Monday, April 26, 2010

Are you a weak Agent?

Are you a weak agent?
Referenced from Steve Harney Blog
When interviewing agents to sell their home, most homesellers really only care about the answer to two questions:
1. Who is going to sell it for the most money?
2. Who is going to charge me the least?
The result of these narrow criteria is painful to the seller.  Most people list their home at a price that is not realistic with a weak agent.  Weak agents let the homeowner set the price (largely as a strategy to get the listing and work on lowering the price over time).  In a declining market, sellers are chasing a ball that is rolling downhill.  Weak agents can’t negotiate for themselves (they actually cut their own family’s income when they negotiate below market commissions).  How tough do we believe they will be for the homeseller, if they’re already not negotiating well for their own families? 
In today’s market, where a vast majority of homes on the market will NOT sell this month, we need to change the criteria of how we choose an agent to list our home.  Gone are the days of picking an agent we “like”.  No longer can we judge agents based on price (of the home or of the commission).  Strong agents should know the following:
1. What is your average list price to sales price ratio? This question will eliminate the agent who is just trying to get a listing with the hope of getting you to lower the price later.
2. What percentage of your listings expire without selling? Whether you list the home for 30 days or a year, the expiration rate of your agent is a good indicator of their effectiveness.
3. What is your average days on market? How quickly your home sells is important to you (sometimes more important than the actual price).
4. What percentage of your listings do you actually sell yourself? Many agents don’t like this question because they want to list homes, not sell them.  But, in this market, I would want to list my home with the agent who is most likely to bring me a buyer.  Let me warn you that most agents can’t answer those four questions.  The average agent doesn’t “know their numbers”, and you can’t afford to be an average agent today.  The superior agent not only knows their numbers; they know the numbers for their office, their competition and the entire MLS. 
        Do you know the answers to the following questions?
1. Where do they feel the buyer is most likely to come from?
2. Does the agent have a marketing plan that targets the most likely buyers?
3. Do they have a database of active buyers?

More than sales price, commission rate and likeability, clients need to search for EFFECTIVENESS.  How Effective are you?

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