Yes, I said that correctly. I am going to offer you reasons not to work with a top agent. While I am not saying you should work with a bottom quintile slacker agent. However, there are reasons why not to work with a top real estate agent.
I have been in real estate for over a decade and a half. I love what I do, and who I work with on a transaction. Experience has taught me that if a client is going to be negative, or a massive time suck, I have found it better to hand that sort of client off. Perhaps this is why there are agents who do more transaction volume than I do in the course of a year. My business is at a size I can handle and that comes with at a level of service that I choose to bring to my clients. Or a level of service that my clients expect.
Indulge me a moment and let me tell you a story. This is a story that happens from time to time each year. It goes like this, “Bill we choose to call so-and-so to list our home. He/she has all the listings in town.” And this is where I bite my tongue and wish them well. Quite often and more than not, the next conversation is, “Bill, we listed with him/her, and they promised us so much. But to be honest, we have not seen him/her since we signed the listing contract. All we have seen are the junior members of their team.” These sellers usually say that they get a periodic phone call to check in and discuss how a showing may have gone. But these “top agents” were not present at the showing, nor were they present at the open house(s). These same sellers get frustrated, and more so when the next call from their top agent is for a price reduction.
So why does this happen?
Selling your home is a very personal transaction. Yet it is ultimately a business transaction. So think of a home sale as a personal transaction wrapped up in emotions. Your home is a reflection of you, and the life you live. So, when a buyer visits your home at a showing, and they don’t make an offer on your home, you feel slightly offended. This is common. Don’t sweat it.
What you need to avoid the above from becoming a recurring theme is to hire an agent who sells at your price point. If your home is worth a million dollars, then hire someone who sells a lot of million-dollar homes. If your home is worth several million, or half a million, then find an agent at your price point. Many top agents are neither always as familiar with your price point, nor your home in general. Your home is a number to them, and that number is being fed through the proverbial widget.
Your home and its reflection of you, thus it needs to be treated like it is your listing agent’s only listing. You need to be their number one. If you are not a top agent’s top listing, then you are not number one. And who wants to be the second fiddle?
And this is a reason not to hire a top agent. Top agents are about selling and managing the volume of sales that creates all those signs around town. The top agent can run their business like a game of whack-a-mole. They are often running to the next urgent situation, be it an offer, an agitated seller, or a needy buyer. And sure you can make a call and your top agent will show up. He/She will make you feel wanted, but they probably will not show up as the host of your next open house.
When you are searching for a listing agent you should be looking for an experienced, yet hungry agent. You want an agent who is going to want to get your home sold. Someone who can market your home. You want an agent who knows your home inside and out. You want a listing agent who knows other homes like yours, and where they sold. Frankly, you what an agent who has sold one of those homes. Or, at least at a minimum, has toured those homes personally and knows how they are similar to your home, and how they differ. This bit of market knowledge will help get your home sold.
The top agent is usually about sales volume. And your home is a number to them. This will never be a good fit for you as a home seller. What you want is an agent who is interested in getting your home sold. You want your home sale to be important to your agent, both financially, and professionally. You want an agent who knows you and can tell the story of what it is like to live in your home. You want them to tell that to a prospective buyer. You want them to get that buyer to emotionally buy into this story. This will make the buyer more committed to your home and, thus lead to a smoother closing. If your listing agent understands your home, and your home’s market segment, you will have a more successful stress-free transaction.
In conclusion, the reasons why not to list with a top agent are some thoughts you should ponder when selecting who to work with to get your home sold. Remember you want:
- Someone who sells at your price point.
- You want your listing to be their top priority.
- You want an agent who knows your home, and your competing homes.
- You want someone who can tell the story of what it is like to live in your home.
- You don’t want to be a number.
- You certainly don’t what a junior team member doing your photo shoot, showings, and open houses.