A good real estate agent can do a lot to help you sell your home. However, it is important to understand that not every Realtor does the same things to move a house. Like any job, some are better at selling houses than others and some prefer to do the bare minimum as long as they can get away with it. These post and pray Realtors are not the best choice when you want to sell your home in a timely manner for top dollar. Let this be your guide on how to tell if you have picked a bad real estate agent!
To get the most money possible for your home you want a real estate agent who is willing to put in the time and effort it takes to get maximum dollars. There are lots of ways Realtors can be stand out agents. Just putting a home into the multiple listing service (MLS) is not one of them.
The Post and Pray Method
One useful tool in a Realtor’s toolbox is the multiple listing service, or MLS. Any Realtor you use will make certain to put your property up on the multiple listing service – allowing all other Realtors using the service to see the features of your home and the price you are asking. This also makes your home viewable by various online searches. In other words, putting your home in MLS makes it possible for real estate agents – working for home buyers – and often home buyers themselves to see your home.
Unfortunately, there are some agents out there who rely solely on the 3 P’s of marketing – put a sign in the yard, put it in MLS and pray. These post and pray Realtors see some success with this formula and use it over and over again. They may do this out of ignorance or laziness or some other unknown reason. In the end though, a Realtor can do far more to sell a house than relying on the 3 P’s. There are some that will tell you that all your need to do is price your home properly and the MLS will take care of the rest. While this may be true if you really want to ensure getting the absolute most money for your home JUST putting your home in the multiple listing service is not your best bet.
If you are fortunate enough to be in a blistering hot sellers market where homes are selling a fast as an ice cream cone on a hot Summer day then sure, the MLS might be all that you need. The majority of the time this is not the case. When real estate markets are in balance or there is a decent supply of homes you need every edge you can get when selling real estate. The best real estate agents understand this. They don’t get lazy or complacent. They have systems in place that are time tested and continue to work year after year.
Home Sellers Can Do Better
There is always a chance that a post and pray Realtor will be successful. A random buyer may notice the sign in the yard and contact the Realtor. An agent may find your home on the MLS and bring the buyer to you. A person searching online could also stumble across your listing and see exactly what he or she is looking for. Then again, none of this may happen.
A good Realtor understands how to market a home successfully. He or she will do far more than throw up a sign and a listing and wait for the calls to pour in. This is because a good Realtor is every bit as motivated to sell your home as you are. This is how he or she makes a living. A real estate agent who wants to be recognized as being tops in their field will step outside the box and not just be average. They will use techniques and marketing ideas that other Realtors don’t.
Marketing is as much an art as a science – a combination of positioning your home appropriately, exposing the property through an expansive network and utilizing the power of the internet to funnel prospects towards your home. These are things that take time to develop and lots of practice to get good at. Luck is always a part of the process, but it is much easier to get lucky when you have done all the hard work necessary to seize an advantage.
Common Denominators With Bad Realtors
Disregard For Having Great Photography
One of the common traits of a post and pray Realtor is their total disregard for the importance of good real estate photography. In fact with most lousy real estate agents this is one of the first things another Realtor will notice and it reflects poorly on you. It is vital that you understand that photography is one of the most important things in real estate sales. There is nothing that is more true in real estate sales than the famous saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. The photography on your home can make or break a sale.
Consider this fact – most home buyers will skip right on by a home that does not look appealing online. They will not read about all the great features of your home if the pictures turn them off. Clearly lots of homeowners never check up on their Realtors after they have been hired. If there was more due diligence on a sellers part they would be appalled by what they see.
From having only a few photos posted, to only showing exterior shots, to blurry photography, to something that looks like it has been shot from a Polaroid camera from the 1980’s.
Good Realtors see it all and frankly are astonished by how some agents have the worst judgement in marketing a home the way it should be done. In fact there is a website you can look at that is completely dedicated to making fun of lousy Realtors who post bad photography in the MLS. Take a look and have a good laugh. Some of these are almost too ridiculous to be true. The cold hard reality however is this kind of poor marketing goes on daily in the real estate industry.
No Time Spent on Detailed Home Descriptions
The other thing you will notice about bad Realtors is their complete disregard for the importance of good descriptions in the MLS display along with their marketing materials. Most multiple listing services allow a Realtor to post a pretty decent description of any home posted into the system. Just like photography your descriptions are important because they speak to the buyer about all the great features of your home. An exceptional Realtor takes the time to craft something that will entice a buyer to want to visit your home.
A post and pray real estate agent doesn’t have time for writing great descriptions. They will slap something together and call it a day. The same thing will happen when it comes to the marketing materials that are left in your home for a buyer to take with them.
Lack of Good Marketing Materials
You will immediately recognize the Realtor who understands great marketing when you see a nice glossy brochure with gorgeous color photography of all the rooms in the home, along with exterior shots of the property including the lot.
What you are likely to see from a bad Realtor is a black and white copy of an MLS sheet left in your home. Why spend money on marketing is how the post and pray Realtor thinks. Obviously this is the last thing you want as a seller who is looking to get top dollar for a home! Unfortunately this happens all the time because people don’t know any better.
Slide show or video tour? I can hear the post and pray Realtor snickering now. Who needs to spend extra money on more marketing? Why do I need to do those things when my sign and the MLS work just fine.
No Communications Skills
Study after study shows that one of the biggest complaints homeowners have with their real estate agent is a lack of communication. When you have a showing on your home it is great to know what the buyer thought isn’t it? A good Realtor will have a good system in place to get feedback from the buyers agent.
A good agent will get back to you to keep you in the loop of what is going on. This is common courtesy and should be something every real estate agent does. Feedback helps both a seller and an agent gauge any issues and if there are corrections that can be made. Is getting feedback something that happens in every real estate sale? Absolutely not! If you have hired a bad Realtor you will more than likely find this out the hard way.
Leveraging The Internet
Online marketing is about far more than throwing up an ad for your home. It is about exposure, about getting your home in front of people. Search engines are nice for finding a home within specified parameters, but a Realtor can do more. If he or she has a high quality website that ranks well on major search engines like Google and Bing, your home is more likely to be seen. You can have the greatest looking website going but if nobody can find it doing local real estate searches then it is going to be almost useless.
Some real estate agents realized early on that ranking well on Google would have advantages for selling homes. These Realtors began putting in the work to build a site that was respected for both its information and its listings. This is not something that can be accomplished in day. It takes time and a lot of effort.
Have a Real Estate Blog
There are also Realtors who have recognized and taken advantage of how powerful a real estate blog can enhance their business. Savvy Realtors who understand marketing realize the punch a blog can bring to the table. Not only can you be recognized as a local market expert but also an agent who possesses quite a bit of helpful real estate knowledge that buyers and sellers can utilize.
When looking for a Realtor, you should find one that understands how to to truly leverage the internet for selling your home. Post and pray Realtors are a the opposite of this. They take the path of least resistance and expect the internet to do the work for them. Find an agent that cares enough to have a website and to make it a good one.
Utilize Social Media Channels
With social media having become a large part of normal day to day activities it makes sense to have an agent who is tied in and utilizing social channels as another means of broadcasting that your home is for sale. Sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus and Twitter are visited by thousands of people daily. A web savvy marketer will use the channels to make your home more visible to the world. Post and pray Realtors would never dream of doing this. It takes too much effort.
The lack of marketing among others, is one of the many reasons so many for sale by owner homes don’t end up selling. The line of thinking in fact lines up well with many of the post and pray Realtors. Many for sale by owners think selling a home is easy and all it takes is a sign. The fact that over 80 percent of all FSBO’s end up listing with an agent shouldn’t be all that surprising. They are actually missing one of the P’s!
Interview Multiple Realtors
Never hire a Realtor without interviewing him or her first. You want an agent that can sell to people, but you don’t want to be the one getting sold. You need to ask hard questions and get the answers you need before you agree to any sort of business relationship with this person. It is not enough to be charming. You need someone who gets results and uses all available channels for selling your home. One thing that is humorous about real estate agents is that almost every one of them will say that they are #1. What you really need to find out is #1 at what? Selling homes or baking sugar cookies for their ineffective open houses.
Most home owners don’t know how to interview a real estate agent. After all it is not like most people sell a home that often. Take a look at some of the hard hitting questions I have provided. These questions will make an unqualified Realtor want to sink under their chair!
When you interview a Realtor, ask about the number of successful sales the person has had. You want someone who has had good success recently – not ten years ago. You also want someone that is good at listing a home at a certain price and selling close to that price. Some Realtors will gladly list your price too high to make you happy at the beginning, only to drop the price substantially by the end to actually sell the home.
Get an agent that is strong enough to tell you the facts – what your home is really worth and what it will sell for – and one that closes a deal for around that price. The original list price to sale price is one of the most important statistics you can find out from the Realtors you are interviewing.
Don’t fall for the agent trickery where you are told your home is worth far more than what seems possible. There are plenty of Real Estate agents who intentionally tell sellers what they want to hear to get them to sign a contract.
Find out how many days this agent’s listings stay on the market. Time is not your friend when selling. You want someone who sells in a timely manner.
Lastly, make sure the agent has a respectable website. The advantages to this are many and enough years have passed that any good agent will be using an array of web-based marketing to sell your home. Keep in mind that the Realtor you hire is your partner. Everything they do is a reflection on you and your home. Do you want to be associated with a brand and agent that is well respected locally? The choice is yours. All you have to do is take the time and choose a Realtor who will make a difference in the home sale process. One of the top home seller mistakes is clearly picking the wrong real estate agent.
Summary For Picking a Great Real Estate Agent
- Look at examples of the Realtors photography on homes they have currently listed for sale.
- Check to see they have enhanced their listing descriptions to make their clients homes stand out.
- See if the agent is using slide shows or video tours as part of their marketing.
- Find out how the real estate agent will be communicating with you throughout the home sale process.
- Investigate the agents websites. Do they provide great information? Can you find them in local searches?
- See if the agent is using a real estate blog to provide additional exposure for your home.
- Is the real estate agent using social media to cast an even wider net for people to find your home.
- Make sure you do an excellent job carefully interviewing multiple Realtors.
If you take the time and do these things the chances of picking a bad Realtor will go down dramatically. Real Estate agents are a dime a dozen. You will be paying a lot of money to an agent. Typically the best real estate agents do not charge more money so it all makes sense to have one working for you!
Other Home Selling Articles Worth Reading
- How to sell a home for top dollar via Maximum Real Estate Exposure
- How to sell your home quickly by MSN Real Estate
The above Real Estate information on is your real estate agent a post and pray 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 27+ 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.