I saw this sign – “No Peddlers or Agents Allowed” – on the gate of a home in Presidio Heights recently. Are you talking to me? Is this how far down we agents have gone in the esteem of our fellow citizens? Personally, I have never had a real estate agent come to my door and though I realize some agents “door knock,” it is an infinitesimal amount since most agents just don’t want to. And I wonder: when the people with this sign do get ready to sell their home, how will the agents they interview feel about the sign?
To be honest, I laughed when I saw this although I was a little offended, too! Not that people have a high regard for my last profession – lawyer. But, at least they don’t put signs up on their gates telling lawyers not to enter!
Naturally, there are hard-sell real estate agents out there who are very aggressive and turn people off. However, the vast majority are hard working people just trying to survive in this very competitive Bay Area economy. Until I became an agent, I had no idea how hard good agents worked; there is a lot that goes into guiding a person through the process of selling their home. It is an emotional experience for most and as a listing agent you wear many hats – advisor, psychologist, negotiator, and many more.
One of the most important things I offer is making sure the home is priced right, since getting the price wrong can end in disaster – staying on the market too long and selling for less money than it would have if priced correctly. I go on tour every week so that I know the current market, and so when we first meet I have a good general idea of what your home may be worth. But then I perform a comprehensive market analysis based on recent similar sales and I speak with other agents about the sales prices of their listings that have not yet closed. No two homes are alike so I weigh the different factors and do a price-per-square-foot analysis to make sure that whatever price is selected, the price-per-square-foot makes sense. Finally, I ask my colleagues to tour the home before I make a final recommendation to get a consensus of what they think about your home’s value.
Once I gather all of this information, I sit down with you and discuss how I think the market is valuing your home. But it doesn’t stop there since what the home may be worth and what the list price should be may be two different things – it depends on what is happening in the marketplace. While I prefer to list a home at a price near its value, if the marketplace is “listing low,” I don’t want to list too inconsistently with the marketplace since it may have a harmful effect on the selling price of your home. You can be assured that I am always putting my clients’ best interests first, so when I tell you how you should price a home it is a result of a very thoughtful and thorough analysis.
I haven’t even begun discussing getting the home ready for market and taking it through the sales process – bringing in the stagers and various contractors, preparing the disclosures, holding an initial catered evening open house for the neighbors, attending weekend open houses and brokers’ tours as the property goes on the market. And then there is negotiating the offers – and in this market there will be offers if I have done my job!
I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what I do to sell a home; there is a lot to say about all of these various items. Most agents work very hard and really do look out for their client’s best interests – I know I do.
And don’t worry, I won’t be knocking at your door unless you invite me over! 😉