There is nothing wrong about being savvy and having an escape strategy if you find that you have listed your home with a real estate agent who turns out to be far less than you had hoped for. The steps to take however, are to interview first. Speak with references and read reviews. Ask lots of questions. Trust your intuition on about making your choice and feel confident about the agent you choose.
If you are not comfortable and not sure of your choice, interview more until you find someone you believe in and you can trust. If you are the type of person who can never trust anyone, and can never feel confident about your intuition, that is a real shame, and think about how much better life can be when you can let go and trust someone who has your best interest at heart.
There truly are many people like that, I promise you.
Once you find that right person, don’t tie their arms by making the job impossible. In fact, support the person by listening to their advice and following their suggestions. The right agent will put your needs first as long as they feel that ultimately, they will be compensated for their hard work.
Many years ago, I heard a funny joke, “What are the best three things in life?” The answer is ….to be the first-born son, to be the second wife, to be the third realtor. The reason that joke is so appropriate (particularly in a tougher selling market) is because in some cases the first and second realtors, with a limited time on their contract are fighting an uphill battle of “the overpriced listing” with a seller having an unrealistic price expectation. By the time realtor No. 2 comes along, the seller gets a bit more realistic. Then, realtor No. 3 comes on the scene.
By this time the seller is exhausted and desperate, ready to take almost any price.
Obviously, as the seller looks back on the experience they wish they had made better choices, including in some cases even having turned down one or more offers saying then, “It’s too low,” now realizing that the price they ended up with was even less than the offer they previously rejected, in some cases far less.
The third realtor, doing the least amount of work gets well paid and the other two realtors got nothing. Here is my suggestion after finding yourself a great agent:
1. Tell that agent, “I trust you, I believe in you. I’m committed to you and I’m totally counting on you to get me top dollar for my home. I’m trusting you to advise me the way you would for your dearest family member or very closest friend”.
2. Get the agent to acknowledge that he and you are totally on the same page as to he or she putting your needs first and giving your representation, absolute priority.
3. Price your property at or near your agents suggested price and follow your agent’s suggestion regarding cleaning your home up and possibly staging to make it look its best.
4. List your home for 180 days, with an early cancellation clause, should you have a change of plans and decide to either stay or to lease your home instead of selling.
5. Get a written marketing plan from your agent that you both sign and agree to stick with. This plan should include print advertising, social media, and a variety of other approaches or ways the agent plans to promote your home to the public and to the brokerage community.
6. Have a plan in place how you wish to communicate and receive feedback. Do you prefer a phone call or text, an email or a face to face, one on one? Agree on how often and in what way you will communicate.
In conclusion, support your agent and let him or her know that it is not your intention to use his or her services, and then go a different direction. Although things can happen and that can in fact be the case, explain that you are coming from the intention of selling your home and appropriately paying your agent as specified in the contract.
Never be competing with your agent. If your agent is threatened with a very short-listing agreement, how can you feel he is on your side when he is up against a deadline.
As a seller, I suggest that you never use the pressure tactic of saying, “You only have a week left on your contract, and after that I will be switching agents”.
Think smart and remember the benefits to you when you come from a place of integrity and fair business practice. If your agent is worrying about a short-listing contract and whether or not he will ever be receiving compensation for his efforts, he won’t be putting your needs first.
Eliminate their concern of your loyalty and prove to them that you have faith in them by giving them a fair opportunity to complete their work, particularly when they have come recommended and have proven themselves with a previous track record.