Three Things Your Listing Agent Better Not Do
Ray Mikus, Green Light Real Estate
Actually there are more than three things a good listing agent won’t do. That number approaches infinity, but we’ve got to stop somewhere. Three sounds right.
1. Use the wrong comparables. Seriously, you just can’t value a property correctly in Barre or Montpelier, if you’re using comparable sales from a different town. I will argue that the school district is the defining geography. Meaning, I’ll give homes that have sold in East Montpelier, Middlesex, Worcester, Berlin, and Calais a wider berth. They’re all in the U32 school district.
But I’d be hard pressed to use a house from Barre or Plainfield or Northfield or Moretown even though geographically they’re right next door to those U32 towns.
That’s where having a listing agent who knows the area and works it consistently is at an advantage. Someone who lists primarily in Burlington is just not going to have the personal or institutional knowledge of homes for sale in Montpelier or Barre. I know that’s gonna make some people upset, and I’m ok with that.
And while we're at it, no fair using an online valuation. Just because Zillow, CRS, or Realtor.com says your house is worth $200,000 doesn't mean that it is. What if it's $208,000? $8000 is real money to most people. Plus, a buyer's going to have an appraisal anyway, and it sure is comforting to know that a person has already done valuation methodology similar to that of an appraiser.
2. Skip the brokers caravan. This is one of the arrows in a listing agent’s quiver. Once a month, the new listings in some towns (that would be new listings in Barre City, Barre Town, Montpelier, Berlin, and East Montpelier) are eligible for the brokers caravan.
On said caravan, new listings are toured, quickly, one right after the other. Picture a dozen or so brokers and agents driving from one property to the next for previews. Hence, “caravan”. It’s a fantastic opportunity for local agents to see a ton of the inventory, and then be able to go back to our qualified buyers and tell them what we saw. Because as great as the internet is, there’s no substitute for a person going into a house and describing what it’s like.
I can’t tell you how many times one of our Green Light Real Estate agents comes back to the car and says, “Oh, the Ryansons have GOT to see this one, I don’t care if it’s on their list or not, it’s exactly what they want!” That means it’s a huge benefit for the sellers of that property. Who knows when or if the Ryansons would have ever even considered the house. But now maybe there’s a showing. And maybe an offer. And maybe a sale. See how that works?
So if your listing agent has a reason for not getting that exposure to buyers agents and to buyers, throw the flag. Yes. It does take some work. And yes, the listing agent has to go on the caravan, which means they have to be nice to people. Working hard and being nice are good traits to look for when selecting a listing agent in Montpelier or Barre (or anywhere).
3. Only ever rock the iPhone for their photos. That smart phone can take good photos. But can it take great photos? And is the photographer a professional. Our listing agents at Green Light Real Estate are good at lots of things. They’re great at a few things. But professional photographers have the skills, eye, technique, and equipment behind the lens to make your property look that much better.
In a world where you can have great photos, you should. Check out the photos of different listings. Do you see dark photos? Crooked or out of focus photos?My other favorites are the ones where the agent is in mirror, and the one where the car’s rear view mirror is visible on an exterior shot. It’s true. It is difficult to get out of the car to take a photo. Now, to be fair, sometimes the houses just don’t photograph well. In those cases, even the best photographer is going to be hard pressed to alter reality.
If your house is one of those, then you’ll love Bonus #4!
4. Don’t give sellers any advice. As top listing agents in Montpelier and Barre, we have to give people advice. We have to tell them things they don’t want to hear. Clean your place, get an inspection, put some money into repairs, hire a cleaner. We’re not going to be rude, but we have to be honest. You wouldn’t go to a mechanic that tells you your car is fine, it’s unique, and then they don’t know why it breaks down in three weeks. Or an accountant who tells you you’re doing everything great, just keep doing it...until you get audited.
You want someone who’s going to tell you what they think is needed to sell your house at the best price and in the shortest time. That’s it in a nutshell.
There you go. Three plus one things to make sure your listing agent doesn’t do when you’re selling your home in Montpelier or Barre.
Call, text, or email to connect with a top agent who can help you make a strategy for selling your home. Even if you’re a year or two away from selling, the sooner you get good advice, the happier you’ll be!