Don't Hire This Type Of Agent To Market A Home For Sale

We have been writing about the change in the way that we market a home for sale since 2007, specifically with the increased use of the internet by homebuyers.

Often times, customers ask about how this will really impact them, since they have to prepare their homes before entering the market for sale.

They share stories of what their previous agent told them, and there is an interesting pattern emerging that prospective home sellers should understand before choosing an agent to market a home for sale.

Simply put, when the strength of an agent's marketing plan is based upon the following logic, you really need to consider interviewing other agents.

An Argument That Works Against You

Recently, we asked a home seller why they chose their previous agent when they first decided to list their home for sale. Their home had recently expired in the Tallahassee MLS, which means their home had failed to sell during the contracted listing period.

They explained that the agent had impressed them with his high percentage of listings that he personally had sold. He explained that "nobody in the market sells a higher percentage of their own listings than does he and his company."

Now that might sound impressive (and it certainly was in the 1980s), this is in fact the very reason why the home seller should have continued searching for a better solution. Here's why:

Internet Marketing Has Changed Real Estate

It's no secret that the internet has changed the way that we market a home for sale. But not many people understand its true impact.

For the uninitiated, one might believe that the internet is simply "another" place to advertise a home for sale. But that is an incredible under-statement of its impact.

Back in the day (before computers, before the internet), most homes were marketed through the network of the real estate agent and the real estate company. Each company sold a healthy percentage of its own listings, as it had a difficult time marketing the property to the thousands of buyers' agents in the local real estate market. But oh how times have changed.

We know that the best way to get top dollar for your home is to expose it to ALL the buyers in the market. The more buyers that want your home, the better chance you have to bid it up to its highest market value.

Internet Home Sales And Marketing

In the real estate graph above, we see the percentage of listings that are sold by the listing company (blue line) as well as the percentage of those sold by the listing agent. Both have fallen significantly over the past ten years. Do you want to know why?

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Marketing Reach

The reason is due to the reach of a well-orchestrated internet marketing plan when selling a home.

If a listing agent and her real estate company dominates the internet for your local market, they will attract the ready buyers who are actively shopping online. These ready buyers are already working with real estate agents at every company, so the likelihood of a well marketed home being sold by the listing agent (or his company) is greatly reduced. Think about it.

There are more than 1,000 real estate agents in Tallahassee that work with buyers, so the odds of them working with the listing agent or company is fairly small. If the property is hitting on all marketing channels, it would make more sense that a ready-buyer, working with another agent, will find it before one of the few working with the listing agent, right?

Unless the listing agent does not have great marketing reach.

Secret Agent

A lot of real estate agents do not have a local internet marketing plan. They just "put it out there" and hope the word spreads. In fact, there are many listing agents and companies that do such a poor job marketing a home on the internet that they had better sell their own listings, because so few buyers even know the listing exists.

These secret agents, unbeknownst to themselves or their clients, actually hide the home from the bulk of the buyers who are poised and ready to make a purchase decision. When you hire a listing agent who does not possess a powerful internet marketing plan, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage to those that do.

So the next time you interview an agent for the job of selling your home, and the agent "brags" about selling a high percentage of the agent's own listings, you should understand that this means the agent has poor reach and will likely not be able to get your home sold, or will bring in a lower offer than would an agent who can expose your property to ALL the buyers in the market.

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