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.
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.
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.
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.