Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Selecting a Real Estate Agent / Company
Old 07-14-2020, 05:37 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
mitchjav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Belle Mead
Posts: 132
Selecting a Real Estate Agent / Company

Hi all...

We've been interviewing Real Estate Agents as we're getting ready to sell our home. We've spoken with four agents from some of the popular companies in the area (& perhaps nationally?) - Weichert, Sotherby's, Remax & Berkshire Hathaway. Two of the agents we felt a really good connection with; two of them not so much...

Of the four agents, three of them gave us a pretty consistent range for setting a price - one was a bit higher. They each brought strong marketing plans to the table and commissions were fairly consistent - although one was 1% less than the others. Each had good tips for readying the home for sale (some were consistent, some unique). Overall, each of them told a strong story.

So, given that we feel the personal connection is important, we're inclined to go with one of the two who we feel good about ---but also wondering about the company that backs them. Does anyone know if one of these companies brings something to the table that tips the scales in their favor?

Also, if there's anything we should be looking for in the agent themselves that I haven't mentioned, welcome that feedback.
__________________
Retired in November 2018 at age 59. No regrets.
mitchjav is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-14-2020, 05:46 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 11,162
Maybe the amount of advertising each company does locally? Will your house get a picture and small write up in the Sunday paper and all the realty magazines in grocery stores, etc?
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 06:09 PM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
cbo111's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 755
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
Maybe the amount of advertising each company does locally? Will your house get a picture and small write up in the Sunday paper and all the realty magazines in grocery stores, etc?
I'm not sure if buyers even look at newspapers or magazines anymore, certainly not young prospective buyers. Realtor.com and zillow are where the focus now resides.
I've had decent success with Coldwell Banker and Remax in the past few years. Although the last agent I used was pretty much unable to put together a sentence. I ended up writing the MLS description for him. One thing to ask about is the split your listing agent will have with the selling agent. Often it is 50/50, but some agents go as low as 2% to the selling agent. Which translates to fewer agents bringing buyers around to look at your property because it is not financially worth their effort.
cbo111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 07:08 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,063
I've found that an agent most familiar with your area is likely to price it right and get you to a sale quicker.

The last time we sold we interviewed 3 or 4 agents. One couldn't even manage to spell our last name correctly and the "marketing plan" he presented looked like something a high school student put together. The other two were good, but the agent we ultimately chose lived down the street from us and I knew she'd sold several other houses in our neighborhood.

She got our house sold in less than a month.
CoolRich59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 07:20 PM   #5
Moderator
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8,371
Besides finding one that will work with you, the price is a factor. They all collude to say that the listing agent gets X% and the buyer's agent gets X% (usually 3% each). See how they react if you do the quick math and say, I'm paying you $10K for your half, exactly what will you do for me? If you don't like the answer, or think "It doesn't take much effort to answer the phone", then just pay a fixed fee of $350 to get it in the MLS. If you hire a listing agent, give them a couple of months, at the most. If they don't sell it quickly, you can find another agent. The more time you give them, the less incentive they have to get moving on it (they figure you'll get anxious before they do, and lower the price). Oh, and read the listing contract. Don't let them take both halves (6%) if the buyer shows up without an agent. Every pre-printed contract is designed to make them safe in collecting their commission. Nothing in any of their the pre-printed contracts is set in stone. If they don't like what you cross out, find another agent.
sengsational is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 07:26 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
jfn111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Bloomington, MN
Posts: 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Besides finding one that will work with you, the price is a factor. They all collude to say that the listing agent gets X% and the buyer's agent gets X% (usually 3% each). See how they react if you do the quick math and say, I'm paying you $10K for your half, exactly what will you do for me? If you don't like the answer, or think "It doesn't take much effort to answer the phone", then just pay a fixed fee of $350 to get it in the MLS. If you hire a listing agent, give them a couple of months, at the most. If they don't sell it quickly, you can find another agent. The more time you give them, the less incentive they have to get moving on it (they figure you'll get anxious before they do, and lower the price). Oh, and read the listing contract. Don't let them take both halves (6%) if the buyer shows up without an agent. Every pre-printed contract is designed to make them safe in collecting their commission. Nothing in any of their the pre-printed contracts is set in stone. If they don't like what you cross out, find another agent.
It's called a variable rate commission and is pretty common. The end result is the commission drops if the listing agent finds a buyer. A 6% commission may drop to 4% as an example.
jfn111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 07:43 PM   #7
Moderator
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8,371
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfn111 View Post
It's called a variable rate commission and is pretty common. The end result is the commission drops if the listing agent finds a buyer. A 6% commission may drop to 4% as an example.
Commonly written into contracts by companies striving to make lots of money on a windfall, I suppose. I heard of a situation where an agent collected 6% when the people selling the property actually found a buyer that had no agent. The listing agent did zero extra work and collected twice the commission. I've since learned it's illegal in some states, but not NC.
sengsational is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 07:55 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
jfn111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Bloomington, MN
Posts: 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Commonly written into contracts by companies striving to make lots of money on a windfall, I suppose. I heard of a situation where an agent collected 6% when the people selling the property actually found a buyer that had no agent. The listing agent did zero extra work and collected twice the commission. I've since learned it's illegal in some states, but not NC.
I'm not sure what your arguing? That's why you want a variable rate commission in the contract.
jfn111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 08:50 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
CaliKid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Cali
Posts: 1,158
The company means nothing. The agents pay for their own advertising. To me it's all about the connection you make with the agent, if you like their marketing plan (most important), and if you like their commission.

Also commissions are negotiable but you have to be careful, in my opinion, as negotiating it too low could effect how buyer's agents present your house.
__________________
______________________
Hoping to get out around September 1, 2022... I hope, I hope, I hope. Until then off to work I go....
CaliKid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 08:58 PM   #10
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Berkeley, Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 1,406
The question to ask the prospective agent is: how many sides have you done in the last 12 months?
davebarnes is offline   Reply With Quote
Miles from home?
Old 07-14-2020, 09:39 PM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Punta del Este
Posts: 341
Miles from home?

Do you like to travel? Some airlines will give you bonus miles if you use a broker they refer you to. Or if the broker you want to use is willing to sign up with them. I have done it twice and earned over a million frequent flyer miles out of it....

Using miles to maximum benefit basically covered the brokers fee. How to do that is another thread...
Retired Expat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 09:58 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 13,190
I'd second the notion to limit the listing contract to a few months. Agents are salespersons and they can easily fool you, but if they botch it, you'll know because no lookers, no sale. It is not ideal to start again with a new agent, but better than being stuck with a loser.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 10:18 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Scrapr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Portland
Posts: 1,508
I would look at the recent transactions. There are a boatload of agents in it for family & friends. Then another bunch so they can socialize at the "Club" & write it off. Many many agents don't actually produce much. As in make a living. It's more like a hobby.
Scrapr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2020, 08:02 AM   #14
Moderator
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8,371
Right. The barrier to entry is negligible, so anybody that wants a hobby can do it. The number of sales is a double edged sword. You want someone who spends 40 hours a week marketing houses, and getting sales, but it's hard to tell which ones spend 35 hours a week to secure listings and 5 hours a week marketing houses. That's why I'd just pay the flat fee to get it into the MLS and in so doing, cut the commission in half unless the answer to the "how are you going to earn your $10K" is very compelling, and I realize I couldn't do those things myself.


What I'd have a hard time with is being a "general contractor" to get repairs done quickly and cheaply; I tend to overthink these things, so get stuck trying to lock-in a contractor. So an agent that has known, trusted contractors adds value, especially if they manage them (on time, on budget, etc)
sengsational is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2020, 08:04 AM   #15
Moderator
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8,371
Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
The question to ask the prospective agent is: how many sides have you done in the last 12 months?
Could you elaborate?
sengsational is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2020, 08:15 AM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
jfn111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Bloomington, MN
Posts: 369
The biggest problem with being a "hobby" agent is the recurring costs. MLS fees, NAR fees (if you want to be a Realtor), Supra key rental to open electronic lockboxes, Broker desk fees and continuing education costs. 80%+ of newly licensed agents are gone within a few years.
jfn111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2020, 08:47 AM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 13,540
We met our realtor (Berkshire Hathaway) at an open house where she was showing a condo in our snowbird neighborhood. The condo didnít fit our needs, but we had a great chat about our desire to sell our condo and buy a house.

Her and her partner later made a proposal to us on how they intended to sell our place and how they could find us a new place. Their proposal was impressive so we hired them.

They had a good plan on how to fix a few things, how to market the place- photos, videos, word of mouth even before they officially put it on the market.

It sold the first day to a client of one of their realtor contacts. They were very thorough through the whole process and through closing. And they were spot on in finding us the new place. (Although we later decided not to buy a new place yet.)

My advice would be to pick a realtor who has the best plan to market the property, who has the most experience in selling property similar to yours, and who has a vast amount of resources and contacts to help in getting the property sold fast for the best price.
Ronstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2020, 08:59 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,063
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapr View Post
There are a boatload of agents in it for family & friends. ... Many many agents don't actually produce much. As in make a living. It's more like a hobby.
//Slight thread drift.//

This is what concerns me for when we decide to sell. Our nephew is now a hobby realtor (he has a full-time job and a young family). But, based on the chatter at recent family gatherings, I understand that he's now the *official* realtor for anyone in the family who puts their home on the market.

While I think he's a fine young man, there's no way I'd use him because selling homes is a hobby and not his occupation. This portends to be another example of me being cast as the family curmudgeon.

//end thread drift.//
CoolRich59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2020, 09:01 AM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 503
When we recently sold our house at the beginning of the Pandemic, realtors were very restricted on what they could do. So we listed it on Zillow ourselves and it sold in a day and a half and we saved a ton of money. Why not give that a try first at least for a week or two. Itís free and thereís really nothing to lose.
freedomatlast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2020, 09:48 AM   #20
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by freedomatlast View Post
When we recently sold our house at the beginning of the Pandemic, realtors were very restricted on what they could do. So we listed it on Zillow ourselves and it sold in a day and a half and we saved a ton of money. Why not give that a try first at least for a week or two. Itís free and thereís really nothing to lose.
We have also had a great experience with selling our house ourselves. You have to make sure you get it listed on the MLS, this can be done for a flat fee - usually less than $1000. The company we used provided us with a MLS listing, electronic lock box for $500. You'd still want to pay the standard commission for the buyers agent to not have someones real estate agent not showing it to you. Zillow might be sufficient, I haven't tried that approach, but I'd still recommend getting it on the MLS.

We saved $10k when we sold, listed and sold within a week. This approach was the advice of a real estate agent friend.
NgineER is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Selling our home- agent or no agent moneymaker FIRE and Money 50 02-22-2019 06:26 PM
Looking for a home: Buyer's agent, or go direct to the selling agent? samclem FIRE and Money 20 07-10-2017 07:09 PM
Seller/Listing agent vs Buyer agent MJ FIRE and Money 45 11-15-2016 04:26 PM
Value of a real estate agent? DangerMouse Other topics 33 09-02-2009 11:18 AM
Real Estate Agent in Down Real Estate Market TromboneAl Other topics 4 06-09-2007 10:20 AM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:05 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.