So, you’re interviewing 3 agents to list your home, but did you know that effective agents are also interviewing you evaluating whether they can realistically help you accomplish your goals?10/21/2019
I Googled “Questions to ask a real estate agent” and got 137 million results. The most common are; How long have they been in the business?, What is their marketing plan?, How much do they charge?
These are all good questions. I spend quite a bit of time coaching our agents on how to respond to these questions and how to demonstrate their value.
What I also teach agents is how to interview the client. Effective agents know that not every client is the right client for them and they know how to determine which clients can effectively be served by our services.
In many ways, real estate agents are just like grocery store owners. They have to determine which inventory to put on their shelves and they make those decisions based on which products are most likely to sell. A store owner isn’t going to move the Frosted Flakes or Honey Nut Cheerios over to make room for a new cereal unless they are convinced it’s a smart move.
Similarly, an effective agent fills their inventory with listings they are confident will sell.
So, what does an agent look for in a seller? We like to say that an “A” seller is motivated, loyal, and has reasonable expectations.
A motivated seller wants to sell their home and has a desired deadline. In contrast, a non-motivated seller only wants to sell if certain expectations are met and has no real deadline to sell.
A loyal seller chooses an agent they know, like and trust and then follow’s that agent’s advice through to the conclusion of the sale. They implement their agent’s suggestions and cooperate as much as possible to remove potential barriers to selling their home.
Reasonable sellers understand these things:
- Buyers will not over-pay for a home because sellers need or want them to
- Homes sell because of price and exposure. If your home has been properly exposed in the MLS and it isn’t selling, it’s over-priced.
- They expect their agent to hustle and do all that they can, but understand that they, as sellers, also have to do all they can to make a sale happen. They understand that they may need to stage, they will need to price right, and they may need to do necessary repairs.
Unreasonable sellers expect the agent to work a miracle and ignore their own role in the process.
Before my back surgery, my surgeon asked me questions that were not the kind of questions doctors usually ask. He wanted to know what my plans were once I recovered. He wanted to know how I saw myself post-surgery. Eventually he explained that he was interviewing me. He had a policy of refusing to operate on patients unless they could demonstrate a belief that they would fully recover. He needed to know that I had a positive attitude about my recovery. If not, I could find someone else to do the work. Once I realized he was interviewing me, I practically fell over myself to prove that I was qualified to be his patient.
So, what can you do to prove that you are the right client?
First, choose your agent based on the right criteria. Choose someone you know, like and trust. If you don’t already have an agent, ask your friends who they trust. Work with someone who will tell you what you need to hear even if it’s not what you want to hear. Listen to them and respect their advice. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t question them when necessary, but if they can logically and tangibly explain their position – go with it.
Second, know what your walk-away price is and if the data shows that price is not realistic in the current market, don’t list your home. Wait and pay down your principal or do whatever else you need to get the house ready and your finances where they need to be to sell at a reasonable price.
Lastly, be a member of the team. Agree up front with your agent on your expectations of them and their expectations of you. Understand that a price drop may be necessary. Have faith in the value of upgrades you are asked to complete. When you get the urge to ask your agent to do more, ask yourself if you’ve done what you agreed to do. If you are working with an agent who knows, likes and trusts you, they will go to bat for you and stick up for you when a buyer tries to push you too far.
Would you like to meet quality agents who will tell you what you need to hear? Call us. With 30+ agents, we’re sure we have an agent you can know, like and trust!