Bill Cherry, Dallas Realtor
My 43rd Year
Real estate sales and marketing is such a peculiar business. And it's often a business of inference and half-truths.
Over the past six months or so, I've watched the most interesting pattern. A longtime agent with one of the large real estate firms got a listing in Lake Highlands. It was near my house, so when the sign went up, I checked to see what the particulars were.
There was no question in my mind that the agent had under priced the house by at least $20,000. We're talking about a house that I felt the recent comparable sales showed it should have been listed for at least $200,000.
Within a day of the sign in the yard, the "contract pending" rider went up. And then came the agent's sign to the yard, proclaiming "Another house sold by X," and with her picture with her toothy grin underneath.
Within two weeks, her sign appeared on another listing a few doors down, and it was another one that she under priced. And like the first one, within a week the "contract pending" rider went up, and then came the agent's sign in the yard proclaiming "Another house sold by X," with her toothy grin rider attached.
And this run of good luck has has now continued through five houses, all within a few blocks of each other. All improperly priced, so all quite naturally brought quick sales, and that further confirmed in the neighborhood's minds that she is the agent with whom you should list.
The facts are as follows:
•· In addition to the approximately $12,000 in commission each seller paid her, they lost at least $20,000 a piece. Consequently the cost of the commission and the loss of equity made the cost of doing business with her $32,000 or 16%.
•· Although her sign said "Another house sold by X," a far more appropriate and truthful sign would have said "Another house listed by X and sold by Y. After all, she didn't sell any of those houses. Agents with other companies sold them.
The competence of the listing agent when determining value, the placement of the property within the marketplace, the advertising and marketing of the property and countless other things are the foundation of a good real estate sale. It isn't the selling side. (The real work is done in the office's back room.)
Interestingly this agent showed she was inept at listing and probably inept at selling as well.
And that's why if you're planning to sell or buy a home, it's very important whom you pick to represent you. It's the time to forget friendships and favors owed, and concentrate on picking the real estate doctor who knows how to do the operation so that your chance of "financial survival" can be dramatically increased.
If you're in the Dallas area, call me. If you're somewhere else and want help in finding a competent listing agent, you can call or email me, too. There are a lot of Supermen and Wonder Women agents out there. And they don't cost a nickel more. You deserve to have one working for you.
Copyright 2007 - William S. Cherry