Selecting an Agent to List Your Home

Selecting An Agent To List Your Home

This is about as slippery of a slope of a topic that we can take on, for to provide accurate information and suggestions. We will invariably step on the toes of some that make a living as so called “listing agents.” So, here it goes! And, hey wish us luck as you will not see the following in print anywhere else.

One of the hardest parts of being a Realtor can be working with other Realtors. Of Course, that is not inclusive of all Realtors mind you, as there are many true professionals out there that are a delight to work with. However, there are Realtors in all markets that list homes that are not up to par with others in the area. (FYI, this could be said of any profession, right?)

There, we are going to do our best to provide you with some general tips on how to select the best Realtor in your area to list your homes. And to be fair, our Team at Carolina Plantations are best known as Buyers Agents. That means we work primarily with people researching coastal North Carolina as a destination to retire to, and/or, secure a second home. And you will see this places us in a unique market position where we must work with Listing Agents on a very frequent basis.

Here are some traits that you should consider researching before selecting someone to represent your home in the market:

Answering Their Phones

Think about it. A local agent wants to show your home tomorrow at 4:00 pm, but they cannot reach your Listing Agent. Or wait, a local agent is sitting with their clients who love your home and they have pertinent questions about your home, but your listing agent doesn’t answer.

Selecting An Agent To List Your Home

Another scenario is a local agent has an offer on your home but absolutely cannon reach you Listing Agent because he/she doesn’t like to be bothered after 6:00 pm on weeknights or on weekends. You cannot in your wildest dreams begin to know how hard it can be to connect with some Listing Agents. Good, worthy Listing Agents should answer their phone 24/7, as the caller could be requesting a showing or bringing an offer to their Seller.

Historical Knowledge of Your Community

In our area of the world, the majority of folks live in either a subdivision or a plantation. Most of these have been around for up to 30 hours, but there can often be significant good/bad information on them. A Listing Agent must have all the answers when a Buyers Agent asks important questions as it pertains to your community. If your Listing Agent has no prior knowledge of issues, how can they represent you and your interests? Please keep in mind that the historical subjects could involve the developer/s, builder/s, POA/HOA, zoning, on-site selling team, broken promises, financial reports and more.

Negotiation Skills

In North Carolina, a person wanting to become a Realtor will spend over 100 hours in a classroom learning about real estate prior to possibility securing a NC real estate license. Exactly ZERO of those hours will be spent discussing negotiating. And, what is one of the most important skills a Listing Agent should possess if you are going to consider hiring them? Negotiating Skills.

Prior to becoming a Realtor, you could have been the best advertising manager, hairdresser, photographer, salesman, waiter/waitress, teacher, etc., but if negotiating important contracts was not part of your job description, why do you think that just because you have a real estate license with no training that you are qualified to negotiate on your Sellers (or Buyers) behalf?

Seasoned real estate veterans who rank in the top tier locally and who’ve represented both Sellers and Buyers on many transactions typically make the best negotiators. And when we say seasoned, we have Brokers working for our team that are in their late 20s and 30s that are as seasoned if not more so than older people who’ve been selling real estate (part time) for 30 years, so seasoned does not necessarily equate to “old”!!

Part-Time or Full-Time Realtor

Sally is a friend of Gloria, whom she goes to church with most every Sunday. Sally sold Gloria her home 21 years ago and insists that Gloria use her to list her home as Gloria has decided to move closer to her brother in Georgia. Problem is, Sally lists about 6-8 homes a year and sells some real estate here and there so as to not be bored in her retirement years. Randy on the other hand, is a full-time Realtor who works 7 days a week, sends out tons of email blasts about his listings. He was involved in 62 sales last year and is well connected with other local Realtors. Randy has a great website to capture buyers and answers his phone 96.4% of the time. Therefore, if you hire a part-time Realtor, you should expect part-time results, right? Real estate and medicine are two examples of 24/7 professions and if you are not answering your beeper, cell phone or text messages – you may want to consider changing occupations.

Familiarity with Local Realtors

If you live in Pleasantville and hire a Listing Agent that lives in Congestedville, the next town over, what are the chances that your Listing Agent knows the majority of Buyers Agents in Pleasantville? Slim to none, right? No matter what business you are in, the more we know those in our immediate circles, the better chances we have at accomplishing our goals. When Realtors work with colleagues they have done work with in the past, this can be advantageous to both parties.

Moral of the story is to use caution on hiring a Listing Agent that might not be familiar with the Brokers that would more than likely be bringing you an offer. One action a good Listing Agent should always do is holding a Broker Open House. Invitations are sent out to all local Realtors and the Listing Agent provides a meal or treats in exchange for the visiting Brokers filling out a feedback sheet. This feedback is presented to the Seller so that they can get a better understanding of the market. The other benefit is that the Brokers who’ve visited the home are armed with this home as a viable option to sell their clients.

Selecting An Agent To List Your Home

In summary, don’t select a Listing Agent solely based upon the face that they have a nice smile, sent you a postcard or have a billboard up on a local road. You home is an important part of you and finding the Realtor to represent you deserves thorough research. We at Carolina Plantations would love to help your family find your forever home here on the coast of North Carolina.

The Listing Agent

For the most part, either you specialize in listing homes or selling homes. The majority of Realtors do both but, sooner or later each finds their niche. Today I want to explore some myths and realities about “The Listing Agent,” and since I never practiced real estate anywhere else, my observations should not be projected outside of SE NC.

Getting listings can be easy or as tough as you want to make it. A fair number of Realtors simply log onto their local MLS on a daily or regular basis and research the list of properties that expired that day. They either send letters or call these Sellers and ask for their business. Now, do these potential listing agents have excellent knowledge of the property that they are canvassing? Probably not but of course there are a handful that do. Therefore, the danger in responding to solicitors wanting to list your property are that they may have little to no knowledge of your community and property. They simply want you to list with them because this is what they know.

If you spend your time chasing listings, you probably don’t have a source to secure Buyers. There’s nothing wrong with filling out paperwork all day long and uploading listings on MLS, but that means you are not in the field working with Buyers – the people that Buy your listings. Our market in Brunswick County is unique because the majority of the 20+ Plantations here don’t permit signs on the properties, so possible Buyers typically have to secure a Buyer’s agent to help them find the real estate that matches their requirements, vs calling someone with a sign in the front yard.

Anyone can list real estate. Other than 60 minutes of paperwork, it takes no talent whatsoever so therefore, one must ask themselves what intrinsic value does each potential Listing Agent bring to the table? Are they Master Negotiators? Do they advertize in the local paper or in other states? Are they skilled in working with a camera? Do they possess a historical perspective of your community sales? Do they hold community and or Broker Open Houses? Have they sold a bunch of real estate in and or around your community? Are they the only ones that would negotiate the Realtor Fee?

What you are looking for is someone who can bring in Buyers, right? If you said yes to this non trick question, than be sure to ask your potential Listing Agent where they get Buyers. If they simply rely upon other Brokers to do so, which a large percentage does – than NEXT! And as a Buyer’s Agent, one of the comments I loathe from Listing Agents is “hey Doug, are you going to sell my listing today?” Seriously, that is your strategy?

Last year Carolina Plantations sold more real estate in Brunswick Plantation, Rivers Edge, SeaScape, Brunswick Forest and several other communities because we work with a lot of Buyers. Where does your Buyer live? Well, if you live here in Brunswick County, your Buyers are in NJ, MD, VA, PA, MA, NY and so on. So ask your potential Listing Agent this question – “what advertising do you do in those aforementioned states”? Ever see a Possum in the headlights?

In defense of Listing Agents, probably 90% of Realtors representing Buyers do not provide feedback after a showing, and the reason is very simple: They are chasing a sale and have no time to do anything but find their clients what they are looking for. This is very frustrating for Sellers and we in the industry acknowledge this but we do have to prioritize and maximize our time. What Sellers can take to the bank is that if your property is at the top of the list, the Buyer’s agent will usually contact the Listing Agent with questions.

Many good Listing Agents work off of referrals – which mean they earned someone’s respect enough to have their name passed along. Do your research and see what kind of marketing your potential Listing Agent does in the states/regions/towns where your Buyers live. In Brunswick County, advertising in local papers is almost solely for the enjoyment of the Sellers as residents here don’t move across town or across the county (an exception could be beach homes). However, in other markets that have cross town transactions, local papers are important.

We are not a traditional market here in Brunswick County and for what it is worth, is the #1 most viewed website for nearly every single Plantation in Brunswick County. Just Google a handful of Plantations here and we are either #1 or #2 in the search results. That is how we make sure that we are in every living room, office and kitchen in the world. And oh, we also are the only real estate firm in North Carolina that sends out an informative monthly email to over 28,000 email addresses – which you already knew because, well, you are reading Carolina Dreamin’ right now!! 🙂

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