm…, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Sun Sep 23, 2007
Sorry for all of the trouble that you've had in selling your property and Yes, you're 1000% correct, not all real estate agents are the same. The biggest misnomer is that all agents are the same and while we all use generally the same, experience is mandatory. I compare it to various hospitals. While all can help you get well, certain hospitals have better success rates when it comes to complicated surgeries or cancer.

I've had a lot of clients relocate from the midwest and they've all had trouble selling their property. In one case, the buyer made a deal with the bank when their home hadn't sold for an entire year. Add to it the uniqueness of your property and you need an agent who's experienced, has a marketing budget, and specializes in your type of property.

Here are some places you can search: consumer side of your local MLS and search for properties that are unique like yours or in the same price range. and Unique Global Estates (for properties over 1mil) can also be good resources.

Finally, when you're interviewing, ask them for their numbers: how many listings, average sales price, time on the market. If they haven't listed a property in 2 years, not the person for you. Also ask for referrences and their marketing plan. Someone experienced will have no problem providing this information for you.

Barring that, find an agent who can refer you to someone who can meet your needs. Hope this helps.
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Sun Sep 23, 2007
Thank you for posting your question. I have read many similar posts, so your circumstances are not uncommon.

First, the Realtor's number one job is to help you sell your property. In order to do that there are three things that need to be considered:
1. List Price - the purpose of the correct list price is to attract buyers and their Realtors. If a listing has no showings, the list price is too high. If the listing has showings, but no offers, then the price is too high. Collect feedback from the Realtors that showed the property and correct as needed. If the listing is receiving low offers, then the market is speaking to you. You do not mention if you have had ANY offers. Have you?
2. Condition - a properly priced listing will attract showings. A listing that shows well willattract offers. Your Realtor should help you determine your property's biggest values and showcase them.
3. Timing - Time is your number one enemy. The real estate market is dynamic. It is always changing. Now that your property has been listed twice, there is one thing we know: We know what price it well not sell. Most sharp Realtors look at listings with long Days On Market (DOM) and help buyer's make low offers. Not because they are trying to trick you unto selling for less than the property is worth...because THAT'S WHAT IT IS WORTH. It's just over-priced.

Lastly, 90% of the time a buyer first sees the home they buy in person with a Realtor. Offering ABOVE MARKET commission is the most effective way to attract the attention of Realtors.

Lastly, sellers will normally net the most money when the listing sells in the first 30 days. Have ANY homes like yours sold in the last three years? If there are no comps, as you state, then you need to drastically increase the commission and lower the price.

Putting it another way (and I do not know your market), I can tell you that 90% of the time a listing does not sell, it is the price. I could go into virtual tours, marketing tips to add value, etc. Talk with a couple of Realtors and get an assessment. Remember, what you paid for the property, the amount that you owe, or the price you want for it, are not important to the buyer.

Keep us posted.
0 votes
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