Hiring a Top Producing Realtor Can Make A Big Difference

Top Producing Metrowest Massachusetts Realtor

Realtor ClownThe process of selecting a Realtor is one that has always fascinated me. Frankly, when selling a home, it is one of the most important decisions a consumer can make yet many do not take the necessary time or effort to make an excellent choice.

Does hiring a top producing Realtor make a big difference when selling a home? You bet it does!

I am going to bet that most top producing Realtors that are interviewed probably get the listing somewhere between 85-90% of the time. What about the other 10-15% of the time when a seller makes an awful decision?

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when setting out to sell their home is making a poor Realtor selection. Making a wrong choice can be a big problem because you are stuck with an agent for at least a few months.

Unfortunately, the barriers to entry in the Real Estate industry are very low. Anyone can become a Realtor pretty quickly. The educational requirements are next to nothing. Pass the test to get your license, and you are in business! Being able to become a Realtor so easily creates an environment where it is very easy for a consumer to have an unfortunate experience with a Real Estate agent.

There are some outstanding Realtors and some that could be best described as Realtor clowns!

Working as a Massachusetts Realtor for the past twenty-nine years, I have learned that people make decisions on who they hire to sell their home for a multitude of reasons. Some choose an agent based on a connection or the personality of that particular agent. Seems simple enough as most people like to work with others they feel may be easy to get along with.

Some sellers pick a Realtor based solely on the fact that the agent has told them what they want to hear. In order words, the Realtor has misled them about the value of their home. The real estate agent inflates the value of the property, and the seller believes it.

In Real Estate circles this in known as “buying a listing.” Despite the data that is sitting under a sellers nose, human nature often gets the better of people. Everyone wants to believe their home is worth more money than the next guys down the street. Part of this phenomena is due to emotional attachment. When sellers hire based on price it is one of the hardest pills to swallow when you know you are good and the person that has been hired couldn’t walk in your shoes for a day. Unfortunately, that is how real estate works. The competitive nature of the business makes some agents say and do things they shouldn’t. If they can get a seller to believe them, it’s real estate bingo.

The real estate agent that lands an overpriced listing this way will spend the next few months badgering the seller for prices reductions. If the seller has to move it is a foregone conclusion the agent will be around long enough for the home finally to be priced correctly and end up with a sale. Believe it or not, there are times when the real estate agent doesn’t even care that they have overpriced the home because they are using the property as an opportunity to advertise and get buyer calls in which they will spin to other properties.

Choosing Based on Commission

The last factor that guides many sellers thought process is what the Realtor is charging for a commission. People can get short sighted with this one. Many mistakenly believe that a lower fee charged is money in their pocket. In most cases, that is wrong thinking. A great agent can easily make up a commission savings charged on paper with their skill level, marketing expertise, and overall Real Estate knowledge.

This is not to say that a great agent may decide to charge a seller less but for god sakes don’t choose a Realtor just for the mere fact the commission rate is lower!

Sometimes it is something as simple as total incorrect thinking on the seller’s part. What do you mean by that Bill? When most people need surgery, they seek out the doctor that is best qualified to handle the operation. Typically that is the person that has done the particular surgery successfully numerous times. In the case of a lawyer, most people would seek out the one that wins the majority of their cases. The same could be said for almost any industry. For some reason in Real Estate people do not always think this way.

There are times where sellers will choose a Realtor specifically because the agent has no business. The thought process is that the top producing realtor will be TOO BUSY and they won’t get good service. This is rarely ever the case. There is a reason why the other Realtor has no business. Nobody else wants to hire them!

Over the years there have been times where I have done a presentation for someone selling their home and did not get the listing. In my early years, I would be so upset not getting hired would nag at me for days. This is not to say that I still do not get disappointed. I think anyone that considers themselves good at what they do should have pride in their performance.

There are times when you lose, and it is such a hard pill to swallow because you know without question that the seller has just made an awful choice.

While looking on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), you notice the home which you interviewed for has just been put on the market. You check to see who has listed the property and your immediate reaction is….Are you kidding me???

If you are a top producing Realtor reading this article, you can probably empathize with me.

The Consequences of A Poor Realtor Selection

You look at the Realtors name and you either have never heard of the person before, or you know they don’t do a lick of business.

Just to torture yourself a little further you check out the listing and see the following:

  • There are only a few photos of the house posted on the multiple listing service (MLS).
  • The quality of the photos absolutely SUCKS. It is evident the agent picked up a disposable Kodak camera on the way to take pictures or is using a camera from the 1980’s. The photos are dark, blurry and don’t do the home justice.
  • You read the description of the property posted and there is barely anything of value. It clearly looks like the agent didn’t care and just wrote anything to fill the space. Of course there is also either bad grammar, spelling mistakes, or the use of abbreviations that buyers have no clue what they stand for.

Online Real Estate search

At this point you may be in a state of shock but you decide to Google the agents name. Clearly you are expecting to see at least a Real Estate website the agent owns that markets their listings to potential buyers. NOPE…you see nothing…ZIPPO.

You don’t even bother but you know if you head over to some of the most visited Real Estate sites on the internet like Realtor.com, Zillow.com or Trulia.com, the agent will not have done anything to “enhance” the listing by adding extra photos, having detailed descriptions showing off all the best features of your home, as well as adding a video tour.

Unfortunately this is what has happened to the home seller that has chosen the Realtor because they either did one of the following:

1.) Lied to you about the value of your home and you believed them.

2.) They charged you 1/2 percent less on the commission everyone else was quoting you. You think you saved money but you just cost yourself BIG TIME because you always get what you pay for in life.

You see a REAL good Realtor doesn’t need to do these things to win business. A true professional goes the extra mile in everything they do. They have a passion for their work and it shows.

So if you are going to be selling your home and meeting with a Real Estate agent you better ask good Realtor interview questions. Don’t get stuck with the Realtor clown above! Do your home work. I can almost guarantee you things are going to get worse from here.

I think most would agree having a burger from a steakhouse is better than McDonald’s. It works the same way picking a Realtor as well.

Additional Related Articles About Selecting A Realtor

Use these additional resources to make better decisions when choosing a real estate agent.

About the author: The above Real Estate information on picking a top producing Realtor was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 29+ Years.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!

I service Real Estate sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.

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  1. Louise says

    Very good article with substantial content but I would like to comment on the Top Producing definition that you describe.
    I have been a Realtor with RE?MAX since 2003 in the Montreal area. Not a Top producer but a top quality service and expertise to my clientele.
    I can relate to your analogy about a hamburger at MacDonald (top producing) compare to the Steak House, (I’d be the Steak House!)
    To my humble opinion Top Producer does not automatically = Top quality service!

    • admin says

      Thanks Louise! I agree there are different definitions in people’s minds about what a top producing Realtor should be. I think the best of both worlds is providing outstanding service while also generating a decent volume of business.

  2. Matt Patty says

    First off I want to say I am a fan of your blog. It encourages me to step my game up and improve for my clients. I do think it’s a fair argument for newer agents who are building their resume’s/business’s or older agents who are semi-retired but still working referral business to argue their case against a top performing agent by stating the merits of having less clients. But you have to really crunch the numbers and look at it case by case. There are some bigger listing agents where I service that are carrying 20-30 listings with only a couple or handful pending at any given time. That’s a problem for sellers, if the “Top Producer” isn’t producing. But if you have 25 listings 10 pending listings and 20 closed in last 6 months for example, the ratios are well above average and you’re business model is clearly winning for individuals despite servicing a wider expanse of clients. IMHO Bill.

    • admin says

      Matt thanks for the compliments on my blog I really appreciate it. I know there are some agents that don’t have the same number of transaction sides per say as the so called “top producer” but yet do a great job for their clients. What I am referring to in the article is an agent that does very little business because they lack the skills, knowledge and acumen to do so. If you have been in the Real Estate game any length of time I am sure you have come across a few agents that clearly don’t have any business skills. We both know this is one of the easiest industries to gain entry into. There are some really good Realtors out there but unfortunately for every good one in my opinion there are 4 more who aren’t that great. This makes it really tough on a consumer because the percentages favor them picking a Realtor that may not be all that skilled.

  3. Maya Garg says

    Great article. I agree with you on all points about seller choosing the right agent. I also agree when they choose someone and you see the name and wonder ????
    I wish all sellers would understand the difference between the High quality, passionate,experienced Realtors who would go beyond the service call and the ones who just want the listing with no intention of helping or assisting the seller in educating them about the process of how the right price and the staging of the home enhancing features of their home will get them what the home is worth…

    • admin says

      Thanks Maya & Heath for your compliments on the article. It can be frustrating at times when you have gone on an interview and know in your heart you are head and shoulders better than the Realtor that has been chosen but the seller listens to their pie in the sky evaluation of the property.

  4. says

    Very nicely said and organized. I couldn’t agree more. This year has been a record year in my business for receiving offers from agents who do not fill out the contract fully, listing agents who do not send disclosures and more….it’s really ashame when it becomes obvious that Brokers are not educating their agents at an alarming rate. And yet, buyers and sellers are hiring them.

    The old adage of you get what you pay for also goes well with… you get what you haven’t searched and Googled…

    • admin says

      Gena there is no doubt some seller’s do not do the proper research when selecting a Realtor to work with. Those that don’t are almost always disappointed in the services they receive.

  5. says

    You also have a portion of individuals that pick the first agent they talk to. Which can be good, but in some cases it’s one of the reasons consumers have such a bad experience. What do they do when the listing expires? They interview more than one agent. it’s too bad they didn’t do that the first time around. I think the other issue is that agents don’t spend enough time explaining the market conditions of the potential client’s neighborhood. Instead they go into their sales scripts and marketing pieces.

  6. New Agent says

    I’m a new agent and our firm does all of those things for us: professional photos, enhanced listings, etc. I must say that while using an experienced agent is a sure bet, it’s not a guarantee. There are top producing agents in my office who you would not want to hire.

    • says

      New agent you are right there are never any guarantees but by definition a “top producer” is getting the job done are they not? In the real estate business what people care about is results and most of the time someone who can be called a top producer is making things happen.

  7. says

    This is absolutely on the mark. So many clients are all about the commission, but don’t realize that pro photography, creative writing and sound pricing are priceless. Not to mention a fabulous negotiator!

    • says

      Agreed Jennifer – it is amazing how short sighted some people can be. They would rather “think” they are saving a couple thousand dollars and instead they cost themselves big money because their home sits unsold with multiple price reductions.

  8. says

    Well now Bill, I don’t know. I really do prefer those skinny, cheap burgers to a big fat one from a steak house.
    But when it comes to real estate – you’re right. No one needs the “skinny stripped down version.” You need someone with the drive, ambition, enthusiasm, and KNOW-HOW to get the job done.

  9. says

    Bill – I think any of us that run a good business spent a lot of time shaking our heads reading this article. We sold a home together in Franklin this year and I was actually competing against you for the listing, too. When I called to see what I could have done better they said they’d chosen you and my response was, “Hey, I understand. Bill does great work and is well known.” I was OK with that as a professional. Sure, we all want to win every listing but sometimes people do get a few good choices. I just decided that after I got off the phone with the seller that I was going to find the buyer and I did.

    You bring up one point that bothers me and it’s the incredibly low barrier to entry. Our education requirements are as low as low can be. 18 years old, a pulse, and the ability to pass the test is all that’s needed. It’s one major reason why the perception of Realtors nationally is so low and I’d love to see this addressed. It would certainly decrease the clowns and consider the fact that as part of the home selling process we’re in charge of providing guidance on an extremely expensive transaction. Why shouldn’t the educational requirements be higher?

    • says

      Ryan – thanks for your thoughtful comment. I actually had no idea I was competing with you for that listing. You were fantastic to work with. Unlike many Realtors you returned calls promptly and were also professionally dressed. It amazes me how many Real Estate agents I meet that wear jeans and sneakers. Are you kidding me? That right there is just a poor reflection of how seriously you treat your business.

      The low barrier to entry has always been something that’s bothered me. It is way too easy to get a real estate license. The low barrier to entry really shows in our industry. Consumers deserve more!

  10. says

    My favorite excerpt from this post is “A great agent can easily make up a commission savings charged on paper with their skill level, marketing expertise and overall Real Estate knowledge.” It’s amazing enough to me, Bill, that many home sellers have no concept of marketing. In some ways, you can hardly blame them for that. A lot of people simply get up, go to their jobs and come home at the end of the day, bored and tired, and watch TV or go out for a little fun and then off to bed to do it over again. If that works for you and they can live with it as their life, then I suppose that somehow, that is good enough for some people. What amazes me most is that there are so many people in a marketing, selling business who have the same uninspired attitude towards their business.

    The basics require creating appeal, establishing rapport and understanding the needs and wants of your prospect. From there, you might even move into effective selling strategies and tactics.

    I have a client who I am close to firing (I’m not even worried that they might see this comment because they wouldn’t come here and read it if I told them to) because they do this very thing: buying the listing by refusing to put up any rational or logical resistance to the home seller’s idea of what they expect to get for their home. My next conversation with them is going to point out that they cannot expect to continue to take on these stray dogs overpriced listings and expect me to be excited about being a part of it.

    A consistent pattern is emerging where this agent expects to take on a listing without the slightest resistance to unreasonable price expectations and then try later to convince the seller that they need to adjust their pricing to reality levels. That isn’t selling, It’s wishful thinking and wishful listing. Around these parts, that will get you 365 days on market plus. That something I don’t want a part of. I don’t want they money and I don’t want the headache that such an approach is guaranteed to bring.

    You’re absolutely right. I’m just a little shocked to be made so freshly aware of what I already know– that there are agents who don’t bother to do the most elementary prerequisites to being a successful marketer online. Much less, offline. I wonder what it is, because it obviously isn’t good salesmanship techniques by the so-called “Realtor clown” agent, that causes some people to suspend all logic and make the worst possible choice of a real estate agent when selling their home.

    • says

      Dave thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You are spot on it is amazing how shortsighted so many people are when it comes to the agent they choose. It has been a while but it was quite common back a few years ago for someone to choose an agent if their commission was 1/2 percent less than someone else. What some sellers do not understand is that they are not saving 1/2 percent in most cases. What often times happens is the buyer’s agent is so annoyed they are going to cut paid a cut rate is they will talk buyer’s out of purchasing the home if they become the slightest but interested. Some will talk them out of seeing the home in the first place.

      In the end the seller’s home stays on the market longer and they end up accepting less for it. All because they think they are saving money. WRONG! The agent selection can be even worse when one bad apples comes through the door proclaiming the home is worth 25k more than the rest of those being interviewed and the home owner is foolish enough to believe it.

      As discussed in the previous comments the barriers to getting into the real estate business have been too low for many years.

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