The Listing Agent Minefield…Choosing a listing agent without losing your mind…

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This is the first part of a series of blogs that are designed to help sellers who are in the process of choosing a listing agent. The series is being written because I have been out on several listing presentations in recent months and the one common thread I have found for each interview is that sellers are being bombarded by agents and information.  The trouble is that most sellers feel that they are awash in information that is both confusing and contradictory.

Once the news is “out” that a home owner is looking to sell they find that they have become shark chum with more agents than they ever imagined existed  popping out of the woodwork trying to list their home.  Each has their own angle, everyone has their own story and some seem to be practically begging for the listing  Some like yours truly try to  keep it low key.  Most are all over the seller like a bad rash.

With all the hubbub its small wonder that sellers just want the decision to be made so they are no longer in the cross-hairs of the marketing barrage.   There is a strong temptation to just sign on with squeakiest wheel and just be done with it all.  Trouble is, the devil is in the details and the decision is not a small one.

And….there’s another problem.  Knowing what is or is not important is not obvious at all. For all the talk in our industry about transparency –  what is and is not important in choosing a listing agent is about as transparent as an opaque black box.

What’s the big deal? It’s just ONE listing…

Let’s begin at the beginning…Sellers seem amazed at how many agents want to list their home.  Its baffling. People they have never met before are crawling all over them trying to secure a contract.  What’s all the fuss about?

The dirty little secret about real estate is this:  The industry is literally awash in agents.  You throw a rock, you hit an agent.  You swing a cat, you hit an agent. You run your car off the road …..well you get the picture. Last year the MLS recorded  6256 residential transactions for Westchester County on the MLS.   Now, I don’t have the exact numbers on the  agent population, but at any given time there are roughly 7000 agents working in Westchester.  To say that there are too  many agents for the amount of transactions available is an understatement.

With those numbers, there are very few agents who are not going to want your listing.   With so many agents scrambling for so few opportunities, it is small wonder that sellers feel like they are under assault.

There is a saying: You List – You Last…

This is something that I have learned the hard way in recent months when I made the terrible mistake of trying to focus on buyers.  Agents need to list in order to cultivate more business.

Listings attract something that buyers don’t.  A decent listing is like a giant buyer magnet.  They also attract other sellers who may be agent shopping.  So one listing helps the agent get other listings and a small collection of buyers whereas a buyer will get an agent one sale – maybe.  There are other issues that make working with sellers  far more attractive than working with buyers – but  I don’t want to belabor the point.  The bottom line is that listings are where the money is….and most agents have an unquenchable thirst for them.

This can be a double-edge sword.  It does mean agents will work hard to GET a listing.  And it does provoke many to work hard ON the listing.  But it also means that it is very tempting to create “spin” that is of little value.  The hype can range from the genuinely important to the totally fabricated.  And that’s what the series will address.

So I hope this first installment gives sellers a better idea of why so many agents are so eager to take their listing.  In future blogs I will try to sift through fact, fallacy and common sales tactics.  So stay tuned.

Other posts in “The Listing Agent Minefield” series…

  1. The Listing Agent Minefield…Choosing a listing agent without losing your mind…
  2. The Listing Agent Minefield – Is a “local” or “hyperlocal” agent really that important?
  3. The Listing Agent Minefield – The more listings the agent has the better! Right?
  4. The Listing Agent Minefield – Should I choose my agent from Zillow’s list of premier agents?
  5. The Listing Agent Minefield – “Everyone I know lists with ‘Big Box Brokerage’ so they must be the best”
  6. The Listing Agent Minefield – Whatever happened to internet transparency?

© 2012 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – – All rights reserved .

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Please feel free to contact me anytime to request additional information or to set up an appointment so we can explore your listing or purchasing needs. I am easy to reach by phone, text or email. Or, if you just want to continue your search online, the links below will help you get started.

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