Should my agent be from my area/city or it will be OK to get an agent from 40 miles away?

Asked by Juan, Bellflower, CA Wed Jan 9, 2008

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18
Jim Welden, Agent,
Thu Jan 10, 2008
Mot - thanks for the additional info - you seem to have some respect for the distant agent so I agree with Carl - you have given the "top agent" a chance and no results, so give the other agent a chance assuming he can enter it into the local MLS as your home definitely needs to be in the local MLS - do you know if he can do that? (is the distant agent a member of the local board of Realtors? That is how he would be able to enter your home into the local MLS). He also will need to be abel to research other homes that are available and other homes that have sold in your neighborhood so again, access to the MLS is fairly critical.

If he does not have access, then as Ed indicated, maybe the distant agent can co-list your home with someone he knows in the local area - the distant agent would be in charge of the marketing plan and the local agent could handle any showings that need to occur and provide access to the MLS.

A home sells because:

1) it is attractively priced relative to the competition;
2) it shows well and is well maintained relative to the competition;
3) the location is attractive relative to the price; and
4) the home is given significant exposure so a potential Buyer (or agent with a Buyer) in the price range and location can find the available home.

With that said, all of the marketing in the world will never overcome a price that is too high. An undesirable location and an unattractive condition can always be overcome by a lower price but the reduction in price is frequently more than the cost of making the condition better...so as Maureen indicates, if the home needs updating, I would make the updates before putting it back on the market

Mot - once your home sells, it sounds like the distant agent is located where you would like to live so he is probbably knowedgeable with the area. Good luck and keep us posted on how it works out!
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Thu Jan 10, 2008
One of the best ways of getting a home sold is by having the agent "physically" walk your neighborhood talking to people who might know of someone looking to move INTO the area. Another way is through contacts that your agent has/had with other agents. When I take a listing, I spend the following day calling other agents to see if they have any buyers.
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Exactly. That is why I think it is better to have a local agent list. Another reason is that when the other agents from that office get calls on their signs, they aren't going to include your house in the homes that are shown off of those calls, because you're too far. A local agent who gets a sign call may not be as familiar with your listing as with those of other local agents who "lobby" them about their own listings.
1 vote
Carl Johnson, , Amherst, NH
Thu Jan 10, 2008
Mot,
It sounds like you trust this agent and like him and I get the feeling from your last post that you want to give him an opportunity to sell your home. If he is sincere, is willing to put in the effort, and you like him then by all means, give him the chance.

The top agent in an area is not always the best agent because they are too busy to to give one property specialized attention. To do a lot of business an agent needs a process. You go into their process and they do the same thing for your property as they do for every other one. It is often hard for them to do something special which may be why you did not get those flyers. I still recommend an agent that has done some business in your area, but like i said at the beginning, if he is sincere, is willing to put in the effort, and you like him then by all means, give him the chance. Agents break into new markets all the time and that may be a motivation for him.

Best wishes for a successful conclusion to the sale of your home!
1 vote
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Wed Jan 9, 2008
It is important that your agent know and understand the entire metro area, as well as its submarkets.
The agent may live or have an office 40 miles away, yet be very familiar with the area and city that you want to transact business in.
Also, the agent from a distance should have full MLS access in your area, and have no qualms about making that long commute on a frequent basis.
It is more important that you have a good rapport (understanding) with your agent than whether they have an address in the same town.
1 vote
Melanie Nard…, , San Francisco, CA
Wed Jan 9, 2008
When my clients are looking at properties in any area I can help them find a good Realtor through my network with my company or through the Women's Council of Realtors. Many times these are agents I have worked with in the past and I know their experience level and familiarity with the area and so feel confident in how well they will assist my clients.
1 vote
Kent Palmer, , Denver, CO
Wed Jan 9, 2008
Mot, I work almost exclusively in areas that I am familiar with. I am lucky enough to have lived in some of the better areas of Denver in my 37 years here so it is easy for me to say something of that nature. But I feel I can do a much better job. I enjoy walking down the block or stopping by on my way home, to present offers and get signatures. It is a lot more personal than the fax from the guy you won’t see until closing day if you are the seller.

And if you are the buyer, how far is your broker going to want to drive for showings. I have worked with clients from across town, every time they found a house they wanted to see I drove 35-40 minutes, I would usually find a few more for us to see, to make it worth the gas. Then I would drive another 30-40 minutes for showings and drive another 25 minutes back to the office or 35 to the house. At my average hourly rate, I could go broke.

Work with somebody close. Unless the broker who is 40 miles away is a relative, then nothing I said counts.

Good Luck
1 vote
Carl Johnson, , Amherst, NH
Wed Jan 9, 2008
I have always been a proponent of working in an area that I know very well.
I feel that the agent should be very knowledgeable about the local area so that they can properly promote a property. That being said, just because an agents office may be located a long distance away does not necessarily mean that they do not work and have solid knowledge in your area.

I recommend that you ask the prospective agent how many properties they have sold in your area, how accessible will they be to you should you need to meet or they need to show the home and how familiar they are with your town. Although I am not comfortable working outside of my core area I know some agents who can work effectively outside of the town where their office is located . I think that asking the agent a few questions about their experience in your town may help you decide if they are the right agent to market your property.

I hope this helps
1 vote
Alex Montelo…, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Sat Apr 12, 2014
Do yourself a favor and hire someone local. There is no way that an agent from 40 miles away can know as much about the neighborhood, local market, amenities that the community offers, etc. You want the best service possible right?

Good Luck,


Alex Montelongo/Broker
Coldwell Banker Star Realty
562-810-7387 Cell
BRE LIc #01456982
0 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Thu May 3, 2012
"Best in Bellflower" is an advertising slogan of your former agent, not an industry conferred designation.
You want "best for Juan" working for you. The best agent might be one who has time to take care of each of her listings, even if he is isn't the top producing agent. I once pointed out the large numbers of sales for the agent does not necessarily bode well for the seller. I wrote something like "Who would you rather have? The agent (A) who took 100 listings and sold 50 of them, or the agent (B) who took 30 listings and sold twenty of them? A has the higher number of sales, but B has the better batting average.

By the way this post is over 4 years old.
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu May 3, 2012
You didnb't mention whether you are buying or selling, but in either case, a local agent will serve you much better.

Real estate is local. You want to work with someone who knows your neighborhood (and its inventory inside and out).

Good luck.
0 votes
Allison Fish…, Agent, Ann Arbor, MI
Thu May 3, 2012
I would recommend hiring an expert in your local neighborhood. They know the conditions first-hand and re more likely to be connected to people buying that want to live in your area.
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Thu May 3, 2012
Great question,

Agents all have the same knowledge and training. However, working with a local agent can yield some very positive benefits here are a few:

Local agents know the mood a feel of the community, they may even live in the community.
They have first hand information on schools, the best place to get your dry cleaning done or where to get a good cut of Lamb.

Local agents are vested in the community. They may support local charities or your organizations. They may belong to a local Lodge, Rotary or Church. Because they live/ work in the area they will want to protect you , and their own goodwill.

I recommend you to at least interview some local agents, before hiring someone 40 miles away.

Best of luck to you!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
I will have to disagree with the statement that all agents have the same knowledge and training. I know what you meant but education is key in RE and there is a huge curve in some cases. Respectfully, Alex M.
Flag Sat Apr 12, 2014
Ed Clemon, , Mashpee, MA
Thu Jan 10, 2008
Since you seem to have an excellent repore with the agent that lives "out of your area", why not ask him if he is affiliated with any agents near to your home. He should be able to recommend someone to you and hopefully, that individual or company will have a strong marketing campaign to move your home.

A good agent doesn't just use one media source, but explores all areas to truely expose the home to largest pool of buyers.

Good luck and good selling.
0 votes
Maureen Rossy, , 90071
Thu Jan 10, 2008
Mot, you might want to think about this. Flyers are fine, but how were they circulated? One of the best ways of getting a home sold is by having the agent "physically" walk your neighborhood talking to people who might know of someone looking to move INTO the area. Another way is through contacts that your agent has/had with other agents. When I take a listing, I spend the following day calling other agents to see if they have any buyers. It looks like all the agent wanted was the listing. You see, once the sign is up in your front yard with his/her phone number, anyone driving by becomes aware of who that person is. Many times, that is the agent's way of personal advertising, just like open houses.
One question I have for you is what condition was your home in? In this market, you really need to be the best of the best both outside and inside. Sometimes the cost of a professional home stager is well worth the investment (typically anywhere from $500 to $2500 depending on the size of the house and the work to be done). Sometimes home stagin can be done without any costs. I have some people I can recommend to you if you like. you can e mail me at maureen.ross@era.com. Good luck to you!
0 votes
Juan, Both Buyer And Seller, Bellflower, CA
Thu Jan 10, 2008
First I would like to thank all of you for your answers.

I will respond to Jim's questions.

When I was looking for houses in the city of Walnut, California which is about 30 miles from my house I met this agent who was just getting out of one of the houses, we talked and then he took me and my wife to see another house in the same area later I gave him my email and started to send me listing from the area that met my criteria and that's how I got to know him.

My house was listed at that time (11/2006) but didn't sell, I left the contract expire and stop the sell for few months, later in July of 2006 I listed my house with the best agent (?) in Bellflower, my buyer agent interview for the listing but I thought that he was too far from my house and I know that he doesn't know this area. The house didn't sell and I took it out of the market in 11/2006. Last year I tried one more time from July to November without any luck, I tried with the same agent "The best in Bellflower" but still couldn't sell.

Now I just thought about the other agent because I think he has a better marketing plan but I still think that he doesn’t know my area.

I case you wonder, the price the last time was very aggressive, but what good is to have an aggressive price if there is no good marketing? Few months before the expiration of the contract my agent ask me to lower the price, I accepted and asked them to mailed some flyers, and to include the price of the house in the flyer, things that they didn’t do and now I still unable to sell my house.

Thank you.
0 votes
Jim Welden, Agent,
Wed Jan 9, 2008
Mot - a little more informaiton might be helpful - specifically:

a) will you be buying in the area where your current home is, or will you be buying in the area where the agent is now located?

b) how well do you know the agent? Is this a trusted relative? Is this someone you have worked with successfully in the past, for example did they help you buy the home you are currently selling?

c) did the agent who is now 40 miles away previously live in your current neighborhood?

d) is the agent a participant of the MLS where your home is located (will he/she be able to put your home in the local MLS)?

e) why are thinking about doing this? Do you have a unique type of property and you are looking to purchase a similar new unique property?

Depending on the answers to the above questions, I can think of a couple of scenarios where it might make sense:

1) you have used this agent several times before and trust them to do a good job despite the distance;
2) you are moving to the area where the agent is now and feel like they know the new area really well - this assumes the agent has access to the MLS to put your home in locally to help it sell;
3) the agent used to live in your area for a long time, knows it well, and will diligently help you find a new home even despite the distance , and again has access to the MLS so they can learn what is available.
4) the agent specializes in unique properties and knows all of the homes in their specialty very well (for example, horse properties, waterfront properties, golf properties, etc) in a broader geographic area.

Please give us some additional info and we will probably get some other reasons/asnwers - thanks.
0 votes
Maureen Rossy, , 90071
Wed Jan 9, 2008
I disagree with the last answer. think of it this way. If your agent is from an area not too far away and puts his/her sign in your area, you have double the exposure don't you?
0 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Wed Jan 9, 2008
Your agent should be from your city if you are selling or buying.
0 votes
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