Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Real Estate Agents Are Not Equal

If there is one thing I wish I could teach consumers is that real estate agents vary greatly in their skill level, passion for their work, and what they are doing for their clients to get houses sold. So many people mistakenly think Realtors are all the same, and that you can just pick whoever to get the job done. Not so. You can't just rely on them posting it in the Multiple Listing Services to get your house sold.

A few things I have learned since joining the ranks of Realtors:

The Atlanta market is ridiculous in that it offers two different multiple listing services, one being much cheaper than the other for real estate agents, and the other being a far superior product. In addition, the more expensive service gets utilized far more by Realtors than the other service. What does this mean to consumers? If your real estate agent only lists your property in the less expensive option, it is highly likely that your property will not be seen by the vast majority of Realtors in Metro Atlanta. How many consumers would even know to ask whether a potential real estate agent will list their property in both MLS services?

I just spent an hour looking through new, expired, price drops, and withdrawn properties in the Decatur area. I do this routinely to keep up with the latest buying opportunities for my Buyers and to stay on top of market changes so I can best inform my clients when they want to sell their properties.

When going through listings in the FMLS, it is mind boggling how many properties are so poorly marketed. You might expect the real estate agent to be lazy on low-priced properties because they don't make much money on them, but really this is not much of an excuse because there are good Realtors out there who will do a good job regardless of the price of the property (the consumer just has to find them). But tonight, I was shocked at the number of properties that have been sitting on the market between the $500k-$900k range where the real estate agent did the bare minimum. Most importantly, there were very few pictures, and some with photos were very poorly taken and made the places look scary.

The reality is that most properties have their first showing online, and if your pictures don't do a great job at representing your property, you will never make it to a second, in-person showing. I can't imagine how people with high-end property with the most to lose allow their real estate agent to do such sloppy work.

When you are looking for a Realtor, do your home work. You are entrusting one of your biggest assets to your Realtor, so make sure they will do their best to help you meet your goals. As I always say, I treat every client's transaction as if it were my own. Make sure you find a Realtor who feels the same way.