Buying & Selling Real Estate often means the largest single transaction one will make in their lifetime. Shouldn’t that mean hiring the best possible representation is critical? It seems to make sense, which is why I am constantly scratching my head over some of the things I see on an almost daily basis in this business.
Most Common Issues I Find
1) Poor Photos on Listings for Sale
We’ve all see the photos where the agent is using their phone and clearly visible in the mirror… it’s not 2002; hire a professional photographer. While you’re at it, if the home shows well, then using videography is a great tool. It’s not free, but well worth the expense in our opinion. That’s why we gladly pay for those types of services for our sellers. It means better exposure and greater dollars in our client’s pockets! If the marketing is terrible, then potential buyers won’t want to go see the home. When trying to achieve top dollar, the product needs to look its best.
2) Inaccurate Showing Instructions
Fortunately our buying clients rarely feel this since we handle in the background, but you’d be surprised how often we see a home that shows occupied is really vacant and vice versa. We also see where it’s obvious the listing agent has not updated showing instructions in months (literally)… them not paying attention to details costs you time and money, if they’re supposed to be representing your best interests.
3) Missing Documents from a Listing
If there is an HOA governing a property, then the HOA Disclosure/Addendum should be provided up front so we’re not guessing on fees for transfer, capital improvement, etc. Also, having the Disclosure Statements available up front is a big help to all parties, yet rarely listing agents have them completed up front like we do. Attention to details…
4) “Discounted Commission” Passed to Someone Else
The total commission rate is negotiable as many factors come into play: property type, price point, condition, market trends, location, etc. That total commission is split between the brokerage that represents the seller and the one that represents the buyer, here in Arizona. When an agent says they will reduce, are they taking the reduction or just passing it on to the other side? Many will choose the latter, but what that means is less exposure for you, the seller. In turn, that means less $$$ at closing often times. Why? Well, while it’s not “ethical” to not send a potential listing to your buyer client over a lower commission rate, it does happen. If we are reducing the commission rate, then you will know how it gets split up.
5) Awful Communication
If you’re a “business owner” then act like it. Don’t tell me how busy you are and that you cannot respond to your messages… if that’s the truth, then you need an assistant or to learn how to be more efficient. I can almost guarantee you’re not “busier” than I am, but I always respond quickly. If the supposed professional you hired is not able to be reached then you may miss out on the right home if your a buyer or the right buyer if you’re a seller. We also see a lot of full voicemail boxes, which shows a lack of care and unnecessary laziness, in my opinion. I realize some people don’t prefer to speak on the phone, but sometimes it’s the best way to handle a situation quickly and without potential tone issues that arise over email/text.
Before you sign that listing agreement, make sure you know the Marketing Plan… do your research and ensure they have solid testimonials from real clients… ensure their experience lines up with what service you’re expecting and don’t choose an agent solely based upon what percentage they charge. The phrase
“You get what you pay for“
is very true in our business! Unfortunately some learn that lesson the hard way, but by then it’s too late to recover the often times many thousands of dollars left on the table.