Home sellers have been making a consistent mistake for all the years that I have been in the real estate business. I suspect that this shocking error in approach to selling a home has been around as long as there have been homes, home sellers, and real estate agents. Of course, I'm referring to the method that they use to select the real estate company they will hire to sell their home.
A recent survey of home sellers by "Texas Realtor" (and made known to me by Bill Cherry in Dallas, Texas) was performed in an attempt to determine how current home sellers selected their real estate agent. The results are similar to many other surveys that I have seen, yet they are shocking:
- 62% of home sellers only interviewed one agent before listing their home.
- 19% of home sellers talked to three agents before they selected one.
- 22% were more interested in determining the list price that would make their home competitive than any other service a listing agent would provide.
- 1% thought professional designations were important when picking their agent. The other 99% didn't see the value to be of consequence.
- 3% found picked their agent by walking in or calling a real estate office and speaking to the agent who had floor duty at the time they called.
I just find this incredible, even though I've seen survey results like this for my 20 years in the real estate business. Is it any wonder that currently 75% of home sellers are failing to sell their home?
The Smart Way To Select A Real Estate Agent
In this day and age where home owners have a world of information at their finger tips, I am always surprised when they do not do their homework before selecting the real estate company (select an entire company, not just an agent) to sell their home. Gone are the days when a good salesperson should give you a "pitch," as significant information is available right on the internet.
Just as one example, if you understand that 94% of homebuyers use the internet when buying a home, then you might want to consider the real estate company's web site traffic as one small piece of "good to know" information about the real estate company. After all, if they cannot promote your home to the buyers that are looking on local real estate web sites, then why hire them?
Looking at the model on the right, we see that home buyers go through 3 distinct stages during the buying cycle. Often times, they start out on the internet as "info seekers" just discovering more about homes and home buying. At this stage, they will find the large aggregate sites that have all markets on them.
As they transition to more local information, they become "shoppers." Here, content is king, and the web sites that have great real estate content attract shoppers. They want to know more about the buying process, specific market conditions, real estate vocabulary, and homes for sale in the area.
They become "Buyers" in the final stage. They have already established an online relationship with a real estate company and they spend most of their time filtering through properties in specific neighborhoods, and reading up on market conditions. It is at this level that the home selection process is made, and it is at this level that the seller's selected real estate company can make the most profound difference in the marketing of the home.
It is this local site importance that makes understanding internet web traffic and real estate marketing on the internet so important. Fortunately, finding a company's web traffic is fairly easy due to many great tools on the internet. If you go to compete.com, you can search several companies at a time to see how they compare in generating significant web traffic.
Home Sellers Should Avoid Their Worst Mistake
I hope that prospective home sellers (EVERYWHERE) now understand how important it is that they properly select the right real estate company for them. If you want to sell your house and you don't know how to select your best company, drop us a quick note here with your name and contact information and we will help you evaluate your local real estate companies. Choosing the best can help you avoid being part of the 75% of homeowners who fail to sell their homes this year!
Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.