How To Pick The Best Listing Agent
You want to know how to pick the best listing agent for your home.
I’ve spent decades coaching home sellers and other agents on how to find and pick the best listing agent. I have lists of questions and statistics to gather. I’ve even had my listing presentation published on YouTube as an example for all other agents to follow. If you want to see the old list you can read: How To Identify The Wrong Listing Agent For Your Home.
One could say I am the queen of the listing presentation, but I no longer believe in their value to help a home seller pick the right listing agent.
Here is my truth revelation – my industry has sold prospective home sellers a load of manipulative sales talk.
Fair Warning – I am about to say things that are 180 degrees from everything else you might read or hear. I need to explain myself and that will take a few paragraphs. If you are impatient you can skip down to the practical tips **here**.
The Listing Presentation Won’t Help You Pick The Best Agent
Everything I’ve taught agents to present – track record, expertise, marketing plan, company support – it distracts you from what your intuition. We razzle-dazzle you in your living room – slick presentations, fancy charts, and gorgeous photography. Then we compliment your home and your decor. Our elaborate analysis of the local market and the recent comparable sales is designed to impress. And then we layout our gorgeous marketing examples. It takes HOURS to sit through those presentations.
You sit through them because you are convinced that you need this information to avoid making a mistake.
But, here’s the thing. We real estate agents know what you want to hear.
We are full-time professionals practicing day and night on how to manipulate you into choosing us. Our entire presentation is geared toward correctly guessing what you want to hear… how can you trust that any of it is what you NEED to hear?
Now, you probably pride yourself on your smarts and intuition. And, you are sure you won’t be bamboozled by some slick salesperson. You are probably right!
The One Thing You Must Have In Your Listing Agent
Home sellers almost always trust their gut and instinct when picking their listing agent. The traditional listing presentation, the one I have spent countless hours perfecting, has little to no value for you. Nine times out of ten the listing presentation simply confirms your initial instinct. You will pick the agent you trust, no matter what anyone says in that presentation.
I know this sounds crazy and you are not going to want to believe me. You want to shout- how will I know who to trust until I hear all their plans and credentials?
Is it impossible to think I might be on to something? Is it completely out of the imagination to think you will rely on your intuition?
Let’s Put A Few Truths On The Table.
Selling a home is typically the biggest financial transaction in a person’s lifetime. It’s also a big personal deal. You might be facing a significant life change, your daily routines will be disrupted, your life roles or personal identity might be wrapped up in this move.
This is not an “I win, you lose” situation; you just want to be treated fairly every step of the way. And you crave as much transparency as possible – how else can you make good decisions? But more than anything you want to finish this transaction feeling like a winner, you don’t want any regrets.
A fancy marketing plan, a fix up list or even a price recommendation will only feel right if the right agent executes them. Time after time home sellers pick the agent over the “stuff”. They pick their heart over their brain.
How To Find An Listing Agent To Trust
Real Estate is a contact sport in Glendale. You are either related to an agent or know one (or a half dozen). They are good people, they won’t cheat you, but you know you need more.
So you cast your eye further out. There is an agent’s marketing that always catches your eye. Or a friend raves about an agent and then someone else agrees. Perhaps you met an agent in the past and they made a good impression.
You have a feeling about them. They feel like the sort to see around the corners and eliminate or mitigate problems. They seem to get all the information, not just the easy stuff. And they have courage- you can count on them to say the unpleasant things you need to hear.
You have a feeling, but you need to know more.
Confirm Your Intuition About A Listing Agent
There is a lot of information about active, professional agents on the interwebs. Type “agent’s name, real estate, area” into Google. It is a red flag if there are only a few listings. If a listing agent can’t market themselves on the internet you know they can’t market your home.
This is the most popular method of finding a listing agent you think you can trust. You want to know if the reviews match up to what you’ve already seen or heard. You probably know that negative reviews are the most interesting. One of my negative reviews honestly stated that we did not get along, but then goes on to brag about my marketing and results. I felt so bad about the hurt feelings and so proud of my work! Top real estate review sites are Zillow and Realtor.com but useful negative reviews are more likely to be on Yelp or Google.
There are a number of sites claiming to have accurate information about agents’ recent sales and local expertise. I find the Realtor.com profile to be the most complete, but the Zillow profile is good for the last 12 months’ activity. Most home sellers want to know if the prospective listing agent has sold homes like theirs. It is easier to trust that agent over an agent that just has tons of sales anywhere.
Website or Blog Posts
This is the most useful and the most under-valued internet stalking tool available. The About page might be the only page you need. The bio is almost always written by the agent and you get an immediate sense of that agent’s personality and priorities. Other useful pages are titled For Sellers (mine says Sell With DIGGS)- these pages usually layout the listing agent’s game plan and resources – no long presentation needed!
In a few rare cases, the agent has taken the time to write about the subjects they think are important. Local issues, real estate education posts and “how-to” articles. Skimming these can tell you everything you need to know to decide if you can trust that agent.
You Still Need To Meet The Listing Agent
That is totally fair. Once you’ve identified the likely best listing agent you can probably accomplish everything with a phone call.
The difference is this contact is a confirmation of your intuition, not a cattle call. Put all your cards on the table – price, commission, your limits of what you can and can’t do. Challange that agent to step to your plate.
If, on the off chance, your intuition was wrong, you’ve only invested a fraction of the time you would have taken before.