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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

“Why Isn’t My Home Selling?” Consider Your Selection of Listing Agent

[Published Aug. 14, 2014, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section. An abbreviated version also appeared in five Jefferson County weekly newspapers.]

Every now and then I get a call from a disappointed seller who thought his or her home would sell quickly in our “seller’s market” but for some reason it isn’t selling.  How can that be?

This happened twice last week, and one of them was almost a parody of a common mistake sellers make: hiring a relative who is in real estate.

This is not to say that being a relative is a bad thing. Your relative may indeed have your best interest at heart, is your relative among the 10% of agents doing upwards of 90% of the transactions, or is he or she among the half of all agents who haven’t closed a single transaction in the past 12 months?  If the latter, then making blood relationship your sole criterion for selection might not work in your favor.

That seller mentioned above had selected a relative who hasn’t had a successful transaction in the past three years.  She had only two prior listings, and both expired without selling. As a buyer’s agent, she has never had a closing either. Clearly, if this particular agent had not been a relative, this seller might not have considered her, or at least would have asked more qualifying questions before signing a listing agreement.

Was this agent a Realtor?  He assumed she was, but she is in fact a non-Realtor, and for good reason.  With no income, she probably can’t afford the $500/year Realtor association dues.

This is not to say that only members of a Realtor association can be successful, but it’s likely that an agent and can't afford Realtor dues will scrimp on marketing, too.

In this business, one’s level of expertise is directly related to how many transactions you do and not how many years you are licensed.  You can be licensed for 30 years, but if you only do two transactions per year (which is the average of all licensees), you are not going to be as effective in marketing your listings or negotiating contracts as someone who does 20 or 30 transactions per year.

That’s the problem with hiring relatives — you dispense with those qualifying questions, despite the fact that you are talking about the biggest transaction you will undertake in a given year (or decade).

If you feel bad about not using the relative, ask him or her to help you find the best agent, and that agent will pay your relative a referral fee.

Advantages of Listing With a Golden Real Estate Agent:

¨ Your listing is featured in my newspaper ad and in this blog.

¨ You and the buyer get free use of our moving truck — not just for moving, but also for decluttering, moving excess furniture to storage, etc. We also provide both parties with free moving boxes, wrapping paper and bubble wrap.

¨ Your home will be featured in a YouTube video that is linked to the MLS,, Trulia and Zillow, as well as our own website.

¨ We will take HDR photos, not just point-and-shoot photos of every room

¨ We will provide a free staging consultation to help your home show its best

¨ We will utilize a custom URL (web address) for your home so it’s easy to find online.

¨ We will give your home its own web page and enhance your home’s listing on, Trulia, Zillow and other websites.

¨ We will hold multiple open houses, as you wish, and as weather and manpower permits.

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