Top 10 Mistakes Made By Sellers When Choosing A Realtor

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Greater Rochester NY Real Estate | Pittsford NY Realtor at RE/MAX Realty Group

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Top 10 Mistakes Made By Sellers When Choosing a Realtor

Top 10 Mistakes Made By Sellers When Choosing a Realtor

Choosing a Realtor is one of the most important keys to success when selling a home.  In most communities there are hundreds or even thousands of Realtors to choose from.  After all, obtaining a real estate license isn’t the most strenuous of tasks.  Every state has different requirements but the majority require a certain number of class hours, the passing of an exam or two, and a small registration cost.

Choosing the wrong Realtor can be the “kiss-of-death” when it comes to home selling success.  You should be able to know when you’ve hired the wrong Realtor because there will be many signs you should be able to identify.  The signs that point to the fact you’ve hired the wrong Realtor can be avoided if you’re educated on some of the top mistakes made by sellers when choosing a Realtor.

Some of these top mistakes made by sellers may seem obvious, but unfortunately, sellers make them again and again.  Here are the top 10 mistakes made by sellers when choosing a Realtor.

Choosing A Part-Time Realtor

Real estate may seem on the surface to many as a career that it doesn’t take lots of time and effort but one that leads to boatloads of money.  This is actually one of the top real estate myths that is heard over and over again.  Many Realtors get into the business part-time because they believe it can be done on a part-time basis.  This is the furthest from the truth.

When choosing a Realtor, one of the questions you should absolutely ask is if they are a full-time or part-time Realtor.  If you think about it, how available will a part-time Realtor be to answer inquiries on your home if they are busy with an “8-5 job?”  In all likelihood, they will be busy completing tasks from their other position.

In addition to answering inquiries, a part-time agent will struggle to have the time to promote and give your home maximum exposure.  One of the biggest “jobs” of a listing agent is to expose their clients home to the most people possible.  A Realtor who can provide maximum exposure for their clients should have a website that ranks well in the SERPs (search engine results page) which takes lots of time and effort to create and develop.

Choosing A Realtor Without Asking For References

Don’t make the mistake when choosing a Realtor of not asking for past client testimonials or references.  One of the best ways to find out about how a Realtor works and performs is through past clients of theirs.  Top Realtors should be able to provide you with plenty of client testimonials or references.

When choosing a Realtor, ask them if they have any past clients who you can call or e-mail.  Keep in mind, some people are not comfortable with allowing strangers to call them to discuss their experiences, so don’t expect to get the phone numbers or e-mail addresses of the Realtors past 10 clients.  They should however be able to provide at least a couple that you can call or e-mail.

Choosing A Realtor Because They Will Hold Your Home Open Every Week

Open houses are a highly debated topic in the real estate industry.  There are some Realtors who swear by opens and others who despise them.  The fact of the matter is that open houses do not sell homes and there are statistics to back that fact up.  Can they help expose a home to potential buyers, yes, there is no doubt about that.  But is an open house necessary to sell a home? No it isn’t at all.

When choosing a Realtor, don’t select one because he or she promises to hold your home open every Saturday and Sunday.  There are sellers who will choose a Realtor based solely because they offer to hold their home open every week.  Ask any potential Realtors what their thoughts and opinions of open houses are.  If a Realtor indicates they will sell your home because they are going to hold your home open every week, you may not want to choose that Realtor.

When Choosing A Realtor, Avoid A "YES" Man or Woman!

When Choosing A Realtor, Avoid A “YES” Man or Woman!

Choosing A Realtor Who Is A “YES” Man/Woman

We all know a “YES” man or woman in our lives.  “YES” people exist in all professions.  When choosing a Realtor, you need to avoid a “YES” man or woman!  Home sellers choose a “YES” Realtor to sell their home only to find out in the coming months they didn’t tell them what they needed to hear, just what they wanted to hear.

A perfect example of a “YES” Realtor is one who will tell a homeowner their home is ready to be listed for sale when asked if there is anything that should be done to prepare it for the market.  Telling a homeowner their home is ready even though they know it is not, can cost a seller valuable time as well as money.  Instead of recommending to a homeowner some simple staging tips and telling them the truth that they need to de-clutter or de-personalize, they just agree that their home is ready for the market.  The “WOW” factor is so important when a potential buyer is seeing a home for the first time.

When choosing a Realtor, if he or she is always agreeing with everything you’re saying, you may want to ask them a question that you know the answer is 100% “NO.”  If they agree with you on this, do not choose them!

Choosing A Friend Or Family Member

When choosing a Realtor to sell your home, don’t make a decision based solely on a relationship.  It’s understandable that if you have a friend or family member in the real estate business that you’d like to give them the opportunity to sell your home.  If it could cost you thousands of dollars and months of your home not selling by choosing a friend or family member, it isn’t a good decision, is it?

If your friend or family member is a Realtor, explaining to them that you are going to interview them as well as a couple other Realtors, because you want to choose the best fit for YOU, should be sufficient.  It’s not about your friend or family member.  Certainly if your friend or family member has a proven track record and still feels like the best fit after interviewing a handful of agents, by all means, select them to sell your home.

Only Interviewing One Realtor

A seller who knows how to properly interview a Realtor when selling a home can save themselves many headaches in the future.  A common mistake made by sellers when choosing a Realtor to sell their home, is they forget about this step in the process.  Interviewing more than one Realtor is strongly suggested.

It’s important that when choosing a Realtor you can compare one to another, because they are not all the same.  Not only are Realtors different, the companies that they work for are also different.  Each Realtor and their company will provide different tools for their sellers, advertise their homes differently, and also have different styles of selling homes.  One extra tip  to keep in mind when choosing a Realtor and interviewing them is that because two Realtors may work for the same company, doesn’t mean they will provide the same service and utilize the same tools.

Choosing A Realtor Because They Sold The “#” Homes Last Year

Choosing a Realtor based on the number of homes they sold last year or in years past is not suggested.  Certainly choosing a Realtor who only sold two homes last year when representing a seller may not be the best Realtor to sell your home.  The same can be said about the Realtor who sold 50 homes last year when representing a seller.

Every real estate market is different and can vary significantly from town to town.  Just because a Realtor didn’t sell 50 homes in your town, doesn’t mean they won’t be able to get your home sold.  When choosing a Realtor don’t make the mistake of not asking them how they plan on marketing your home and why they think they can sell a home in your town.

For example, a Realtor who sold only 5 homes last year in the Webster, NY real estate market could be just as good if not a better choice than a Realtor who sold 25 homes in the same town last year.  Don’t choose your Realtor based solely on the number of homes they sold, you need to dig deeper and get more details and make sure you’re comfortable with them.

Don't Choose a Realtor Because They Suggest The Highest Listing Price

Don’t Choose a Realtor Because They Suggest The Highest Listing Price

Choosing A Realtor Because They Suggest The Highest Price

Pricing a home right from the start is critical.  The price a home enters the market at will often determine if a home sells or not.  Choosing a Realtor because they suggest the highest price is a common mistake made by home sellers.  Before you choose the Realtor who suggests the highest price, you need to know how they have determined their price recommendation.

There are many different pricing mechanisms for real estate.  Ask the Realtor who suggests the highest price how they came up with that price.  Ask them if they performed a comparative market analysis, also known as, a CMA.  It’s important not only that your home is priced right to attract potential buyers, but also to make sure there are no issues in the future with a bank being able to substantiate the value during their appraisal.

Choosing A Realtor Based Only On Commission

First things first, commission is negotiable.  Any Realtor who says differently is not being truthful.  Commission rates can vary from town to town and state to state.  When choosing a Realtor, it’s likely that the majority of Realtors will have the same commission percentage.  A huge mistake made by home sellers when choosing a Realtor to sell their home is selecting the agent who offers a significant discount on their commission.

Why is this a problem?  It sounds great that you would save money, right?  Wrong.  If a Realtor agrees to a lower commission with no resistance or very little, can you imagine how strong their negotiations will be on your behalf when you receive an offer?  In addition to their negotiation strength, if a Realtor is working for less than the “normal” commission, do you truly believe they will spend their money advertising your home?

When it comes to choosing a Realtor based on commission only, I always say, “you get what you pay for.”  A Realtor who offers to cut their commission is likely doing this out of desperation to obtain a contract to sell your home.

Choosing A Realtor Because They Advertise On Third Party Websites

Have you heard of the companies, Zillow or Trulia?  Most people who have knowledge on the real estate industry or have bought or sold a home in the recent past have heard of companies such as Zillow or Trulia.  These companies are household names in real estate.  They are also known as third party real estate websites.  Third party real estate websites are not locally owned and operated.

These companies solicit Realtors to advertise on their websites and “buy leads” that come in on their websites.  When choosing a Realtor, don’t hire because they advertise on third party websites.  These third party real estate websites are generally very inaccurate when it comes to the data they provide consumers.  Have you ever heard of a “Zestimate?”  A “Zestimate” is a home value estimate that Zillow provides on their website.  There are many resources that are out there detailing the inaccuracies of the “Zestimate” as well as other third party real estate websites.

For example, as a home seller, you wouldn’t want your home to be featured on Zillow if the “Zestimate” was $25,000 lower than your listing price.  Today’s home buyers are very well educated.  If a potential buyer visits your home, it’s a very strong possibility they will be checking out your home online to see what the online values are saying.  If they see a value that is $25K less than your list price, this can often lead to low-ball offers and the frustration that comes with them.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a Realtor plays a huge role in whether your home selling process will be successful or not.  The above mistakes are commonly seen and now you should be able to avoid making these critical mistakes that so many home sellers do.  Remember, selling a home does not have to be an impossible task, especially with the guidance and expertise of a top Realtor.

Other Home Selling Resources

If you’re planning on selling a home in Rochester, NY, please be sure to avoid the above mistakes when choosing a Realtor.  We’d love the opportunity to interview for the job of selling your home.  Contact us so we can show you why we are Top Rochester, NY Realtors and why our clients homes get maximum exposure!  

About the authors:  The above article “Top 10 Mistakes Made By Sellers When Choosing A Realtor” was provided by the Keith Hiscock Sold Team (Keith & Kyle Hiscock).  With over 30 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

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