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Mistakes Sellers Make - Hiring the Wrong Agent

Author: Anita Clark
Written On: Sat, 18 Jan 2014

Mistakes Sellers Make - Hiring the Wrong Agent

We have all seen it, the big colonial home on the hill or the cute as a button ranch house that the "wrong agent" somehow ended up listing. You know the agent...the one who never answers their phone, has another job that constantly keeps them away, is shady, doesn't follow-up, throws a sign in the yard and disappears, has nearly zero marketing...yes, the one that gives our industry a black eye!

This often happens because some sellers are too eager to get their home listed and instead of finding the "right agent" they:
•Call the first person they see on a sign
•Call a big brand and take whomever is available
•Use the person their step-cousins friend knows
•Make an impulsive, frustration, or anger hire

The point is, sellers MUST do their homework before hiring a listing agent. Take the advice of trusted friends, go online and do research to see if the agent utilizes the Web as part of their marketing plan, read reviews from past clients, and lastly, make sure to interview all potential candidates.

While there are many more questions that can be asked, here are a few that sellers can ask prospective Realtors® before deciding on the right agent to list and sell their home.

(INSERTS BY KEVIN CLOUTIER My answers are in brackets after each question)

•How long have you been in residential real estate? (18 years full time 2014)
*Is it your full-time job? (Yes)
•What designations and certifications do you hold? (Master Negotiator, Residential and Commercial Realtor, Trulia PRO and Accounting Degree).
*How will they help you sell my home? (I don't think any designation helps you sell a home. I think if you stay educated and take classes like I do, you are just paying for an ego boost. My experience and education provides me with a numerical advantage and closed transactions lots of experience and situations).
•How many homes did you sell last year? (40, my 18 year average is 42 a total of 672 as of 1.27.2014)
*How many in my neighborhood? (I need to know your neighborhood first).
•What is your average list-to-sales-price ratio in the last 12 months? (95%, I price aggressively unless seller dictates otherwise)
*What is the market average? (96% 1.2009 - 12.2013)
•Are you mainly a seller's agent or buyer's agent? (Both and either)
•Do you practice dual agency? (Yes)
•How familiar are you with my neighborhood? (Location Specific)
•Do you use social media? (Extensively)
*If so, what sites? (MLS,, Trulia, Zillow, Bing, Google, AOL, and many others)
•How will you market my home? (Too extensive to list here, local, nationally, worldwide, to buyers directly and other agents directly)
•How will you keep me informed of showing activity? (Via e-mail and phone)
•What methods will you use to stay in touch? (Via e-mail, phone and in person)
*How often? (After showings and weekly)
•How many are on your team? (4)
*Will I deal with you or an assistant? (Myself)
•What sets you apart from all the other agents in town? (My education, been in business for myself since 1990, my internet knowledge in marketing and my extensive results)
•What listing price do you recommend? (Property Specific)
*How did you come up with that price? (3 point CMA analysis)
•How can I enhance my homes appeal? (I need to see it first to evaluate)
•On average, how many days does it take you to sell homes? (That depends on a number of criteria, 104 including my short sale listings)
*What is the market average? (164 - 2013)
•Can you provide me with references? (Yes)
•When are you NOT available? (After 9 PM)
•What percentage of your listings expire? (less than 5%)
•Will you recommend service providers to help me with home repairs, staging, etc.? (Yes, they are all listed on my website by category and always expanding)
•What is your business philosophy? (Be honest, stay educated and work hard, a win-win or no deal, I would rather turn you down than let you down)

The bottom line for sellers is to take your time and make sure the agent you choose to list your property is one you are comfortable working with and meets all the criteria you are looking for in an agent. Happy selling!