You’re at home and you hear a knock on the door. When you answer it, an unfamiliar face is standing on the other side. The stranger introduces himself or herself as a Realtor® specializing in the local market, and he or she wants to know if you’ve contemplated selling your home.
The “door knocker” can come in many other forms: you might get a phone call, an email, or a letter in the mail. Regardless of how he or she contacts you, the goal is the same: he or she wants to list your home for sale.
In a seller’s market like we’re currently experiencing, competition for listings is fierce. Inventory is low, multiple bidding scenarios are commonplace, and listings are where all the action is.
You can’t blame a Realtor® for trying to secure your home as a listing – after all, that’s a real estate agent’s job! The person at your door could very well be a qualified, experienced agent who may be your key to a successful property sale. On the other hand, the agent at your door might also be inexperienced, have a weak understanding of the market, or be working on behalf of a buyer who takes first priority.
How can a homeowner weed out the good from the bad? Here’s what you can do to separate the good opportunities from the bad ones.
As a prospective seller, you are allowed to shop around before deciding on a Realtor® to represent you in the sale of your property. Don’t just go with the first agent that approaches you. Instead, do your homework and take the time to talk with a few different Realtors®. Get their opinion on the real estate market and on the value of your home, and take the time to discuss how they will help you get top dollar for your property. Once you’ve listened to a few different perspectives, you will have a good idea of who is best suited to help you sell your home.
Traditionally, many real estate agents base the value of a property (and thus the listing price and acceptable sale price) on comparable sales of similar properties nearby. While this works in a steady market, it’s not quite as effective in a market where prices are on the rise – which is exactly what we’re experiencing right now.
Although historical sales do form part of the picture, determining a listing and sale price requires a deep understanding of the current state of the market, future trends, and the unique attributes of a property. The best Realtor® will consider all of these factors, helping you get the most out of your property sale.
Question the Double Ender
When a real estate agent is “double ending”, it means that he or she is representing both the buyer AND the seller in a property sale transaction. This practice is legal and not uncommon, but the client should be aware of potential conflicts of interest that may occur.
For example, let’s say that you have listed your property with Agent A. Six offers are on the table – one of which is presented by Agent A on behalf of one of his or her other clients. Can Agent A really be impartial in advising you on which offer to accept?
Real estate agents can and do “double end” ethically – but not always. If you have any concerns, take the time to voice them. A professional, responsible Realtor® will be happy to discuss the matter with you openly and honestly.