Bryan Robertson apologizes on behalf of the real estate industry for inept real estate agents who are “commission-chasers” and do not provide even the most basic service to their customers. The big question is how do you spot one? Following are some of the clues the agent who wants to list you home is commission-chaser:
High pressure tactics to get you to sign a listing agreement. They often use sales techniques learned in workshops and won’t let up until you say yes. It’s all about making and closing the deal for the commission-chaser.
Their time is more important than your needs. Once you sign the listing agreement they will whip out their iPhone and take pictures for the MLS. Your home may not be in tip- top shape because you just got home from work and didn’t have time to straighten up. The lighting will be poor because it is evening and they won’t even bother to turn on all of the lights. The resulting photos will be small, dark and blurry. The quality of the photos do not matter to the commission-chaser who isn’t going to waste their time on a second visit to your home to take better photos. I have often found myself apologizing for photos in a commission-chaser’s listings I send to my buyers. Even if I can get them to see past the bad photos they have already decided that the home is inferior. First impressions really do count.
They don’t take the time to get to know your home. Features that will help sell your home may be left out of the description in the MLS because the commission-chaser couldn’t be bothered to do simple research on your home. The commission-chaser is often in a hurry (got to move on to the next deal!) and does not pay attention to details. Many times errors are made in the MLS listing which the buyer’s agent will have to address when showing your property to their client. Many of these errors are made because the commission-chaser copies an old listing and doesn’t take the time to proof read.
Getting you to list your home with them by discounting the commission. They have nothing else to offer because they do not intend to spend any time selling your home beyond getting it listed on the MLS. However, it is not only their commission they are discounting, but also the buyer-agent’s commission. Buyer-agents know who the commission-chasers are and dread showing the homes they list. They know that they will be doing most of the work and that your home will be a difficult sell. If a commission is being discounted insist that the discount be taken out of the listing agents portion only. A good agent will readily agree and explain to you which services will not be provided at the lower commission rate. A good listing agent knows not to jeopardize the sale of your home by lowering the commission of the agent that is bringing buyers to your home.
Overpricing your home. Although there may be reasons to underprice, such as creating buzz and hopefully launching a bidding war (which is risky business but sometimes works), there is never any reason to overprice a home except that the commission-chaser wants to secure the listing. If your home is overpriced it, will not generate many offers and you will miss out on the valuable “New Listing” traffic. When you contact the commission-chaser about the lack of interest they will recommend a price reduction – don’t expect much else from them. If the home is still overpriced after the first price reduction buyers may get impression that you have unreasonable expectations or you are difficult to work with. After multiple price drops buyers may think there is actually something wrong with your home in which case if you get any offers they will be below market value. You will lose precious time and your home will be stigmatized by being on the market too long. Your house may eventually sell but at a discounted price. The commission-chaser still gets their commission. How does overpricing homes help the commission-chaser? Commission-chasers like to keep an inventory of homes in their portfolio because having so helps produce more buyer leads. The longer the home is listed the more leads it will generate for the commission-chaser.
They will only do an open house if it benefits them. They will not sell your home during an open house because they are too busy generating leads for themselves.
One last word here: some commission-chasers have been at their game for a number of years. So an agent who has over 20 years experience selling homes could be a very experienced commission-chaser. Interviewing a few agents before signing a listing agreement can help weed out the commision-chasers.
How a good Realtor puts your needs first and earns their commission
- Knows your neighborhood and the homes that have sold.
- Completes a comprehensive Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help you arrive at a fair price for your home
- Can explain the CMA and market trends.
- Prepares a marketing plan that is suitable for the type of buyer that would be interested in your property.
- Gives advice on preparing your property for the market.
- Takes professional quality photos and if unable to do so hires a photographer.
- After learning about you home, writes a detailed description highlighting its desirable features.
- Engages buyers and other real estate agents on the web and through social media.
- Understands and can explain contracts, disclosures, inspections and financing.
- Has a team of professional to consult when needed.
- Does not pressure you but gives you the information you need to make the decisions that are right for you and your family.
- Is very open and transparent about all dealings and keeps you up-to-date during the entire process of selling your home.
- Keeps in touch after the deal is done.
- Is honest and straight forward, treating everyone with the respect they deserve.