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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sellers Often Ignore Their Own Self-Interest in Selecting a Listing Agent

[Published July 10, 2014, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section. An abbreviated version also appeared in five Jefferson County weekly newspapers.]

Golden Real Estate does pretty well when it comes to getting listings.  This column has a lot to do with it.  That, of course, is why I started writing it 10 years ago — to show that my team and I know what we’re doing.

So, thank you, dear readers who provide us with a large percentage of our business!

Since I am kept plenty busy by those who come to me based on my writings, please don’t think I’m complaining when I simply observe that a high percentage of sellers use subjective or illogical criteria when it comes to the selection of their listing agents. You’d think that when it comes to the biggest transactions of their financial lives, people would use logic and common sense in the hiring process, but such is not always the case.

One of my most popular columns had the headline, “18 (or More) Questions to Ask When Interviewing Your Next Listing Agent,” and I even gave that column its own web site, www.The18Questions.com.

That column contained a lot of obvious and logical questions to ask an agent, such as whether they do “virtual tours” or narrated video tours, and whether they complete all the fields on the MLS, or only the mandatory ones.

I suggested that the best way to judge how an agent will market your house is to see how they market their current listing.  Get the address of a current listing, I suggested, and Google it to see how it is presented online — which is the most important element of marketing nowadays.  [Psst! Google your own address after your home is listed and see how it's being presented online. Complain to your agent if you think it's inadequate!]

Also important, does the listing agent use a good showing service to set showings by other agents, and does that service have a good system for obtaining feedback?

There were many other sound suggestions made in that column, but experience has shown me that few sellers choose to follow them.  Time and again I see people hiring agents from Boulder or Castle Rock to list their Denver area homes.  Sometimes it’s the seller’s relative or friend. Sometimes it’s the listing agent for the home they want to buy, instead of the agent who specializes in their current neighborhood.  Sometimes the agent is not even a member of Metrolist, the Denver area’s MLS!

Other sellers might think they will save money by utilizing a “limited service” agent who simply puts the home on the MLS but does little other marketing.  Still other sellers might put their home on a for-sale-by-owner website, without considering how they will manage agent showings or negotiate multiple offers.

Again, I’m not complaining so much as I am remarking on this phenomenon of sellers neglecting their own best interests when hiring a real estate agent to list their home.  Whether or not sellers hire Golden Real Estate with its marketing expertise, they could definitely be more logical in choosing the agent or brokerage that is best for them.

I freely admit that I may not be the best agent for a given seller.  Fortunately we have a diverse group of agents within our company. I would be happy to help you identify the best agent for your situation, even if that agent is with another brokerage.

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