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SM Entrepreneuraholic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never thought very highly of listing agents. Aside from entering the information in MLS, answering a few questions, and presenting offers, they don't seem to do very much to market a property. In the past, I have almost always used discount brokers or flat fee brokers. I have even paid a fee to list in MLS and handled everything myself.

The only discount program I found in this area didn't save enough to really make much difference. I found one good discount for this area, but I had to list my house through an agent about 50 miles away and the house would be listed in their MLS, not the local one.

So I thought I had a great plan worked out. I found the 3 local agents who had sold the most property this year and were highly rated. I checked to make sure these were single-family homes and not in a development.

In thinking about it, if I interview the top 3 buyer's agents and choose one, would the other 2 be less likely to sell my property. It seems like human nature to think there might be some reluctance to push my property after I selected another agent.

So I have a revised plan. One of the top-selling agents works for a small firm, so I will interview her. The other 2 agents work for larger firms and I will interview the top listing agent at each of those firms. If I select one of those agents, I still should get the benefit of the buyer's agent working at that firm, without possibly upsetting the buyer's agent working at the other firm.

I'm sure someone will say I am overthinking this, but for a 6% commission, I'm going to look for every advantage I can. And yes, I know commissions are negotiable.

How have you selected listing agents and was it successful?
 

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The best one I have used is a lovely older woman, mid 70s, still working because she loves the business.
 

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I sold real estate for a while and I think you are definitely going about it the right way. Interview the top agents! I would also suggest checking out what their current listings look like on the MLS/Zillow/etc. Some agents don't invest enough in selling your property. They take crappy pictures, don't provide enough information, and don't ask you enough questions to truly understand your property. When I listed a property, I hired a professional photographer, a drone pilot for aerial video, and made sure my listing description didn't sound like a canned description.
 

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Agents that are top sellers for franchise Realty Companies typically have assistants doing most of the grunt work. They begin to generate sales based on name and marketing. That can be both good and bad.
I have seen people use an agency to sell their home and rarely saw anyone but the underlings.
The best results I have seen were by word of mouth where local sellers had good one on one contact and the experience was smooth. A realtor that lives in the area and has the time to call you, yet not because you are the only client.
Some of the problems I ran into was with a broker who had his own radio show and we have a 30 year personal/business relationship. The last deal was my last deal with him. Another was a botched closing by a close friend's mother, who was also a big name in the business.
I am sure you are aware there are a lot of nincompoops who will do little more than list the house for what you say, regardless of the market, stab a sign in the yard, take your voicemails and show up at closing for their check.
 

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Ours was chosen by going to an open house (we're nosey and I wanted to see a homes interior) we saw how she treated prospective buyers and presented the home, she was memorable, we took her card.
We then looked into her website and contacted her when we wanted to sell.
 

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Agents that are top sellers for franchise Realty Companies typically have assistants doing most of the grunt work. They begin to generate sales based on name and marketing. That can be both good and bad.
I have seen people use an agency to sell their home and rarely saw anyone but the underlings.
The best results I have seen were by word of mouth where local sellers had good one on one contact and the experience was smooth. A realtor that lives in the area and has the time to call you, yet not because you are the only client.
Some of the problems I ran into was with a broker who had his own radio show and we have a 30 year personal/business relationship. The last deal was my last deal with him. Another was a botched closing by a close friend's mother, who was also a big name in the business.
I am sure you are aware there are a lot of nincompoops who will do little more than list the house for what you say, regardless of the market, stab a sign in the yard, take your voicemails and show up at closing for their check.
Those nincompoops aren’t going to be in the high sales group. I did hire an assistant for a while, she took care of what you call grunt work, but never got involved with the marketing of listings. During my years as an agent our office was #1 in the county and I was consistently the top agent, each and every year. My secret? Treating both my customers and clients fairly.
 

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I'm not bashing agents, just giving some perspective. I made my living working with RE agents for many years.
I knew of a very successful farmer who had a daughter. She wanted nothing to do with livestock and tractors. She got her RE license and he made some calls and got her in a well known agency working under their top sellers. Before long she was on her own. However she specialized in high end property. Not because she knew anything more than her own folks spread, but because she figured it was more money for less work. She didn't list anything under a half million (this was 25 years ago). Her monthly magazine featured her, a blonde haired blue eyed beauty, with her 4 assistants, also all blonde haired in matching business suits. She handled the initial meet and greets and the closing. Everything inbetween was someone else. That isn't someone I'd be interested in using, but godspeed to those who do.

By comparison, my friend was looking for land and a house near Alton Missouri some years ago, and stopped by a small office in town and just walked in. No phone call, no research. He told the gal what he was looking for and what he wanted to spend. She printed off the listing sheets put him in her truck and they spent 6 hours running the countryside. She worked hard for him and followed up on everything herself.
He bought a property thru her and referred her several times to some of his other buddies looking to relocate.
That is what I would look for in an agent.
 

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Yes, you are WAY overthinking this. You have control over who you pick as the listing agent. Pick a good one that you think will market your property actively. Don't worry about the agents you don't pick. First off, the top agents focus on listings not working with specific buyers. So those unselected top ones would have to stumble across a potential buyer for your property. And secondly, if they have a buyer wanting to view or write on your property, they aren't going to turn their nose up at the 3% commission just because you didn't list with them. They will happily take that rather than zero.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, you are WAY overthinking this. You have control over who you pick as the listing agent. Pick a good one that you think will market your property actively. Don't worry about the agents you don't pick. First off, the top agents focus on listings not working with specific buyers. So those unselected top ones would have to stumble across a potential buyer for your property. And secondly, if they have a buyer wanting to view or write on your property, they aren't going to turn their nose up at the 3% commission just because you didn't list with them. They will happily take that rather than zero.
But agents have an incentive to sell property their firm lists.
 

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But agents have an incentive to sell property their firm lists.
Do they though? I assumed it works there like it works here. The commission is split between the listing agent and the "buyer's agent" (i.e. the one who writes the offer). Each of those agents then splits his/her commission with their broker.

The incentive is to try to be the agent who both lists and writes the offer, so you get both ends of the commission. The secondary incentive is if the broker is also the listing or writing agent, since they get both the broker's and agent's share, they have more room to discount commission to close a deal.

But for your average non-broker agent, I don't think he/she gets more of a commission if they sells a listing from another agent at their firm.

I could be wrong though....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Do they though? I assumed it works there like it works here. The commission is split between the listing agent and the "buyer's agent" (i.e. the one who writes the offer). Each of those agents then splits his/her commission with their broker.

The incentive is to try to be the agent who both lists and writes the offer, so you get both ends of the commission. The secondary incentive is if the broker is also the listing or writing agent, since they get both the broker's and agent's share, they have more room to discount commission to close a deal.

But for your average non-broker agent, I don't think he/she gets more of a commission if they sells a listing from another agent at their firm.

I could be wrong though....
Someone more current than I am can add on, but if I own a real estate company, I want sales because that's real money. Listings are great, but until they sell, no money. Plus my company is compared to other companies based on revenue. So it is in my best interest to set up a split with my agents that is larger when they sell one of our listed properties.
 

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Just because an agent is "top" doesn't mean they're especially good, may just mean they have more hustle than others. Or may mean they only take the high paying listings.

Maybe you should just look for an agent who's hungry.

Mon
 

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Just because an agent is "top" doesn't mean they're especially good, may just mean they have more hustle than others. Or may mean they only take the high paying listings.

Maybe you should just look for an agent who's hungry.

Mon
Having more hustle than the others counts.... I’ve never heard of any agent that turned down a listing. Not even the fat sassy ones!
 

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I picked the listing agent who sold our house because he was the agent who listed the house next door to us. That house sold in a month and it was nothing special. He had multiple showings every day so he seemed like a go getter to me. I interviewed him in the street when he was on the way to his car after a showing at the neighbors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just because an agent is "top" doesn't mean they're especially good, may just mean they have more hustle than others. Or may mean they only take the high paying listings.

Maybe you should just look for an agent who's hungry.

Mon
I looked at the number of sales, not dollars sold. The top 3 agents I found are selling a little over 3 houses a month so far this year.
 

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I am sure you are aware there are a lot of nincompoops who will do little more than list the house for what you say, regardless of the market, stab a sign in the yard, take your voicemails and show up at closing for their check.
those kind aren’t around long. As to showing up at the closing for their check.... I hear that a lot from people who have no idea about What that agent did to bring the closing together. From my personal experience... lawyers never once prepared a deed correctly on their first try. I always proofread and had them corrected prior to closing day. Bankers never figured closing statements correctly... not ever! I proofed them and got them corrected prior to closing day. Surveyors had to be shown where the properties were, termite inspectors have to be scheduled, home inspections arranged and a myriad other details ironed out prior to closing. Then on closing day... yep, I collected my check. Prolly looked like that’s all I did.
during my spare time I worked on showing properties, dealt with newspaper ads, kept the website updated, drew plats of new listings, mailed out information to potential buyers, did my best to keep appraisers happy, irate neighbors under control and fresh coffee available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I changed my strategy a little. I called a top listing agent who works with a lot of top-selling agents. The list of properties she has listed that sold is impressive. I also called the top buying agent from another company.

I talked to both by phone and they both said they are getting many requests to view a new property as soon as it hits MLS. They have never seen this hot a market before. They are both coming by tomorrow. I hope the first one is done before the second one shows up.
 
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