Get the Right Agent
Q - I want to list my home but am uncertain how to select an agent. Do you have some advice?
A - In every community you will notice that a handful of agents dominate the real estate spectrum. There is an axiom that 20% of agents do 80% of the real estate business. Check out one of these top agents. They didn't get there by being slackers. Another good option is a newer but eager agent who is anxious to become a top agent. On the other hand, it is never advisable to list with a family member, a friend or someone who is just coasting.
Let's assume that you have selected one of the best. Because he/she is the best, don't ask him to negotiate his fees. A top producer has generally more elaborate and established marketing plans in place which are very costly. To justify these costs, his goal is to get your property sold quickly and for top dollar. This is what you want and this is what he is set up to deliver.
Take this professional's advice by setting a price that is within the parameters of what the market dictates for properties similar to yours. This will ensure a quicker sale. It doesn't mean that you are losing money. If you choose to list high, it is a fact that your listing will not attract much attention and eventually you will have to bring the price down. It also means that the listing has become 'stale' and may continue to be overlooked. To capture attention, the listing may have to be priced below market value. In the end, you have lost time and money through greediness.
There are sellers who try to cut back an agent's commission and feel that they are saving money. This is not necessarily so. If you were asked to cut your salary in your work place, would you feel as enthusiastic about your work? Even though the agent works in your best interest, how far do you expect the agent to go to get the best price for you since you have already devalued his efforts? Will he go that extra mile? Sometimes negotiations go into the night. Will your agent give it that extra push to get you as high a price as possible at two o'clock in the morning?
Generally, top producers don't negotiate their fees and when asked, they decline and sometimes choose not to list your property. In general terms, an agent who will negotiate his fee will often also negotiate his efforts to reflect his 'adjusted' fee.
It's your choice!