If you have a home to sell in the Metrowest (Central) Massachusetts area, in Rhode Island or anywhere really, you are probably reading lots of articles on the internet. You’re probably reading lots of opposing views too. Or maybe you just simply have a question and you’re off to the web and coming across a bunch of blogs written by a bunch of real estate agents and getting, again, opposing views. Well, before you take anyone of those blogs for face-value and gospel truth, I encourage you to read this blog in it’s entirety. I’m going to try to address the biggest claims made by so-called “top bloggers” and hopefully leave you with food for thought. There are other ways to do the same job. Some real estate agents are better at “managing” their sellers and convince them their way is the ONLY way and this just isn’t true and some are good at actually selling the listing instead of “managing” their seller client.
Since I started writing this blog, I’ve studied many of my competitors blogs so that I can get a “feel” for what they’re writing about, the interactions they get, comments, etc. And since I can also look into their “claimed” success in my industry, I can verify some of the big and bold statements/claims they’ve made and I will admit, I was a bit shocked at what was said vs the actual statistics. Some of the real estate agents that claim they are the best in the business and know how to deal with their sellers, have grew up in the business and have never really had to “cut their teeth” on the conventional real estate practices, some were prominent in a town for one reason or another so it was an easy transition but still didn’t have to “cut their teeth” and then some just plain worked their a$$ off and had to find the best practices, creative marketing, etc.. Our industry, although numbered in the 1000’s of real estate agents, is still a small circle because the top producers will always run into the top producers because we are the ones out there doing this full-time so we definitely have a small circle and frequently meet doing deals together.
The top producers that got to where they are at through good ole-fashioned hard-work and sacrifices (like Chris and I) had the better blogs with the more useful, non-biased information in real-time and gave sensible advise and reasoning (at least in my opinion). The ones that grew up in real estate and didn’t have to hustle business had probably the most popular blogs among other real estate agents who shared the content of the blog a lot) because their content was written in such a condescending way and spoke to all the things people associate with real estate agents (or used car-salesmen). They belittled real estate agents’ hard work and marketing. They spoke badly of open houses and basically just poo-pooed just about everything a real estate agent does. Not because these things don’t work, it’s because they were really good at “managing” their seller clients and were able to convince the seller to do what they wanted them to do instead of the other way around.
Now, people not in the industry, reading the blogs would think “ok, that makes sense she/he is calling out people in her own profession so he/she must know” and like-minded people in the industry would think “ok, makes sense, I hate doing those things too so if I can convince a seller why it’s bad, I get to do less of my job but still get paid as if I did do my whole job” so those real estate agents shared the articles the most (interesting). It’s simply a matter of perfecting your niche and if your niche is talking a seller out of the benefits of an open house, well, you’ve perfected that craft and can sell that easily. Let’s face it, practice enough at one thing and you can sell ice to an Alaskan!
All this got me to thinking and analyzing what was being said. And, although I agree with some of the stuff written, I also disagree. But the way it is presented to the general public and virtually ridiculing real estate agents is a horrible way to get out your opinion or get business. And I am a bit ashamed that these so-called “top producers” think so little of our/their profession. They use headlines like “how realtors deceive sellers”, “signs of a bad realtor”, etc. And I think I have figured out why they write these headlines. It’s because they just think doing all the things that a real estate agent should be doing is beneath them. They’ve achieved great success and no longer want to work with first time home buyers and slosh through dozens of houses and answer the never-ending stream of questions; they no longer want to do open houses, they no longer want to attend showings of their listings. They’ve gotten so big that they actually believe they are right and because they are so good at “managing their sellers”, they actually sell to their own clients the dribble so that they can get out of doing open houses and such.
Let’s take a look at some of the things these so-called “top listing agents” are saying.
OPEN HOUSES – DO THEY REALLY SELL YOUR HOUSE?
The first one and most polarizing is open houses. Do they work or not? Quite a few of the so-called “top listing agents” in my Massachusetts area absolutely HATES them. Thinks they are a waste of time, etc. and many real estate agents commented on the various blogs and agreeing. A few real estate agents tried to make arguments as to why open houses work but were knocked down and basically dismissed by the bloggers.
Here what I can tell you about open houses other than the fact that they go hand in hand when you decide to become a real estate agent. Do they sell your house? Yes and No. But could it minimize your having to constantly leave your home for private showings? Yes. Consider this, you could potentially get your home sold as a result of the open house because you are taking one day and letting people come through your house and view it. If they like it, they will contact their real estate agent to come and take a look at the house. So you would leave your house for a few hours on a Sunday. Or would you prefer to have to keep your house clean and tidy because every single day you have several showings set up? Probably not. So the value of the open house, especially in a seller’s market, is that you typically hold one open house and get multiple offers. You won’t have to live in the glass bowl of making sure beds are made, nothing on kitchen counters, etc., before you leave for work in case someone wants to show your house. So you see, open houses are a good thing for you as a seller. So why would a top listing agent tell you, they are a waste of time? It’s simple. They don’t want to do their job. They feel open houses are a waste of their time on a Sunday afternoon so they package up their explanation nicely to convince you that open houses are bad and the next thing you know, your days and nights are spent away from your home because there are multiple showings over several days scheduled. Don’t let a real estate agent dissuade you from doing an open house. It’s their job! In the immortal words of Coach Belichick “#DOYOURJOB“.
The first question is: What is it? It’s when you hire a real estate to represent you to sell your home (seller’s agent). That sellers’ agent puts a sign in your yard with their name and phone number. A buyer drives by and likes the house so they call the name and phone number on the sign (your seller’s agent). So your real estate agent speaks with this buyer and asks if they are working with a real estate agent and the buyer says no. Your (sellers agent) agrees to show that buyer your home. That buyer decides to write an offer on your home with your agent. So your agent now works for both of you. This perfectly legal provided that real estate agent has each party sign a disclosure for consent to dual agency, notifying each person that this is occurring. In fact, as a seller, when you sign your exclusive listing agreement, there is likely a clause that allows you to choose whether or not you will allow dual agency. In the above scenario, your real estate agent now becomes what they call a facilitator. She/He can no longer advise you or the buyer but simply act as a mediator and each of you must now make your own decisions and relay them to the real estate agent involved. Every brokerage, no matter how small or big, has a broker/manager. During negotiation proceedings of price or home inspection issues, the broker/manager can step in and speak with either buyer or the seller to aid and counsel during the negotiations and relay the final decisions to the facilitating real estate agent. The real estate agent can NOT disclose any confidential information to either party, unless it’s a disclosure required by law or was given written permission to disclose the confidential information.
Dual agency CAN and does work successfully but the success depends on your real estate agent executing dual agency correctly. If you are a control freak like me, then being involved in both sides of the transaction is beneficial because I already know the pitfalls of selling and buying so dual agency allows me to be proactive on all facets of the transaction so that the end goal of getting to the closing happens on time. This is paramount to a seller because oftentimes they are buying a new house once they sell so there will be multiple transactions attached to the sale of their primary residence.
In Massachusetts, a real estate is required to deal with members of the public fairly and honestly. I’d like to think this is the norm, but, as in every profession, there are good and bad.
Dual Agency in Real Estate
(OVER) PRICING A LISTING TO GET THE LISTING
This one is fairly simple. There are some agents that will “buy” your listing by giving you an inflated price that they will list your home at. Most home sellers have started market watching, going to open houses, seeing what similar homes are selling for. So if you get a real estate agent that comes in and gives a higher price than what you were thinking, chances are they are buying your listing. When I say “buying your listing”, I simply mean, they know that if they tell you you can get a lot more for your house, they know you will list with them because who wouldn’t want more money for their house? What they aren’t telling you is how they are going to get that insane price for you and the truth is, they can’t and won’t. They just want the listing and they will “work” you for price reductions, etc. They know they have you in a contract, they know you want to sell, so they know you will drop the price. Every home will sell once it hits the price range it should be and don’t think for a moment that a buyer will not know you are overpriced. Most home buyers can price a house much better than a real estate agent because they are out there looking at every single house coming on. They know what they should be getting for a $400,000 house vs. a $300,000 house.
Bottom line is, make sure the real estate agent shows you which homes that sold in your price range and make sure they are similar to yours. If you have a cape style home, the real estate agent shouldn’t be showing you colonial style homes that sold. It’s that easy. Don’t be fooled by potential listing price. It’s all monopoly money until you get an offer, then it’s real money.
REAL ESTATE AGENT ATTEND EVERY SHOWING OR INSPECTION
Most real estate agents have things they love about the job and things they hate about the job (no different than any other job). And this subject, for real estate agents, is extremely subjective and everyone has an opinion.
There are some real estate agents who think that if they accompany every showing on their listing, they are doing their job. When in fact, they are a hindrance. I’ve written about this subject in this blog already but, in summary, having the sellers real estate agent at every showing doesn’t help sell the house at all. It is merely that real estate agents justification of their commission and that’s about it.
Some real estate agents attend the home inspection and some don’t. Each real estate agent has an opinion on this subject. You will have some agents tell you they don’t attend home inspections because it’s now a disclosure of home inspection findings. Should a buyer decide to “walk away” from the transaction because of the inspection, when the home goes back on market you now need to disclose the known defects. Disclosure is extremely important because the law is clear that had a buyer known about a particular defect, they would NOT have submitted an offer so the rule of thumb is to DISCLOSE AND DISCLOSE everything. It’s not worth a possible lawsuit.
Some realtors will attend home inspections so they can hear what the inspector is saying about the house and relay this information to the seller. This is could be helpful because a buyer will present a list of items that they want seller to repair and in some cases it was helpful that the sellers’ agent was present. There are several items that will come up in virtually every home inspection and that is the roof and heating system and this is because these are potential big expenses and these items do have expiration dates so if these items are approaching the end of their useful life (regardless if they are still working), you can expect these items to be on the home inspection list. And whether or not your real estate was present at inspection will not prevent a buyer from asking for the repair/replacement or a credit for the items.
So as you can see, there are fine lines in all things and real estate is riddled with these fine lines and loop holes. In Massachusetts, [under M.G.L. Chapter 93a] says that brokers need to disclose anything that would influence a buyer’s decision on whether or not to purchase the property,’’ And because of that, it’s difficult to know what a buyer considers deciding factors for them, so the general rule of thumb for real estate agents is DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE everything and this is a great rule to live by.
So whether or not your real estate agent attends the home inspection or not, doesn’t indicate that that real estate agent is not a good agent. It’s likely because they’ve interpreted the law of disclosure one way. This is not a right or wrong way as some bloggers would have you believe. In fact, I’ve been at home inspections representing buyers with some of these bloggers who claim they attend all inspections and found this statement to be partially true. They showed up for the first 15 minutes of inspections (usually after the roof inspection) and then left. So they too have their standards of what they consider “attendance of home inspections”.
THEY HAVE ANOTHER JOB
One of the biggest disservices a real estate agent can do to their seller client (or even buyer client) is they have another full-time job. Real estate is a full time, 7-day a week job. No one can do 2 full time jobs efficiently. I see so many real estate agents get their license in a sellers market thinking they will just pluck business from the air. They always have a full time job that they need to be at and think they will be able to do real estate on weekends. Many new licensees think this job is just a weekend job showing homes and they couldn’t be more wrong and find that out soon enough and usually quit real estate after a few months. There are just too much to do and too many details with selling or buying a home. If you are interviewing real estate agents make sure you ask if they have another job and don’t fall for their explanation saying their job doesn’t interfere with their real estate job because it absolutely 100% does. If they do, move on to the next real estate agent that does real estate only.
So, I know this was a long one and I do apologize – clearly I have a lot to say 🙂 I hope you found it useful and I am definitely interested in seeing comments from sellers AND buyers and how they feel on the subjects. I just think if you chose the profession of Real Estate Agent, you should be doing all your expected to do and if that means doing an open house and attending showings and inspections, then that it what you’re being paid for. I have also found that some agents have definitely gotten the whole spiel down pat to convince sellers to do what the agent wants them to do strictly because they’re lazy or feel a certain part of the job is beneath them and that is a shame because it’s my profession and I don’t feel like we need to bash each other to make oneself look better than the competition. Each real estate agent has their strengths and weaknesses and that is why the partnership we have formed with Key To The Dream is perfect because we have recognized this missing link and joined forces to become the perfect un-real estate agents!
The Key to the Dream Realty Group is devoted to making your transaction as smooth as possible. If you are buying or selling in Bellingham, Franklin, Medway, Wrentham, Norfolk, Walpole, Blackstone, Millville, Mendon, Hopkinton, Holliston, Hopedale, Norton, Plainville, Walpole, Foxboro, Easton, Sharon, Mansfield, Foxboro, Milford, Cumberland, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Burrillville, or Lincoln contact us today at 508 254 8093 or start searching for homes now by visiting here.
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