Being a listing agent is often very competitive, but it doesn’t have to be. When you’re able to effectively communicate the key differentiators that make you shine compared to the competition, most sellers will be more willing to choose you than the “other guys”.
In today’s real estate market not every home will sell, so the best way to communicate your advantages is with the Real Estate Survival Guide – a series of questions you can have potential sellers use to learn more about the fundamentals involved with the listing process, which you also happen to have the perfect answers for.
Have your sellers use this questionnaire when speaking with agents. Ask the tough questions now to avoid the problems and disappointments later. (Answers can be found on the back.)
- What is your list price to sale price ratio for the last 60 days?
- What is your average number of days on the market for the last 90 days?
- What is the absorption rate of homes like mine in this area?
- Of the homes that you listed and didn’t sell in the last 12 months, why didn’t they sell?
- What was the percentage of homes where you represented the seller versus the buyer last year?
- How many homes did you sell last year?
- Can you give me a list of the last 20 people you successfully listed and sold homes for?
- Please provide their names, addresses, phone numbers, and the date the home closed.
- What other things do you do besides real estate? What other things outside of selling
- homes are you involved in?
- How many people do you speak with each day about real estate?
- Can you show me a copy of your daily schedule?
- Are you an expert in my neighborhood; is my home in the area you specialize in?
- Do you have an assistant or a team?
- Are you an active agent or a passive agent?
- What is the maximum number of listings you have ever had at one time?
- What is your commission rate and how does listing my home for less than market
- commissions negatively affect the probability that my home will sell?
- What is the term of your listing contract?
- What market share does your Brokerage have in this market?
- What exclusive relationships does your brokerage have with local companies relocation departments? What local companies do you have an exclusive relationship with for relocation?
- Do you have the LHM designation?
Answers to Questions You Must Ask a Real Estate Agent in Todays Market:
1. In our local market, the average list price to sale price ratio is 94.3% over the last 90 days. That means the average agent, IF they sell your home, will only sell it for 94.3% of the original asking price. Our average list to sell price ratio is 99.7%. What would 5% more in your pocket mean to you? On a $1,000,000 home that could mean another $50,000!
2. Currently, the average days on the market in our area is 147 days – nearly five months. Our average days on the market is 46 days. That means your home sells faster, costing you less in terms of time, hassle, and mortgage payments.
3. Every real estate agent must know the absorption ratio in the market. The absorption rate will tell us how long it will take the home to sell. The basic formula is the number of homes for sale divided by the number of homes selling each month. This equals the number of months supply. Currently in our market there is a five-month supply of homes for sale. This number is increasing daily.
4. Here is a rarely talked about fact – it’s predicted that by years end, nearly 50% of all the homes currently listed for sale in our area won’t sell. Why? Often this is because the Sellers made the wrong decisions when they originally listed their homes. Ask the tough questions now!
5. The average agent represents buyers 80% of the time and sellers only 20%. That means that the average agent has listed and sold very few homes in their entire career. They lack the experience to get your home sold in today’s market. Over the past ten years, nearly 75% of our sales have been SOLD LISTINGS vs. Buyer sales.
6. The average agent in our area sold only two homes in the last 12 months. When you ask the agent, “How many homes did you sell in the last 12 months?” And the answer is, “I am member of the X million dollar club,” please understand that this agent is avoiding the question. Those clubs are accumulative. In the last ten years, we have sold over 1000 homes. Yes, that’s a real number and we can provide you with a list.
7. Remember, the average agent only sold two homes last year AND has only been an agent for an average of 11 months. Chances are they haven’t sold 20 homes.
8. Most agents are part time. Chances are they are trying to sell homes to supplement their income. They fit real estate in after their other priorities. If the agent is involved in many other activities, how can they have time to focus on your home sale? Simply put, they are not dedicated to the business or dependent on the income. We are full time real estate agents. 100% of what we do every day is selling homes. This is our business. This is how we make our living. Would you ever even consider hiring a part time doctor?
9. The average agent is part time. They don’t contact anyone about your home. They rely on the MLS and other passive activities. We phone prospect up to 100 people on a daily basis about our homes for sale. We are actively looking for the buyer – not passively waiting around for someone else to sell your home.
10. My Schedule is attached. All professionals have schedules. As a homeowner in this market you need to know what your agent is doing on a daily basis to get your home sold.
11. WARNING. Avoid the area specialist. The concept of an agent on specializing in one area is obsolete. The simple fact is that nearly every home sold in our area sold to a buyer who was not from our area. Did you move from across the street? Are any of your neighbors from this neighborhood? We live in a community that attracts people from all over the world. Why list with an agent who only focuses on the immediate area?
12. Be sure that you are selecting an agent who has at least one assistant. The fact is that you want your agent 100% focused on selling your home, not doing paperwork. Equally important, avoid the agent who will delegate you as soon as you are listed. Often, once you are listed with these agents, you never hear from them again. We have assistants so we can delegate everything that will distract us from selling your home. YOU will never be delegated. When we list your home you will be given our private, direct dial phone numbers.
13. CAUTION. Are you considering an agent who advertises in the local paper, runs magazine ads, virtual tours, open houses, agent tours, talking house ads, web sites etc.? This is a PASSIVE agent. That means that they will passively wait around for someone to call and maybe want to see your home. Here is the acid test for any passive agent – ask this question: “Please provide me with a list of the homes that you had listed that YOU sold to your buyer.” If their passive agent strategies worked, wouldn’t they have a very high percent of homes THEY sold to their own buyers? In this market, passive marketing and passive agents don’t sell homes. Remember, experts are telling us that 50% of the homes currently listed WONT SELL. We are active agents. Yes, we do some passive marketing but we don’t expect anything other than our ACTIVE marketing to get your home sold. See the included Plan Of Action.
14. AVOID AGENTS WHO HAVE TOO MANY LISTINGS. Many agents will list as many homes as they can and play the odds that some will sell and some won’t. They are clearing houses of unsold homes. They know that statistically only 50% will sell so they list as many as they can. We don’t do business this way. We will only list a maximum of ten homes at any one time.
- DISCOUNT/ LIMITED SERVICE AGENTS will tell you that they do the same things full service agents do but only they charge less. The fact is that listing with a discount/limited service agent will end up costing you at least 6%. In other words, listing with a discount/limited service agent won’t save you any money but will result in your selling your home for 6% less on average. In this market you cannot risk listing your home with a discount/limited service agent. You don’t have a discount home do you? In fact, you may want to list your home for HIGHER than average commissions to attract more real estate agents and their buyers.
- The average agent will only want to list your home for 90 days. Why? Because they aren’t planning on making a longer-term commitment to getting your home sold. This market will continue to adjust over the next 12-24 months. Can you take the risk of choosing an agent who only has a 90-day commitment to you and the sale of your home?
- In this market you can’t risk listing your home with #2, let alone anyone else. We are the #1 brokerage in our area. We help three times more homeowners sell their homes than our next nearest competitor.
- We are the part of the largest National/International relocation company. Cendent Mobility. We are the Preferred Agents for all of the top local companies for their relocation needs.
- In order to qualify for Luxury Homes Marketing designation an agent must have a long term proven track record of selling luxury homes. Any agent can LIST your home. But in this market, is takes an experienced specialist to SELL your home.