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Is Your Listing Agent Screwing You?

By June 9, 2017

Et cetera

There is no doubt that we’re in a extreme seller’s market, as a result it’s a race to the bottom on price for listing agents these days. Especially with Redfin willing to list homes for 1% and Faira willing to do it for “free”*. Many sellers are then asking agents they meet to match Redfin or Faira’s pricing, and the result is that seller’s get a great deal on the fee they pay to sell their home, but ultimately leave money on the table due to terrible service as the listing agent rushes to get the deal closed so they can work with higher paying clients.

As an agent who represents a lot of buyers, I unfortunately encounter these bad listing agents day-in and day-out. Here are warning signs that you have a bad listing agent:

Photos taken with a cell phone: a ~$600k condo off of Dexter was recently listed with cell phone photos. It looked much better in person but took forever to sell (it didn’t help that it was also overpriced). With professional photography costing $300-1000, which is customarily paid by your agent, you should not put up with your agent taking your listing photos.

Black and white flyers: cheap listing agents try and save a few dollars by printing in black and white or printing on their home printer. Any good agent has no problem paying for professionally printed, beautiful flyers.

Hits the market late on a Friday or a Saturday: you want to give buyers ample time to see your home. So ask your listing agent to list your home Monday through Thursday.

Offer review on Sunday or Monday: you want to give buyers interested in your home enough time to get an inspection or line up their pre-approval letter. If home buyers are out looking at homes on a Saturday or Sunday, and you’re reviewing offers that Sunday or Monday, it does not give them enough time. Give buyers until Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. At least seven days.

Doesn’t respect the offer deadline: aggressive buyer’s agents will try and get you to accept an early offer by coming in early with a strong offer. Your listing agent will likely encourage you to take it so they can skip doing your open house and they can move onto the next deal. Rarely is accepting an early offer your best way to maximize the amount of money you’re going to get.

Inspections/showings scheduled but they have you take an early offer: we’ve let a listing agent know that we were interested in a home only to have them accept an early offer without giving our buyers the opportunity to submit a bid. We’ve also heard of listing agents who knew pre-inspections were scheduled on a home and accepted an early offer without seeing if those pre-inspected were interested in bidding!

Lackluster marketing: these days a great listing agent will pay for pro photos, drone photography, a 3D walkthrough of your home (also known as a Matterport tour), print beautiful flyers, create floor plans and put all those materials up on a custom website for your listing. If your agent isn’t doing all that, why not?

Prohibits blogging: by default our MLS disallows blogging of homes for sale without explicit permission. Savvy agents though will proactively allow blogging of their listings while a few very large brokerages not just keep the default, but will never grant permission even if you ask nicely. Do you want to list with an agent or brokerage who wants to ensure your listing gets the broadest distribution possible? Or do you want to list with a brokerage who doesn’t get blogging, a fifteen year old marketing trend.

I’m sure I’m missing a few and will update this post as I remember! And of course, we’d be happy to sell your home, but we do charge more than 1%, but feel that our service is worth it :).

*Nothing is free.

I’m the founder and managing broker of Urban Living. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction and mid-century moderns but will help you buy or sell just about anything.

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