Same with an agent, a top producer could just be the biggest house. The top producer in our area goes to the listing appointment, gets a signature and you never see them again. They use assistants for everything.
Luxury homes rarely equate to top producers. Best thing is call a few agents with for sale signs around your area and check them out, interview three and see which one makes the most sense for what you want to do.
Also, be careful with discount brokers (Stephanie below works a different model than most agents, you can ask her how she does it). Some online discount brokers are willing to work for next to nothing and most of the time, you will get what you pay for.
Make sure to find a broker who has Your Best Interests ahead of everything else. This means asking tough questions to find out if selling is the proper thing to do at this time.
Mercer Island is indeed a unique area for real estate. That said, many buyers are gathering information online and are fairly savvy on knowing when a great opportunity is being advertised.
With education on the current market, known motivation and a listing plan of action, the home should be able to attract a buyer. You are moving toward making a business decision and information should displace emotion- so an uncomfortable discussion should take place when you partner with your broker of choice.
The good news is, most brokers left in the business are still around because of integrity and referrals. Ask your friends who they would refer and why!
Best of luck!
You can tell fairly quickly when you drive through E Mercer and W Mercer Way which agents have the most listings--Kris, Wendy, Curt etc. will be on many of the signs, and they've been doing a lot of great business in the area. They all sell some homes in M.I, although total sales have been slow for a couple of years now.
Your next question is your goal in marketing the home. If you want the local favorites, they're easy to find, but are they doing most of their marketing to local Mercer Island outlets, or are they bringing in clients from other cities and states? We're finding that most of our waterfront and luxury buyers these days are relocation clients from other parts of the country or even international buyers. Marketing to a new "Seattle" resident who may not be familiar with Mercer Island or other locales in the greater Seattle metro exposes your home to a much larger pool of potential buyers. With the limited number of local buyers in the luxury market over the past couple of years, exposing your home to the largest potential pool of buyers is the best way to sell a luxury or waterfront home quickly.
Good luck, and let me know if you need any help.
The Cascade Team
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