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Battle of the agents

Posted by weedyacres (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 29, 12 at 15:50

I'm not satisfied with how things went the last 2 times I sold a house, and attribute it to my not taking enough time to pick the right realtor, so swung the pendulum the other way to OD on the screening this time and try to develop a better understanding of what makes a good agent.

I'm including a lot of detail below for those who may be treading the same path in the future, but I do want some input from all of you as well, to help us make our final decision.

I picked 10 to interview (yikes!) as follows:
1 contacted me from our FSBO listing
2 are recommendations from friends
1 is the agent we used to buy
3 are Dave Ramsey ELPs
1 is the only area discount broker (5%)
2 are super high performers

I called each and asked if they wanted to view and then return to present numbers and marketing plan or do it in one visit. 3 picked the one-visit option, but none of them would commit to a price during that visit and said they needed to come back.

Feedback was 100% positive on the inside, exceeding everyone's expectations, which were based on previous sales price and/or knowledge of home when it was listed before. They showed varying degrees of scrutiny vs. "enjoying the house" (I was more impressed with the former, because we want critical feedback.) Near unanimous feedback that the front doesn't scream high end, but only half came up with concrete, usable suggestions.

We eliminated 6 of the 10 agents we interviewed for one or more of the following reasons.
--Didn't have a specific marketing plan for our house, just the generic MLS listing + fluff.
--Way too heavy on the sales pitch/too little listening & too much talking/couldn't answer my concerns well.
--Couldn't explain the rationale behind their pricing recommendation, or were hard to pin down on what their recommendation was.
--Any random red flags, like fudging numbers to exaggerate their volume, or where their answer seemed contrary to accepted wisdom in the industry ("it's critical to advertise in the grocery store magazine!").
--Unimpressive listings, whether poorly edited photos, typos in the listing description, failure to pay for enhanced listings on realtor.com (2 said they were a "has-been" web site).

Here's a summary of the pros/cons & stats of the 4 finalists. Your opinions would be most appreciated.

Team H: Husband/wife team that have focused their strategy on picking off expired listings and FSBO, getting the sellers to do what's needed, pricing them right, and negotiating them well.
-Very solid presentation, the best at walking us through the details of how they'd bring it to market, market it to the agents most likely to have buyers, negotiating strategy, etc.
-Good grasp of the numbers, and transparent about info: ran live MLS reports while we were there, slicing by whatever we requested. Could envision a good collaboration with them over pricing, showing, market stats.
-#30 in # sold, #46 in $$ sold YTD.
-Avg DOM 109, 96% list:sales average
-6 current listings. Focus on the listing side, only take buyers if they've worked directly with them before.
-Not much experience with high-end (they focus on mid-range), potentially balanced with the attention they'd shower on it because it was their diamond listing.
-Photos/visual tours not knock-out, but could compensate with our excellent photos.

Agent S: Focuses on higher end buyers.
-9 years experience
-#22 in # sold, #10 in $ sold
-Solid presentation: clear, rational methodology behind pricing (similar to mine)
-Listened to concerns intently, clarified, responded
-Lots of experience with higher end buyers
-7 current listings, does 70/30 buyers/sellers
-Will hire pro photographer (has him picked out) to show our outside in the best light
-Had the most thorough critique, even came up with a couple minor things on the inside

Agent M: High performer
-#2 in sales in area
-Very businesslike and direct, not sales-y, felt on the same wavelength. Presentation/interview done in 1 hour without feeling rushed or truncated.
-Marketing background provides weekly stats on how internet listings were viewed, tweak photos or descriptions accordingly
-Team, but all seller contact with her.
-60-70% buyers, does lots of relocation, said 30% of sales are duals.
-Best answer to dual agency: hands buyer off to member of team so more arms-length.

Team C: Highest performer
-#1 in sales in the area, 9 years in the biz
-Mega type-A, competitive personalities. They took my simple questions and turned them into longer-than-needed answers, both talking over each other at times. That was annoying.
-Very hands-on, do their own open houses, stock their own fliers, call showing agents after each showing personally instead of relying on email.
-"Try everything for everyone" marketing approach: open houses, agent tours, print, internet. Don't know what works, so they just do everything, to exhaust all possibilities.
If it weren't for their sales history, their aggressiveness would probably take them out of the top 4. It still might, but they're still in for now.

So all of them except Team C I felt very comfortable with, and confident that we could work together collaboratively to sell our house (Team C could probably sell it too, I'm just not sure I'd enjoy working with them, and not sure how collaborative the process would be). I'm going to check references on all of them.

What think you about the differences? Do we want the hungry ones who are itching to prove themselves on a higher-end property? The high performer who may not have as much time for us? The doctor-schmoozer, who really knows what the market wants? All input is welcome.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Battle of the agents

I would pick either S or M, with M edging ahead because of sales record.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Agent M stands out to me for one big reason: RELOCATION. This is a very good market segment for high-end homes.

Buyers are typically on a short time-budget and have to make a decision quickly ... no hanging back and seeing if the price will go down, or making an offer and getting cold feet later.

Their companies are most likely giving them some financial support, including closing costs, for the move, so they aren't going to nickel-and-dime you to death. For the same reason, they probably won't have a contingency clause in the contract.

YOU WANT THESE BUYERS!!!


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RE: Battle of the agents

Weedy,
take this in a good way... You are going to be a high maintenance seller in the eyes of an agent. Therefore, I would knock out C and M. Believe me, they won't have time to make you feel like you are being serviced like you want to be. This is not abad thing, but it will make your transaction feel miserable every step of the way. Not good, considering it could be a long haul.
That leaves H and S. Out of those two, use the three question guide I refer to and choose the correct one that makes you feel good.
I know which one I think you should choose.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Based upon the information given...I would probably choose S or M. Truthfully, I don't think marketing plans or expanded listings on realtor.com mean a whole lot. I do think it is important get on MLS, have a good professional listing with good description and photos. I think that having an agent who does a lot of relocations can be helpful...we sold one house on day 1 where the selling agent also represented a corporate buyer coming in for a day to look at houses.

You didn't mention what they said about wanting to price. In my experience, agents tend to want to list properties higher than what is really likely to result in a reasonably timed sale. I've gotten a lot of mileage the last couple of times asking an agent, after receiving initial pricing "If I told you that I really wanted to have a contract within 3 months what would you tell me to list at?" The answer and the reasoning is often illuminating.

I've worked with "team" agents and they can be very, very good. They are sometimes spread thin and you may not see much of them once they get the listing. That isn't necessarily bad since they often have good people working on the team. But, you need to be aware of it.


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RE: Battle of the agents

What exactly were you dissatisfied with the last couple of times you sold a house?

I presume you addressed each and every one of those concerns with all of the agents you interviewed by asking them "what would you do if . . ." and/or "what is your procedure for . . ."

Which agent/team answered those questions to your satisfaction? Pick that one.

I'd actually be very reluctant to be your real estate agent. You seem to have so little respect for the profession; I have a hard time imagining you being happy with any agent or even acknowledging their efforts should you get an offer under their banner.

Your house is on realtor.com - all those potential buyers, even transferees can see it and they are already doing with it what they will. I doubt an enhanced listing is going bring droves of buyers to the door. I'm not a real estate professional, but I happen to think realtor.com is a "has been" website for searching for houses in my area. It's the last search engine I would use if I were looking.

I don't know what the average market time is for homes in your area, but if it were me and my house was on the market from May to October without an offer, I'd be distancing myself from all the hard work I did to prepare the house for sale and I'd be listening very carefully to the realtors when they told me exactly what they thought my house would sell for. Then, I would take their advice and price it accordingly.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Agree about realtor.com being a "has been" in many areas. Where available, redfin.com is a much better site.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Kat wrote:

"You didn't mention what they said about wanting to price. In my experience, agents tend to want to list properties higher than what is really likely to result in a reasonably timed sale. I've gotten a lot of mileage the last couple of times asking an agent, after receiving initial pricing "If I told you that I really wanted to have a contract within 3 months what would you tell me to list at?" The answer and the reasoning is often illuminating."

True, you did not mention anything about what any of them said regarding pricing.

One of the choices above has a history of doing what, IMO, would be perfect for the type of seller you are. No one has mentioned it yet.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Thanks for the input thus far. NC: very astute observation, and it actually answers my question from another post about whether lots of listings is a positive or a negative. You're saying, in essence, that it's a negative in my case. The answer to all 3 of your questions is yes for all 3 of the finalists (not Team C).

Mama: my dissatisfaction from previous experiences was that it didn't seem like the agents did much besides put us in the MLS. Complaints include: lots of open houses, but never much feedback, and no good answer to "should we change X?"; poor pricing advice; chronic failure to keep flyer box stocked (we had relocated so couldn't DIY); offer-passer, not advising us well when they did come in despite our questions.

My admitted cynicism (low respect?) for the industry stems from the fact that from my outside observation, the only thing agents CAN do is help you price correctly, help you stage well, and put you in the MLS. (I understand that they birddog the paperwork process, but this can be done by an attorney or office person, as it often is with "teams" for much less cost.) Since I can do the first two sufficiently on my own, 6% seems an awfully high price to pay for access to a database. Flat fee MLS isn't available in my area, so we ended up going FSBO with a remote MLS getting us into realtor.com and me personally listing on zillow. Redfin isn't available in our area, and zillow and trulia are actually pretty recent additions.

The question I've been trying to dig into, is what an agent can do besides the big 3 above, to sell my home better/faster/for more. If they can, I'm willing to pay for it. I've posted before and not gotten very satisfactory answers, other than a couple anecdotes about people that had realtors who "worked it" and sold it fast/well. I had 2 pages of interview questions, using roselover's list as a base, adding some about our house, and finishing up with some situational ones "tell me about a time when...." to see how they approach different situations and problems.

All these interviews have actually been very enlightening, and I've got a good understanding of what good agents CAN do to make things happen. They fall in the categories of positioning it, marketing it--primarily to agents--and negotiating it. Here's an example that impressed me, from Team H above:

-List the property on a Monday
-Price at an even number (not ending with a 9) so that it catches people for whom the price is both at the top and the bottom of their range
-Present to office on Tuesday with agent tour
-contact all agents with auto email lookers in my price range to let them know of the property and giving their buyers a chance to see it before the open house the upcoming weekend. Attempt to create sense of excitement/urgency to get in before the general public does, for potential quick offer(s)
-contact all agents who do relocation with the same message
-when an offer comes in, contact all the agents that have shown it, let them know there's an offer on the table, try to get another buyer off the fence with an offer
-work the issues and concerns, pitch in commission when it'll close the gap

They did a very good job of walking us through things they'd do that quite honestly we can't, because we don't have the info on who's who with relocation and high-end buyers. We actually left that meeting (and those with the other finalists) feeling optimistic about the potential of selling our house.

I had hoped that realtor.com would capture the eyes of relocators, but that's not been the case. My theories of why not: they're fully relying on their local agent to send them listings, and the agents are just pulling from the MLS. Or they're asking their agent about the listing, and the agent is steering them away (don't want to work with FSBO? Can't find it in the local MLS so assume it's an error?)

On the question of price, they all came in close to us. Most common advice was price it at 525 or 520, expect it to sell somewhere north of 500. Two recommended pricing it at 499. I dug into asking them how they arrived at the number, to ascertain whether they just stuck near our listing price to avoid offending us, or if they had a good rationale for it. I was impressed by those who didn't just look at a few comps and throw out a gut feel, as that's evidence that they'll advise me well through the process as we see more stuff sell and come on the market.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Which 2 recommended the 499? That is interested to me is that is the listing price that actually resulted in our house selling. We had been listed over 500k and experienced agents generally told me that they thought that 535 or so was a good number. I then asked what to price at to sell within 3 months and both said list at 499 as that brings in a different and much larger pool of buyers (around here over 500k is high end). I did that and we had a contract in 2 days. My experience has been that agents as a group tend to tell people to list high. I don't know if they really believe it or if they think it is what people want to hear. So, I tend to see those who suggest a lower price as usually being more realistic. Yes, I realize that may not always be the case but I would start from that standpoint and so would be most interested in the agents who told you 499. It wouldn't be dispositive but would be a major factor I would look at.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Weedy,
You are getting warm, IMO. Those things listed by team H are super... I especially like the fact that as soon as they receive an offer they go go back and send emails to all other previous lookers to entice them to come play ball. Even better, is to send this email out as soon as they hear from the other agent that a buyer is serious. Don't wait for the offer. That way you don't scare the potential buyers off by waiting until there is another offer on the table. This tactic does not always work, but it has worked for me a few times.
Team H also has something else going for them that still no one has pointed out that I think will make your transaction with them smoother than the others...
They deal almost exclusively with ex FSBOs and EXPIREDS!!!. Just like you are. They know the creature's expectations! They know how to please the people that are the hardest to please! And their entire business model is based around this fact. They must know how to listen to these people's concerns and know how to address them. That alone is worth much more than a ton of "fluff". I know it is hard to imagine.
Anyhow, that is what really caught my eye when I read your post. Again, I do not mean anything derogatory by meaning that FSBOs are hard to please. Most of the time, FSBOs are just DIYers like myself, who have realized that sometimes it is more cost effective to hire a professional. I do wish you luck no matter who you decide on.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Kats: The 2 agents that suggested 499 were Agent M and one that was near the bottom of our list (dithered a lot, hard to actually pin down). Your market sounds like ours: I don't think moving the price around between 520 or 510 or 530 will make a big difference. But dropping it to 500 would bump into more buyers' look range. Still not sure exactly how much bigger that range is, but it's got to be bigger than where we are. Right now there is only 1 other home listed between 500-550 in our zip code, so I want to keep it there. Plus it'll give a more controlled experiment in moving from FSBO: if we get in the MLS AND change the price and it sells, who knows which one caused it to happen (we could do a price drop on our own, and avoid a commission).

NC: Interesting point, and true in many ways, but I think I'd connect the dots a bit differently. I expect value from any purchase of goods or services I make, and believe that anyone charging money should serve their customers well (I operate under this philosophy in my own business, btw). Serve me well and I'll praise you (and others) to no end. Serve me poorly and I'll call you out on it. So someone wanting $30K to sell my house better convince me up front that they'll provide me good value. Based on past experience I hadn't experienced good value, so decided to DIY (FSBO). That hasn't succeeded, so I'm going to do all my homework before signing on the dotted line. And I'll stay involved to make sure that they're serving me well. If they do, I can see myself doing less hovering and trust that they're doing their thing and keeping me in the loop. That's how I am with employees.

Agent M and Agent S both included a page of references in their presentation material. Team H did not; I emailed them yesterday morning telling them they were finalists and requesting a list, including something high-end, something that took a long time to sell, and something that had problems getting to closing. I didn't hear back from them, so was about to ding them for non-responsiveness. This morning I had an email waiting for me saying they called all 20 of their YTD sales to get their permission, and included the entire list, with the 15 highlighted. That's the kind of transparency they've demonstrated throughout this process.


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RE: Battle of the agents

I wouldn't be so worried if they do not have any higher end clients to refer you to. There is not much difference in marketing a $100,000 property than there is marketing a $500,000 property. There may be a difference if marketing a niche property... like a large ranch, a large horse farm, or an airpark home. But then again, even those buyers will be looking online and in the MLS.


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RE: Battle of the agents

I like S because of the pro photographer. Possibly another realtor also had ideas for better exterior photos as well.

Different photos of the exterior will help a lot. You want to get people to view the inside. You must entice them with a nice exterior photo before they even take time to read the MLS listing.


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RE: Battle of the agents

So someone wanting $30K to sell my house better convince me up front that they'll provide me good value. Based on past experience I hadn't experienced good value, so decided to DIY (FSBO).

You think that the value isn't there in part because you base value on things like how they market the house, find buyers, etc. And you are right. None of what most agents do is worth $30k.

But I see value differently. I see it as basically the cost to get on MLS and have someone else handle the hassle factor and paperwork. And, getting on MLS is really, really valuable. Sure it would have been nice for you to find a flat fee broker that would do that for you since you don't mind the hassle factor and paperwork, but you didn't have that option.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Team H is sounding pretty good! They are responsive and have a plan, and an excellent track record. Call the references and you will have your answer hopefully.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Well, we called references on Team H and Agent S. We crossed off the hypercompetitive Team C (and one of the references told Mr. Weedy they were hard to deal with) and Agent M (may be too busy for us "high-maintenance" sellers and hasn't yet emailed me some data I asked her for Monday morning).

They both reinforced our impressions of them from their presentations.

Team H's references outlined execution of the same strategy that they proposed to us, with varying outcomes as to DOM, final price, and difficulty in coming to close. All of them said Team H works tenaciously to get things done, and they pitch in to do what it takes, but are easy to deal with in the process.

Agent S was praised for being professional, well-connected, honest/straightforward, and rational in negotiations. Two were people who had been through multiple realtors over several years and he sold them within a month or two. One reference that particularly resonated with me was a guy who self-described as high maintenance, by my same definition: expecting a high level of service. He said he was pleasantly surprised and not once felt like he needed to bug Agent S to do something.

If we were to summarize their apparent styles, Team H goes out and beats the bushes, and Agent S makes a few strategic phone calls. Agent S would smoothly shepherd this one along and Team H would work their butts off because we would be their biggest listing. They both welcome collaboration with their sellers. Both have about the same years in the business, similar sales and current listings, and had customers who said they provided a high level of service (late night collaboration over pricing strategy, negotiating while on vacation, etc.)

So here we are, down to the wire, needing to make a decision. Mr. Weedy and I both feel either one would do a good job and we'd be happy with them. Mr. Weedy leans ever so slightly to Team H because they sought us out in a non-pushy way, and were the first to come through and say "here's what we can do to sell your home more effectively" and he wants to reward that. I lean toward Agent S because I think he's got the mindset of a higher-end buyer, and can advise us along the way, whether in more curb appeal stuff, or the pro photographer who will capture it just right.

Any further thoughts? We will decide tomorrow and call them on Saturday to seal the deal.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Of course, you already know my thoughts. You keep saying that agent S will be able to sell your home faster because he has the mindset of a higher end buyer. What does that mean? And, again, don't take me wrong, but it is not like you live in a multi million dollar home located in some gated exclusive community where the agent is a member of the "club".
Really, like you said, both agents will probably work just fine. I just think like your husband... team H has already done something more above and beyond anyone else. They took initiative to contact you for your business. AND, they make their business dealing with ex FSBOS.
Good luck with your decision, and it would be very courteous to call the agent that did not get the job and let him/her know personally.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Your home isn't an upper end home. It's a higher priced mid range home. That's been it's problem all along. It's priced higher than average for the market, but it's not an estate. You don't need a realtor with estate experience. That's not your market. Your market is a mid range buyer who maybe wants a bit of land or water exposure and is willing to pay for that. The 450K crowd. Not the 800K crowd. Having a realtor who has experience with million dollar homes isn't going to help here. You want someone who will work really hard to be creative in getting those mid range buyers to see the additional value that your home gives above others in it's range. Not the person who is trying to convince the 1M crowd that they could take your home and create an estate out of it. That's part of the comments you've been getting about your landscaping. An estate priced home buyer expects a LOT more than your property offers, and there is no use attempting to chase them. Concentrate on the mid range, and price it right. 500K is where you need to start, and be willing to settle for less.


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RE: Battle of the agents

live wire oak: I'll grant you that we're not a lush million-dollar estate. But the top 10% of the market here starts at $450, so I disagree with your characterization of it as a mid-range home.

I would appreciate some further enlightenment (and I do mean this respectfully) on how a $500K buyer (or property) isn't that much different than a $100K buyer (or property) as far as marketing it goes. I mean, I get that if you're selling a lush estate or luxury NYC penthouse you do something different to attract potential buyers. But a first-time entry-level buyer has different wants/needs/expectations than a doctor or relocating executive, no?


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RE: Battle of the agents

BTW, I emailed both Team H and Agent S this morning asking them to address the items that the other one was a little higher on. I'd hate to tell Team H that they lost out because they didn't have a pro photographer lined up, or Agent S because he didn't articulate a detailed marketing strategy when Team H would have been willing to hire a pro or Agent S was perfectly willing to share his strategy but we never asked.


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RE: Battle of the agents

I think it's about the house, not the price. We have houses in our neighborhood that up to $1.5 million, but they are still just a nice family house, not a specialty high end home. I know it all has to do with where you are buying, but a $500K house generally has all the same components as $100-200K house, just larger and more modern/better finishes - maybe an extra bedroom and an extra bathroom.

A true higher end house that would require a special agent and special buyers will probably have multiple specialty rooms (conservatories, media rooms, etc) and separate buildings like pool houses or guest houses. Kitchens and spaces are designed to work around caterers rather than family cooks. It's not whether it has land, but whether the land is landscaped in a way that requires a professional to keep them up. To me it's more of a "vibe" than the size of a house. A high end house is one that requires help to keep it up. A family house can be operated by the family or with help.

I think your house is a family house.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Higher price doesn't always equal high end.

This isn't meant to be hurtful, just a realistic assessment of your home from a viewer from a distance looking into the market.

Your house is a nice home, but it doesn't have luxury home bones. It is a basic box with vinyl trim on the exterior and a lot of volume for the interior, but little true architectural features for either. And yes, it's already been beat to death, but it has a front load garage like it's on a 50 foot wide basic lot and not the property it sits on. The landscaping bears more resemblance to a brand new builder grade entry level home than it does to one in the top 10% of any market. A brand new luxury home builder would have sprung for several mature trees and a professional landscape package to give it the proper setting.

It's a slightly above average quality larger sized house that the homeowner is overvalueing because of the amount of work that has been put into it and is adding to the price. A classic story, really.


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RE: Battle of the agents

mama: thanks for the explanation of the difference. That helps me understand where some of you are coming from. This is definitely not a high end home by that definition, though in fact there aren't many homes like that around here. We're in a small midwestern city that doesn't have much of that going on like bigger cities would. I'll use "higher price" in my language from now on so we're on the same page.

The local houses in the 500-999 range would still be considered "family homes" by your definition, and they come with fancier trimwork, an office with beautiful built-in bookcases, typically walk-out basements with bars/kitchens, and media rooms. But not kitchens built for caterers or guest houses or conservatories.

holly: I will take issue (though not offense) at your characterization of our house as "slightly above average" when compared with the locality, which is what counts. I've been in gazillions of homes around here learning the market, have had it professionally appraised (without telling the number I had in mind) and I've now had 10 professionals tromp through. I think I've got a decent handle on where we fall relative to comps. And our price has nothing to do with how much we have in it; it's purely based on our best estimate of market value.

Are there things to improve upon? Absolutely, particularly with the outside. We'll keep plugging away at that stuff as we can until it sells. We'll see if our new agent can save us the trouble. :-)


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RE: Battle of the agents

You truly can not judge what is low and high end by price alone, specially when we try to judge other US markets based on our local markets. Weedy's house would be around $500/sq.ft in my town and sit on less than 1/4 acre. Price and quality doesn't always match up here!

Weedy, Good luck!


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RE: Battle of the agents

Are you competing with new construction? I think that it's harder to find a buyer when you are competing with new construction. In my town, you can tear down a house and build a custom family home (my personal definition) starting at about $950,000. So, the houses priced $400 - $800K are competing against each other, but when you get higher than that, people may say - why buy a resale house where there's always something that's not exactly right, when for the same price or a "little" more I can build one where everything will be just the way I want it. The $1mil+ houses, even though priced right, often sit for months here, while the $500K ones are snatched up as long as they are priced right.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Weedy -I've been following your home selling saga for awhile and I just have to say that you have been EXTREMELY receptive of the criticism that you have received on here. I'm not sure I could be as receptive :)
We too, have been trying the FSBO route. We tried to sell by FSBO from 2007-2009 -not realizing the bottom was falling out in the market. We took it off the market to take a break. We don't HAVE to sell, we want to get into a bigger house. We put a FSBO sign about a month ago and haven't had much response (we did a flat fee listing previously)
Next Friday we are going to list it officially with a realtor. I would not have believed that a realtor wouldn't show your house unless it was on the MLS with a realtor but have experienced that bias first hand. This is not a slam on realtors. We are choosing the realtor we are going to be using b/c she is the only realtor who brought 2 very serious potential buyers to our house when we had it listed before. She has never been pushy. I totally get your viewpoint on using a realtor vs FSBO.
It sounds like you have 2 very good realtors to work with! Here's hoping for a quick sale for you!


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RE: Battle of the agents

Weedyacres, seems like you have overanalyzed this to the point of genuinely losing sight of the most important fact: your house isn't selling at the price you are asking.

You spend hours-days-weeks endlessly scrutinizing agents while making it clear you don't think any of them can do what you cannot: sell the house. This follows hours-days-weeks of scrutinizing your landscaping and external appearance which is, I agree with others, that of a big box plopped onto a field. I recall you spent hours-days-weeks agonizing over a very lengthy, very detailed and effusive homemade listing of the house when you originally decided to sell FSBO.

And today, what is the result of all that? The house is still for sale. When you say you've done so much analysis and you know the house is priced right--obviously it isn't or someone would have bought it!

It seems that your perception isn't matching the reality of your situation. As pointed out, you are getting a ton of disinterested and neutral feedback, most of which you seem to dismiss. I'm particularly impressed by the feedback from actual *realtors* who are taking time to try to tell you their professional judgment, although again you don't seem to be able to accept what they are saying to you as helpful and useful advice.

So, perhaps now it's time to work on one of those 'life lessons' which usually turn out to mean doing something different and not too comfortable: hire the realtor, then LET THE REALTOR DO THE JOB. Frankly, I wouldn't want to be your realtor but that's neither here nor there.

Good luck,
Ann


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RE: Battle of the agents

I usually try to blow off the snarky remarks, but this one left me a little flabbergasted, and I feel the need to respond.

You spend hours-days-weeks endlessly scrutinizing agents

Our agent selection process has taken exactly 2 weeks, and only took that long because I'm only in town on weekends to meet with them. That hardly seems unduly long for a $30,000 purchase from someone I've got to work well with. I take that long to hire employees. I have contemplated hiring an agent during the period we've had it listed FSBO, knowing that FSBO was a risk; perhaps that's why you're thinking it has been an endless process.

while making it clear you don't think any of them can do what you cannot: sell the house.

Based on my past choices of agents, they haven't done a good job; hence my jadedness. The fact that we're now hiring an agent indicates that we do think someone can do a better job than we can. I was thorough in my interview questions and actually learned a lot about what a good agent can do. I've got a lot better handle on how to pick a good one and what my expectations of them should be. I was actually pleasantly surprised by some of the interviews, and left them thinking "wow, they could sell our house!" It has definitely changed my view (not of all of them; there are plenty of doofuses out there, but there are some solid ones too).

This follows hours-days-weeks of scrutinizing your landscaping and external appearance which is, I agree with others, that of a big box plopped onto a field.

And instead of asking others' opinions and figuring out what the best thing to do was, I should have done what, exactly? Or is it the fact it didn't happen in two days?

I recall you spent hours-days-weeks agonizing over a very lengthy, very detailed and effusive homemade listing of the house when you originally decided to sell FSBO.

Again, are you saying I shouldn't spend time getting the right photos and good descriptions for our website? Or that the result was poor? Several of the realtors we interviewed said it was the best website they've ever seen from a FSBO. And all of them wanted to use our photos (at least of the inside; we acknowledge we need something better for the outside).

And today, what is the result of all that? The house is still for sale. When you say you've done so much analysis and you know the house is priced right--obviously it isn't or someone would have bought it!

Actually I disagree with your conclusion. It hasn't sold because we haven't had much traffic through it. And that's because we're not in the MLS. Not all buyers looking for something like our house know about us.

It seems that your perception isn't matching the reality of your situation. As pointed out, you are getting a ton of disinterested and neutral feedback, most of which you seem to dismiss.

Do you mean from the showings we've had? I haven't done anything about the things I can't change (house was too big for one, one didn't like the steepness of the slope down to the lake, one needed a first floor accessible suite), but when I got feedback from a realtor about the curb appeal, I posted the feedback here, sought input, and we re-did the front landscaping. How is that dismissive? Because we're not redoing the facade or planting $1000 trees? Or does it feel that way because I'm not saying "I know, I hate the front as much as you do?"

I'm particularly impressed by the feedback from actual *realtors* who are taking time to try to tell you their professional judgment, although again you don't seem to be able to accept what they are saying to you as helpful and useful advice.

I listened carefully to all the realtors that came through, and asked them for specifics on what they'd change. As a result, in the past 2 weeks we sealed the circle drive, painted the shutters and re-seeded a large patch of barren ground. Where are you getting that I'm not accepting what they're saying? Are you talking about pricing? 8 of 10 said we were fine, and several commented that they usually have to dash sellers' high expectations in that regard.

So, perhaps now it's time to work on one of those 'life lessons' which usually turn out to mean doing something different and not too comfortable: hire the realtor, then LET THE REALTOR DO THE JOB. Frankly, I wouldn't want to be your realtor but that's neither here nor there.

Uh, ok, that's what we're doing, no? I'm not willing to just randomly hire a realtor without careful investigation, and I do not apologize for that. Nor do I apologize for making one of my criteria an expectation of a high level of service from them. You may choose to do otherwise if you like, but I won't.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Weedy, I applaud you on your restraint when wording your last post. I wouldn't have been able to hold back! You've shared a lot with us and those comments were a bit like giving you one more kick while you were already down on the floor.

Good luck!


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RE: Battle of the agents

+1 Chispa :)


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RE: Battle of the agents

Weedy......I am usually a lurker on this forum, but felt the need to respond to runninginplace's criticism of your approach to selecting a realtor. You are one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, and wise persons I have seen on this forum. I applaud the thorough and analytical process you are using to insure you get the best realtor possible in your area. Good luck in selling your house.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Weedy, in your other thread you said your listing agreement is for 6 months. Did you choose an agent? If so, I missed that post.


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RE: Battle of the agents

We're going with Team H. You called it. :-)


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RE: Battle of the agents

Weedyacres, I apologize. I regret my message to you was rude and not helpful.

This internet sure makes it easy to be anonymously nasty to someone online, but that's no excuse. I hope you have good luck with your sale, and that your realtor choice proves to be a positive experience.

Ann


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RE: Battle of the agents

Sometimes I find myself typing things I would not say in person too...
Weedy, I hope your sale goes smoothly for you. Give it some time. The market in general still stinks.


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RE: Battle of the agents

Apology accepted, Ann. It's big of you to offer it.

Peace.


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