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Asked by Kim, Doylestown, PA Wed Mar 2, 2011

This question was removed by its author.

Answers

284
Marvin Von R…, Agent, Tigard, OR
Thu Mar 24, 2011
BEST ANSWER
Ive been thinking about this...its a HARD question to answer. How does one choose a real estate professional? Sometimes its hard to give references because the people want privacy. Who wants to be called all the time to have to extol your virtue to strangers? Also, think about it---I could give you 10 glowing referrals but have 100 other buyers/sellers who hate my guts! How would you know?

I have to go back to saying that real estate people rarely 'sell' a house. To imply that they 'sold' it means to me that they had to talk someone into the transaction. ADVERTISING sells a house. Anything will sell if properly priced. An agents responsibility is to make sure the seller knows the true value. In all probability the home will be purchased by a buyer who is represented by their own buyers agent. And its probable that it will have been found from the MLS system. Yard signs are still worthwhile, especially to neighbors who may know people who like the area. Open homes are WORTHLESS in my opinion but others may like doing them.
You want to hire an agent for their KNOWLEDGE of the local laws and rules, area values, and experience with REAL ESTATE CONTRACT LAW. For the most part we have all our forms pre written and really are not supposed to change them much without it being practicing law without a license! One can negotiate certain terms or methods of handling parts of the transaction. A favorite area of concern for me has always been the period of time between actual recording of the deed and the time the sellers vacate and hand over the keys. What if something happens during that time? Suppose the sellers or movers cause damage? Who proves that it wasnt already done? Who pays for it? How is it caught? What if the process of moving uncovers a problem that was unknown to ALL parties until the move? We could probably have this as the subject of a new discussion and Im going a little off track. Point is what good are we as agents? Why are we needed? Cant people just walk hand in hand to the title company, sign a few things and transfer ownership? That would be sweet but it aint the real world. We facilitate transactions for the mutual benefit of all parties. We try to insure the best and easiest transaction for all. We advertise and try to place the listing in front of as many buyers as possible. We need to know all the latest rules regarding real property ownership transfer so the sellers do not break any laws through ignorance. There are other things we do but Im tired of hearing myself type, lol.

Knowing all I know after 31 years in the business, how would I choose a real estate person?

NUMBER ONE---ACCESSIBILITY. No need to elaborate.
NUMBER TWO---TIME IN THE BUSINESS though this could unfairly leave out some GREAT new agents. We were all new at one time. Ive seen newbies break all sales records in an office loaded with experienced agents.

Any others want to throw some choice guidelines into this mix?
1 vote
Richard Schu…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Mar 16, 2011
Take a look at the agent's track record of success. Have they sold a lot of homes successfully? Ask the agents for a list of homes they have sold in your area recently. Find out what kind of marketing they do. Will the agent get your listing the highest possible level of exposure? The agent with more listings may have more experience with this, may have the means to do this, may have a larger web presence, and a bigger network to advertise your listing to. Even if the agent is sending an associate or member of their team to your open houses, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Chances are, this associate has been pre-screened and extensively trained by the agent. A good agent often has a good team working with them.

Best of luck,
Richard Schulman
Keller Williams Realty
5 votes
Anthony Cava…, Agent, Joliet, IL
Wed Mar 16, 2011
I suggest you choose the agent you feel has your interests at heart. Pick the most honest agent. Pick someone who really cares. As far as the number of listings, I find that most agents with a lot of listings are just better at marketing themselves, and this does not necessarily translate to being competent or having your best interests at heart.
3 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri Mar 4, 2011
JR makes a good point - your goal is to sell not just to join a large stable of listings, so be sure to evaluate the agents' ability and track record in getting the job done. I make a point to take on only as much as I can do well - always mindful of ensuring that I have the capacity to deliver on promises made. I often tell my sellers, there are agents that outlist me, but few that outsell me.

You are looking for the agent that will SELL your home. Pick the one that you believe will get the job done - will deliver - and don't just take their word for it, ask for and speak to her references. Do be sure she embraces the power of online marketing for your benefit - because that is where the buyers are. And be smart about your pricing.

Good luck to you!!
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
3 votes
John El Hana…, , 19087
Wed Apr 20, 2011
While I understand everyone's concern on how to chose a REALTOR® regarding listing a property in the MLS, I strongly recommend that SHOPPING for one is a very bad idea. Communication is the Key when working with a Real estate professional. We all get somewhat the same education and looking for someone with more or less listing is a moot point. Two things will sell your property: 1) Pricing it right 2) Marketing it right.

Respectfully,
2 votes
FRANK DONOVAN, , Vista, CA
Mon Apr 18, 2011
I would recommend that you first look at agents who have been recommended to you by people you know and trust. Not somebody's nephew but someone who actually closed a transaction for them. In this day of internet communications, I would encourage you to ask about the agent's ability and willingness to promote your property online. Ask to see the internet promotions for their current listings. Be realistic on your pricing. Get at least four opinions of value. In a perfect world, they should all come in the same, but that never happens. Delete the lowest and delete the highest.. The remaining opinions should be somewhat close together. Demanding a higher price than your market will bear leads to disappointment and failure.
2 votes
Marvin Von R…, Agent, Tigard, OR
Thu Apr 7, 2011
David, I disagree with you, sorry. This entire thread has dozens of scenarios and examples of why the 'agent with the most solds' may not be the best choice. How did he/she get those listings? What if that listing agent didnt actually sell any of them? Waat if ONE other agent reprersented all the buyers on those properties and has a big circle of buyers or methods of contacting buyers? The listing agent is the one yuou are counting as having sold the most properties there but its not the case UNLESS the listing agent did something outside of MLS and newspaper ads that brought the seller together with the buyer or buyers agent. I would put more stock in what you say regardless of how close or far it is from my own belief if your post didnt have an AD in it, by the way.
2 votes
Glen R Curti…, , South Carolina
Thu Apr 7, 2011
Bottom line, ask to see the agents sales in your area, not listings
2 votes
Thomas E. Da…, Agent, Newport Beach, CA
Thu Apr 7, 2011
Kim, it's hard to argue with experience unless you're doing it with passion. There are plenty of realtors with more listings than me but few who bring my level of dedication to the task. So to answer your question go with your gut - listen to what the realtor tells you when you ask, "what's my home worth?" Do they bring facts or just opinions to back up their answer. Are they honest with you about price or telling you something you want to hear? Will they market the property beyond just putting it in the mls or the local paper? 80% percent of buyers today find properties online, so is your agent tech savvy and ready to get your property out there. Do they know, really know your neighborhood? As important as that internet is, many buyers come from down the street and it helps when your agent can get the word out, quickly. Every agent is different. Some want as many clients as they can handle, others simply want to take their time. You've got to find the one that tells you want you want to hear and then puts those words into practice. You've signed a listing agreement but that doesn't mean if the agent isn't doing his due diligence that it can't be terminated. Start with who makes you feel comfortable but then don't be shy about moving on if you aren't happy with their work ethic.
2 votes
Rose Wilkins…, , Edmond, OK
Wed Apr 6, 2011
I am a full time real estate investor. I can tell you if a Realtor is worth their weight in salt. The average Realtor will ALWAYS give you this spiel:

1. We will put your home on a fancy, high traffic website!

2. Our corporation is a major brand name that spends MILLIONS of dollars advertising!

3. We are going to put your home in the newspaper, on television, on the radio, in a brochure, etc.

4. We are going to stick a yard sign in your yard!

5. We are going to do a virtual tour!

6. We are going to hold open houses EVERY WEEKEND!

7. We are going to have an automated voice mail system stuck in your yard that customers can punch a number and hear about your house!

8. We are going to slash our commission lower than anybody else!

9. We are going to sell your house in a WEEK!

10. We are going to blast your home out to 50 bazillion buyers who we know are looking for homes!

11. We are going to hold Broker's Opens, and give away free lunches!

12. We are going to put flags in your front yard, and hire cheerleaders so hopefully people will ignore that the economy has TANKED!

But here is the bottom line!

If a Realtor CANNOT or WILL NOT educate you:

1. About lease purchase / rent to own

2. About owner financing / wrap around mortgages

3. About PARTIAL owner financing

4. About accepting a cash offer

5. Or, about getting an asset based loan to fix up the home and THEN list it

Then its just the same song and dance.

In this economy, traditional methods of marketing are simply NOT ENOUGH. And even if you aren't willing to be creative, its nice to know what ALL of your options are, not just some of them.

Good luck!
2 votes
Kim, , Doylestown, PA
Tue Apr 5, 2011
To David Sartirana - I am the author of this question, and am very grateful for all of the responses. Many agents have provided me with tips and ideas on what to look for/ask a prospective agent - things that I might not have come up with by myself. I did consider removing this question, as I think those who answered have covered all bases. However, as there are plenty of other homebuyers out there right now, I thought the answers would help those people too. Therefore, this question will remain on Trulia for the foreseeable future!
2 votes
Chrystal & D…, Agent, Westlake Village, CA
Mon Mar 28, 2011
Just because an agents has a few listings does not mean they are not good agents. Quite possibly these agents do not have listings because they actually sell their listings. I recommend looking into an agents production for the past year and see how they stand up to others. Also, make sure their marketing is up to date with todays facebook, linked in and youtube their are so many ways to market today!
2 votes
Spirit Messi…, Agent, Tucson, AZ
Wed Mar 23, 2011
The age old question I see, take the agent or Realtor with more experience or the one who can focus on your home.

Listen, I have met a lot of Realtors, a majority of who do not have very good TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS. In other words, a good agent would not take more listings than they can handle, and if they have a lot there may be a good reason why. Maybe it is good marketing, but still there will be a reason. YES, an agent or Realtor with only one listing should be "hungry" and have more time. However, simply put I have seen many agents with only 1-2 and do a horrible job. Base it on the person, their credentials, past referrals and references, and in the end, listen to your gut.
Best of luck.
Spirit
2 votes
Delaine Camp…, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Sat Mar 19, 2011
Hi Kim,
Everyone has different views on this. I don't agree with picking the one with the most and the top 1%.

First off, a new person in the business might be very hungry for your business and will work their butts off for you. Unlike many "seasoned" agents who keep doing what they have always done and consider your home just another listing. It's not the golden ring for them that it would be for an agent who is new in the business or who doesn't get a lot of listings.

Secondly, just because an agent isn't a heavy listing agent doesn't mean they aren't good or don't have money to market your property. Many agents focus primarily on Buyers and do listings by referal or by phone calls from motivated sellers looking for someone to sell their home. They are just as capable, just as motivated (probably more) and probably have the money and skills to market your property.

What I would tell you is to create a list of what YOU want done and set the expectations with whatever agent you use. For instance if you expect the agent to hold Open Houses every weekend, then you should say that and put it in writing. If you expect them to provide staging services, state that. You should discuss the marketing plan and what that includes. What you don't want is someone to take your listing, put a sign in the ground, and then let it sit until a buyer agent brings a buyer. I know of some "heavy" listing agents that never hold open houses or brokers opens.

If you want to know more, just write back. Hope this helps.
2 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Wed Mar 16, 2011
Choose a Realtor that has more listings.. More listings, more phone calls, more advertising, more chances at getting the buyer into your home. When the phone rings.. If I can't sell them yours.. I'll sell another and if the other won't sell.. then I'll bring them to yours.

The Realtor with fewer listings is going to do "what"... much more for you? Wear a sign aroud his/her neck with just your home on it? I have 4-5 open houses a weekend and monitor them all..

Listings sell homes.
2 votes
Rob Thomson, Agent, Jupiter, FL
Wed Mar 16, 2011
Kim,

Wow! You have certainly stirred up a great number of answers to your question. I have tried to read through most of the responses to not duplicate anything here. There are many great answers and responses.

One thing you really should think about is how the Realtors' office or brokerage supports them in their efforts to sell your home. What kind of marketing does the agent themselves do? How much does their broker help them in marketing listings. I don't think that how many listings an agent has should be a big factor in how you choose.

Most home buyers go to the internet first to look for homes, even before working with a Realtor. You'll want to know what your potential Realtor does to market themselves online, as well the brokerage. Go to Google and do some Google searches for some of the terms you would type in if you were looking for a home. (Doylestown homes for sale, name of your subdivision homes for sale, etc.) Which companies come up first, second? Visit the websites. Are they easy to navigate? Do they have information available that you would want available if you were looking for a home?

Some other factors you'll want to think about aside from how well a Realtor is going to market your listing but also what kind of resources and support they have as well. You should think of this as a team helping to sell your home instead of a single agent.

Ultimately, you'll have to be comfortable with the agent you choose. Your agent should know your specific market area well.

Please feel free to email or call me if you have any more questions. I know this can seem like an overwhelming task to sell your home.

Waterfront Properties doesn't have any locations in PA, but I would be more than happy to assist you with any additional questions you have.

Cheers and Good Luck!!
Rob Thomson
561-746-7272
2 votes
Louie Gigis, , Panama City Beach, FL
Mon Mar 14, 2011
The real truth: The agent that gets the lisitng rarely sells that listing. 9 out of 10 times it is sold by another agent from another real estate company. So it is not really a bad thing to have many listings. I never take a listing and forget about it. I am constantly advertising and promoting the property in many ways, But when we enter the property in the Multiple Listing Service it is can be seen by all members of that association. Any agents that have clients looking for a certain type home and your home matches their requirements, bingo l Sounds simple, but it isn't that easy.
2 votes
Byron Lopez, Agent, Hollywood, FL
Fri Mar 11, 2011
Hello,

The main reason I became a realtor was because of my own experience purchasing my own home. I went through 6 realtors in S. Florida in order to find the right one. Purchasing a home is a matter of feeling the person out (recieving vibes) the type of communication and the ability of that realtor to read you like a "book". As matter of fact my realtor that I picked are still close we go out for dinner. Theres no science in choosing a realtor its all about how you feel, its like walking in the home and saying "this is it". Hope this helps!
2 votes
Jason Campbe…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Mar 10, 2011
Tell you who I would look for to list my home... I would look for the strongest buyer agent in your market.

Here's the way I see it... if an agent has 100 listings... they must not do a very good job of ACTUALLY SELLING their homes...

Why would you list a home with someone that has no buyers!

Here is a nasty list of questions I would ask when interviewing a potential listing agent is:

1. Why would I list my home with you instead of another agent?
2. How many loan approved buyers are your currently working with right now?
3. How many of your listings did you actually bring the buyer to and sold your listing yourself?
4. Do you have a team that works for you, or do you do all the work yourself?
5. What is your monthly ad budget?
6. How many homes did you actually sell last year where you represented the buyer?
7. How many homes did you list that actually sold in the past 6 months?
8. Are you so confident in your ability to sell my home, that you are willing to reduce your listing fee if the home has not sold within the average days on the market for my neighborhood.
9. How often will you call me with updates, potential buyer feedback, and the market conditions for my neighborhood?
10. Do you have any references I can call?

YIPES!! I just heard the thump of bad agents all across the country passing out and hating me for that little list of questions... but the bottom line is.. your home is your biggest asset... and if an agent doesnt have some really strong answers to those questions... would you really want to hire them?
2 votes
Phyllis Cros…, , Tampa, FL
Wed Mar 9, 2011
Breathe! Relax...Is your house ready for listing? !!!

That is the first thing you should tackle. Freshly painted or recently painted. Repairs done. How does staging look ..have you de-cluttered. . Then start at the street, go around the house, look for things you may have missed, then inside - room by room..jot notes on a yellow pad. NOW - would you buy your house?

Assuming you have done at that...start your interviewing process. Having questions ready for the Realtors.
Take notes of their answers. However I think, the best Realtor is one who is referred by a friend or co-worker - one who sold their house and did a good job.

Selling a home, and the success of it depends on many factors: price, location, condition, marketing and motivated Agent and ...presentation.

Once you get a list of Realtors referred by friends or co-workers, then interview three or four. Take your time lining the names up and don't forget to ASK and make a task of it. Once you meet with the agents look for signs... did they bring a listing presentation of their marketing plan, did they bring comparables (like kind SOLDS), were they on time, do they seem energetic-highly motivtated..are they dressed in professional attire....watch and listen.

If they go to the table to fill out listing forms...instead of walking through and viewing the property first. giving suggestions..or making comments..----forget them! Never sign on the spot..sleep on it.. and make your decision the next day.

Keep a notebook of your listing journey after you have signed with your choice of Realtors- ask for copies of ads, what magazines will be advertised in, open houses, what internet sites, keep your listing papers in this notebook..and make sure you understand those documents before you sign them. The Realtor should read through those listing documents with you ,so you do. You can keep copies of your emails to and from your agent, and reflect on those emails ..if there is a difference of opinion in the future. Always remember ,you are the boss..and never be shy to ask for "action" throughout any lulls in your listing period. If the Realtor feels a reduction in price is in order, make sure the Realtor brings up to date comps to support that move.

I would also suggest once you get an offer have your Realtor insert the clause "that your family will have 3 days to vacate after closing...remember that --it can be a lifesaver. I have seen and heard of situations where
sellers have moved out in preparation for closing and the sale falls through at the last minute because of a buyer problem. Protect yourself from that possible nightmare.

Here is a situation for example of a sale fall through -- and this happened in one of my deals. I was representing a buyer, the house was vacant. The buyer "during mortgage processing" decides to take her family to a family reunion abroad and pays for it. The mortgage company again check the buyers credit just before closing - sees the hefty credit card charge..and the buyer dis-qualifies herself from the mortgage--Sale fell through!

I love "Trulia" it is and glad you posted here. Invaluable info for the buying and selling public. People would be surprised how many great sites there are including threads to help others in Real Estate...across the country.


I am "Real Estate Lady" on the HGTV Boards...this also would great site for you to learn more about real estate in your endeavor to sell. You'll see great tips and gain knowledge as here. You can post question as you have here. Other Realtors from across the country and myself have been on HGTV message boards helping others...for years...as we also do on TRULIA! Good sound free advice - what more could you ask for !

Good luck to you...

Phyllis Crosby, Realtor GRI
"Real Estate Lady"
phylliscrosby@tampabay.rr.com
ReMax Realtec Group
Tampa Bay, Florida
(813) 886-2356

30 Years Experience in selling Florida Real Estate!
2 votes
Kim, , Doylestown, PA
Mon Mar 7, 2011
Too funny Kim B and Mack! Again, I appreciate all of the great responses, and I'm now well aware of how important that realtor/client connection is. I'll keep you all posted on what transpires!
2 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Mar 7, 2011
Aw, Kim, don't pull the plug on the party!
2 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Fri Mar 4, 2011
I think a better question to ask the Realtor is how many of their listings sold vs how many expired.
2 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Mar 2, 2011
It doesn't matter, Kim. We can pick from hundreds of stories as to why an agent has fewer or more listings; much more important is whether you have confidence in their ability and how you get along.
2 votes
James Unger, , Bucks County, PA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
You should go with an agent who you feel comfortable with. Your home will be marketed so that all agents will be aware of it being on the market, that buyers will be able to locate on the real estate web sites.
Even if it is a new agent without any listings, both they and their company should do the marketing to ensure maximum exposure of your home. The agent you list with to sell your home is not going to bring every buyer to view your home; it is the marketing to other agents that will get the agents to bring their buyers to view your home.
One of the things you must keep in mind is how is this agent going to stay in touch with you, and how is the process being shared with you. Will they follow up with each agent who makes an appointment to see your home? When and how will they share the feed back? Will you be able to reach them easily, after signing the agreement?
But also mostly it is that comfortableness that will help you must, as if your agent gives you information and makes suggestions, will you trust enough to listen and follow them?
1 vote
D'Adrea Davie, Agent, Stockton, CA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
Hello Kim,

I think it is wonderful that you are being extremely proactive in finding the right Real Estate Agent for you and the sell of your home. This is a very good question and sometimes a misconception on the agent regarding the number of listings that one has. The best thing to do is to choose at least 3 agents in the immediate area and interview them. Go to the office and see how the office is being ran, an organized agent with a lot of properties will have a team that helps them throughout the process of listing your home. If it is the other way around then the agent will have a plan to spend as much time to sell your home.

Going by the number of listings can be very misleading because some agents are buying and selling agents. So, they may have a low number of listings but may deal with a high number of investors or first-time homebuyers. It is a good idea to ask an agent what they specialize in. An agent should also be able to tell you what their expectations are if they are chosen as the agent to list your properties. Although the agent is accountable for the time spent on selling the property as the seller there are some expectations from you as well. A good agent would not be reluctant to tell or give you that information.
1 vote
Steve Casey, Agent, Walpole, MA
Sat Apr 23, 2011
Yes, there is a reason for fewer listings. The way I look at it more listings is a good thing and a good agent should be able to handle it all while obtaining the proper resources. People, technology etc.

However, the best argument for selecting those with lots of listings is that they are getting lots of calls and mingling successfully with the marketplace. Your house will always be on their mind as they communicate with buyers and peers.
1 vote
TJ Voskuhl, Agent, Tulsa, OK
Fri Apr 22, 2011
The number of listings a realtor carries isn't necessarily an indicator of their skill level, experience or abilities. Many of us that work with both sellers and buyers, choose to only take X number of listings at a time. I personally do this so that I can assure each of my listing clients gets my full attention and frankly, sufficient marketing dollars to advertise the property. Many realtors are what we call "listing realtors"; they don't deal with buyers at all and refer them to a Buyer's agent within their office. They spend their entire time prospecting for more listings. It becomes a numbers game for them - if yours doesn't sell, it's not the end of the world....they have 40 other listings that will. I've been doing this over 17 years and have experimented with the full range options ie up to 40 listings, another 20 in escrow while juggling a dozen buyers. Personally, I don't like stretching myself this thin. I worry so much about the quality of representation that each of my clients get, that I don't allow an assistant to help directly with many things. So, depending on what point a customer may look at my listing inventory, I may have 4 listings or 24. It is important that the realtor have a marketing plan specifically for your property - what a realtor may do for one, is not necessarily what is going to sell a different home. Nail that down and then realize that depending on how well the market is moving in your area, you may be "married" to this realtor for 6 months - it's best that you like them personally and trust their knowledge. Good luck in your search!
1 vote
Heidi Laros, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Apr 20, 2011
You should go with the agent that you feel is best able to demonstrate their ability to market your home. If that agent doesn't have a lot of listings, but you feel they have a great marketing ability, then don't be afraid to use an agent that is able to give you a lot of their time. Agents with a tremendous amount of listings are less likely to be able to make you feel like you are the most important client. Always interview more than one agent -- I recommend 3. At the very least it will raise the bar of the agent you select, by educating yourself on what a good agent should be doing for you. You will find that there is are great differences from one agent to the next in terms of not only their marketing ability, but their interest in showing you exactly what they plan on doing for you. Sometimes the largest agents feel they have the listing in the bag and don't think they need to provide you with that kind of detail -- but if they don't its either because they aren't doing the things another agent does, or that they don't feel you need to know. Go with who you feel can communicate best their ability to list your home, regardless of how many listings they have, or don't have.
1 vote
David Cooper, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sun Apr 17, 2011
It doesn't cost you anymore to hire the best real estate agent with the best batting average. Wouldn't you rather have an agent that has more SOLDS than an agent than has more LISTINGS.
..... Look around your neighborhood for all the active agents, the ones that have the FOR SALE signs up, call them up and ask them how many sales they have had in your neighborhood.
.....If one agent has 6 sales in your neighborhood in the last year and another agent has 1 sale, it doesn't take a genius to figure out which one I am going to hire, especially when they both will charge me the same.

David Cooper Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned Houses with cash flow. Freee List +1-7024997037 not a real estate agent
1 vote
Dan Hegberg, Agent, Coon Rapids, MN
Wed Apr 13, 2011
I would suggest that it is not the person that has the most listings, but the agent that produces the most sales. Another question to ask is what is the difference between their list price and sale price of the homes that they did sell.
1 vote
Matt Pickett, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Mon Apr 11, 2011
Just go with whom you feel is the best person for the job. You "gut" usually knows the better pic no matter how many listing a person has.
1 vote
Susanne Brown, Agent, Howell, NJ
Sun Apr 10, 2011
You pose a great question. It really depends on how you feel about those different agents. You have to like and have confidence in the agent you choose. You may be more comfortable using a "power" agent who has a long list of properties for sale because they are so busy. They have assistants who help them move their business forward.
You may find that you are more comfortable with an agent who is more of a "boutique" agent. This is an agent who is very successful but on a smaller scale. They do not take on more work than they can handle themselves. They don't believe that an agent who needs to rely on assistants to stay on top of their business is really giving the client the personal attention that they deserve.
1 vote
Ann Fulks, Agent, Clarksville, MD
Thu Apr 7, 2011
Kim, this is a very good question indeed and one that is on the mind of most sellers I come across. A good realtor will have systems in place to carry a heavy load of listings. Just because a realtor has few listings doesn't neccessarily make him a better realtor to work with. Ask questions what are you going to do to market my home, do you have a team you work with? Do you have references. If you have a realtor that was referred to you by a good friend then by all means go with the referral. All good people know good people. Most of my sales come from referrals because they are the people I rend to first, the people that I call my A+ clients. They will do the best by you. As far as a realtor's associates they are probably hand picked by that realtor who is a trusted person. Your home is just as important to a realtor just like all the other clients. At least in my case, you would feel like you are the only one I am dealing with. I tell my first meeting with people to go with what you feel comfortable with. If the interaction is with ease and laughter it is usually a good fit.
1 vote
Marvin Von R…, Agent, Tigard, OR
Wed Apr 6, 2011
Well, its easy to see the high volume listers here defending their use of helpers. I say again that my 31 years experience calling real estate offices to try and line up their listings to show has shown that the more listings an agent has, the less likely they are to be contacted and/or take time to devote full attention to you. Of course this is not true in all cases. If Im going to a professional for help, I dont want to be dumped of on their underlings. Case in point---I was watching a commercial about class action lawsuits over a drug that Ive taken in the past for joint problems. I recognized the law office as a major plaer with any won cases. I was interested! Then at the bottom I saw that disclosure say that they MAY not be able to personally look at your case but would refer you to someone in your own area. I dont want some small time referral. I want the major player with the most knowledge. If your face is all over town on billboards, buss seats, etc and you are claiming to be Gods gift to real estate, I want YOU and not some 'helper'. Maybe Im a harder sell than Jane and Joe American?

Regarding experience, I'll bet you all a danged dollar that if you find 5 real estate agents in five different market areas who are the top listers, you will see that they did not sell the majority of their listings. Someone else did. How? Why? Because buyers mainly have their own reps and all the lister has to do is ADVERTISE IT. If the public could list in the MLS, they wouldnt even need a listing agent. They could pay by the hour for help with the contract. Whoops---we have lawyers who can do that, right?

I dont list many properties, preferring to work with buyers. Does this mean I couldnt do a good job 'selling' a listing? Hell no. Being a BPO broker on the side, I see more houses in any one week period than the next ten agents. I evaluate them for the lenders. I KNOW VALUES. If a listing isnt valued correctly, it can harm it and just waste time. Can I place a property in the MLS? Yes, any member can. That and throw some ads around---maybe contact your list of potential buyers, send something or go to neighbors to see if they know anyone who wants to live close, etc etc. ANYONE can do that. You are an ADVERTISER. Of course you have value as a negotiator and contract adviser if a buyer comes in, thats a different story.

This is still a very hard question to answer. You look for the agent. What is their knowledge? Overall experience? Representing a buyer or seller, you see what happens on both sides. You become equally proficient (You should) Would I take a very savvy/smart buyers broker over a mega lister to sell my home? Maybe. Maybe not. Its the PERSON not the number of listings unless as I said above, they are really selling (double ending which I think should be illegal anyway) all their own through skill/luck/whatever.
1 vote
Donald Stitt, Agent, Sacramento, CA
Wed Apr 6, 2011
This is a great question! Here's the answer: pick the most qualified agent regardless of how many listings they have or don't have. Check the agent's experience, education level, are they a Full-time agent as opposed to a "part-timer" (that's very important); and do they support themselves full-time on real estate or are they selling 2.1 homes a year (like the National Association of Realtors average) and coasting off their spouses income? Those are the questions to ask because if they are a full-time agent supporting themself on their business (like I am) they will give you the level of service you need regardless of how many other listings they have, even if they have to stay up all night to do it (like I've done). ...Donald Stitt, Sacramento, CA 916-316-0682
1 vote
Darlene Reev…, Agent, Dandridge, TN
Wed Apr 6, 2011
Choose the Realtor that you feel confident to discuss all aspects of selling your home with. See if they are creative, flexable, knowledgeable,agressive and willing to take the time to work personally with you to get your property sold.
1 vote
Chris Carval…, , Tulare, CA
Wed Apr 6, 2011
You should choose the agent with whom you feel the most comfortable with. However do not confuse comfort with friendship this is still a business transaction. Just like when you purchased this home and you walked in, looked around and said this is the one look for that same feeling in your agent. Trust your "gut" feeling it will seldom lead you astray. Good Luck
1 vote
Francesca Tr…, , Wellesley, MA
Wed Apr 6, 2011
We would recommend that you choose the agent with whom you fell the most comfortable. This is the agent that will represent your property & put his/her best foot forward. You will be in constant contact with this agent & your ability to relate & converse is of utmost importance
1 vote
Linda Lorenzo, Agent, McKinney, TX
Tue Apr 5, 2011
Please, please does someone know how to unsubscribe to this question - I really think 202 answers is way over the top (and sorry now I have made it 203) - agents answering this question after oh say the first 100 or so do you really think you are adding information? I would hope that we would all try to give out good information and not just answer questions to get points. Yes, I know I will get all sorts of negative responses but really let's all try to be more responsible. And you wonder why a buyer or seller removes a question - well I think you have your answer and yes you may think I am being negative but I am just tired of deleting, deleting the responses.
1 vote
Dave Dressler, , Frederick, MD
Tue Apr 5, 2011
Pick the Realtor who will get the job done . There is no true selling season, only reasonably and unreasonably priced homes. The most basic thing to do is have your home ready to sell for the maximum value. Any Realtor who will not encourage you to do this is not worth having.

Buyers in today's market are looking for two things. Quality and value. Location while very important is often not the sole deciding factor. If you are not priced correctly other homes in your neighborhood will be selling while yours is not.

The Realtor with many listings very often has learned how to use peoples natural greed against them because that Realtor will take any house at any price. They will say anything it takes to get you to sign on the dotted line. They will also say things that will boost your expectations above what you may know in your heart are not realistic but you hope they are true because this is your biggest investment and it just has to worth a lot more than others think.

This Realtor will be your closest friend when things are not going well. Then when you can not take it any longer they will get you to adjust your price to what it should have been right from the beginning. In the mean time you have paid additional property taxes, principal and interest and the list goes on. You may have even lost the house you were planning to move into to the buyer who was in a position to purchase sooner because they used the agent who you thought would not get you the highest price for your home .

So before you hire little Miss Sugar wouldn't melt in her mouth who wears her skirts so tight that there can not be much left to the imagination...stop, take a deep breath and think this through.

What agent has sold more listings at the original list price and in the fewest days. If prices were negotiated off the original list, what was the spread or the percentage point difference of the actual selling price from the original list price.

What is the agents sold to expired ratio. Anything higher than 2:1 is too high. Any agent who will not proudly show you there numbers should be avoided at all cost.

I hope you have found this information to be enlightening and to you agents out there who know the people I am talking about...sorry if I blew your cover but you are the people who have given this industry such a bad name.
1 vote
Brenda Feria, Agent, Richmond, VA
Tue Apr 5, 2011
Kim, It is the old saying "quality vs. quantity." No matter which agent you decide to hire, you want to make sure that they have good internet exposure. Most homes are seen on the internet by the buyer even before they have an agent to work with. Other things that you should look for is the CRS designation (Certified Residential Specialist.) That designation is known in the industry as the PhD in Real Estate. It takes quite a long time for an agent to get this designation and by doing so, they not only have shown that they are serious about thier profession, but that they have gone the extra mile to learn proven methods for selling residential properties. Another thing to make sure of is that the agent is a Realtor. A realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors, which means that they subscribe to the Realtor code of ethics. A Realtor is committed to represent their clients as prescribed by the code of ethics. Additionally, you should make sure that your Realtor is a member of the Multiple Listing Services in your community - the means that they offer commission to all member agents of the MLS system who have clients who might be interested in your property. Not all agents are members of the local Multiple Listing Services. After you have found realtors who meet the criteria above, then pick the one with the best personality fit with yours.
1 vote
Sheila Lennon, Agent, Keene, NH
Fri Apr 1, 2011
I tend to agree with your thinking that a Realtor with a large number of listings may be spread a little thin but don't rule them out IF they have a cooperative office that works as a professional team. I'm a new Realtor in Keene, NH at RE/MAX Town & Country, and our office is very busy, especially for our top producing agents but they have been able to utilize me when it would be impossible for them to be in 2 places at the same time knowing I will represent their listing or their buyer with the same standards of professionalism and integrity that they practice.
Over the past 2 weeks this type of cooperative relationship has yielded an accepted offer to purchase on one agents listing and an accepted offer for another agents buyer so....you could be getting 2 super agents for the price of one!!!
1 vote
Tim Kapellen, Agent, Sheboygan Falls, WI
Fri Apr 1, 2011
Truly depends on each individual agent. I'm a very busy agent w/plenty of listings, but there is never a phone call I do not make nor an email that I don't respond to. There are busy agents out there who care only about the money and do not communicate or follow up...those you stay away from. There are new agents who might be 'green' w/experience but have a lot of enthusiasm, which you need in this market. Either way, I'd suggest getting feedback from other customers who had prior experience w/each agent...plus then trust your instincts.
1 vote
Agnes Tabor, Agent, Naples, FL
Tue Mar 29, 2011
Dear Kim,

My primary focus is working with buyers so I typically do not carry any listings however, it does not mean that I would not be a good candidate. My knowledge level is no less than an agent with many listing and my goals for my sellers is still the same. Educate my sellers on what is going on in their paritcular market, produce realistic cams to determine the listing price and market the property every way possible. I am a firm believer in internet marketing and getting the property open to the public thru Open Houses.

Agents with many listings will many times have an asistant to do certain paperwork, take calls or hold an Open House among other things; some assistants are licensed and some are not hence their limitations as to just how much of the load they may carry.

So, go ahead, interview a few agents nothing will tell you more then talking face to face. But no matter which one you choose be sure you are willing to listen to them because they will be surely listening to you; that is my philosophy. You have decided to hire me because we have made a connection, feel good with that and move forward to the closing.

Agnes tabor, REALTOR
Naples florida
239 564-0384
agnes@agnestabor.com
1 vote
Brek Schutten, Agent, Grand Rapids, MI
Tue Mar 29, 2011
Interview them carefully. Some Realtors take 40-50 listings and play the numbers game just sitting around and hoping 1/3 of them sell. Others take a lot of listings because they have teams that are capable of servicing a lot of listings at one time. On the other side, there are some agents out there that do a great job of selling homes when they are able to list them, but the problem they face is getting many people to list with them. Interview your options carefully and find someone you can trust that will implement all of the marketing systems you think would be useful in selling your home.
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Tue Mar 29, 2011
Someone said below that although an agent may have many "sold" listings, other agents may have sold them. The reality is, agents don't usually sell their own listings. My listings all sell not becuase I personally bring the buyer, but because my marketing efforts bring them to the attention of buyers who may be working with another agent, or brings them to the attention of other agents, who are the people who HAVE the buyers.
1 vote
JOY Goldstein, Agent, Swampscott, MA
Mon Mar 28, 2011
The number of listings we carry at any given time may fluctuate. We may take less because we choose to . We may have sold a lot lately and are working on new leads. Listing numbers should not really be given extraordinary weight Pick someone you feel has integrity, who will keep your needs in the forefront, who enjoys a fine reputation , who can furnish you with excellent references and credentials. Those are the things that will make your experience a rewarding one. The numbers come and go but the credentials and integrity are forever! Best of luck.
1 vote
Tina Raiford, Agent, Hinesville, GA
Mon Mar 28, 2011
You are correct. Often times, Realtors Spread themselves too thin. You are better off if you look to see how many they have actually sold vs how many they have listed.

No matter what you do, you should find someone that you feel comfortable with. Honesty & integrity are the qualities you need to look for, not just someone looking for a commission. They should be someone you trust.
1 vote
Marvin Von R…, Agent, Tigard, OR
Sun Mar 27, 2011
Sorry, disagree with many about the amount of solds. Thats too general. There could be many reasons for those numbers. Ultimately isnt that that bottom line though? Getting everything sold? Could be misleading! I know an agent who takes dozens of listings from several lenders. Most are auction properties. She never sells one of her own---other agents bring in the buyers. Sure looks good on her record though! I could say my last 100 listings sold in 2 days but big deal. Again, all I would have been is an advertiser.

Ive said twice here that this is a tough subject. There is no test a customer can give to an agent to see if they are good. I dont want someone who is so spread out that they cant show me personal attention and even more---take the time to be DAMNED SURE all my contracts are perfect and my interests are protected. Lets all pretend we are collaborating on a consumer handbook to protect Joe and Jane American. Knowing what you know, if you were suddenly thrust into a different profession and had to go find an agent to sell your home or help you buy another, what would YOU do to determine who to hire? This could be interesting.
1 vote
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