We talk a lot on this blog about the importance of getting a Realtor with experience when it comes to selling your home. We’ve talked about the importance of proper staging, good advertising, and above all, experience in the business, when choosing a Realtor. There are a lot of things that affect a home’s selling price that most people don’t think of, and without the help of an experienced Realtor, you’ll probably end up leaving a lot of money on the table.
Today, I have an example of the kind of thing that happens when you go with a second-rate or bargain realtor. These organizations may say they can save you money on fees, but what they don’t tell you is that a) you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for in terms of help, and b) you end up losing more than you make most of the time, because your home will almost always sell for way more money with the help of a experienced Realtor who knows the business.
Read this story from Scott Godzyk, a New Hampshire realtor who recently talked with a woman who went with a bargain realtor instead of him, and ended up regretting it – and this is just as true here in the Paoli, Pennsylvania area as it is in NH.
“What Is A ‘Pottery Barn Home?’ How Will This Attract Buyers?”
by Scott Godzyk
I went on a listing appointment where the seller was interviewing 3 agents: A big franchise, a discount agent, and a local agent. The home, located here in the Manchester NH area, was newer, and well-kept. The seller did not ask a lot of questions during the meeting – they seemed uncomfortable with the process – so I took the lead and asked them about the home as we walked through. I complemented them on how well-kept it was.
A couple of days later, I see the home in the MLS. They chose the discount agent. As I read through the MLS comments, it said “Pottery Barn home.” Now, my initial thought was always that anyone who used this description was stating it was decorated with Pottery Barn furniture – which leaves with the seller anyway, so it’s a description I never understood. I grew more confused the more I thought about it: Having been in this home, I saw no relation to Pottery Barn. Did they think this would attract buyers? Also, isn’t Pottery Barn long since closed?
Meanwhile, they did not even notate 90% of the features of this custom built home. There were so many aspects of this home that buyers would find highly desirable, and because of the lackluster description, it probably didn’t even get the attention it deserved – and as we know, less attention usually means lower selling price.
If, by now, you have not guessed: The seller chose the discount agent. They also put it at an asking price much lower than they should or could have. I would have listed it at $399,900, and they could have gotten that much, or more, easily for it. They listed it at $360,000.
A week later, this seller called me asking what she should do, and I was wondering why she was asking me these questions when she did not list with me. In short? She got what she paid for. Discount agent meant no advice, no experience, and no words of wisdom to guide them through each step of the selling process as I would have done. The listing did not include guidance or support – it was a listing and a goodbye.
Fast forward again: She had one showing and 1 offer of $350,000. She asked if she should accept – Lets look at the numbers.
Sell at 350k and pay 3500 in Realtor fees. She saves $16,500 in Realtor fees and nets $346,500. If she had listed with me, and sold at $399,900 like she should, she would net $380,000. A quick calculation shows that she would receive $33,500 more if she listed with a full service local Realtor, like myself, and sold at full price.
But, she saves $16,500 in fees, the husband noted, by doing it this way. Again though, the fees don’t add up enough to match the money you’d make back. The answer was simply “oh” by the seller.
Only 1 showing in a week should be criminal for a home in this desired neighborhood. I would expect my marketing for that same house to attract at least 10 showings, if not more. I would also expect at least 6 offers in a week. There is an important lesson here for home sellers.
THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in real estate, for me, is to provide great service – To stand out from the crowd by being there through each step of the buying or selling process. The message that I want to share in Real Estate, is that my philosophy is simple, to provide more personal and professional service to guide clients through each step of the buying or selling process.
All Agents are not created equal, and every buyer or seller should take the time to hire the BEST, not just the biggest.