"I Think We Did Everything We WEREN'T Supposed To"
"My wife and I have received no offers on our house," the anxious Seller said on the telephone, "I think we did everything we WEREN'T supposed to."
That's just for starters:
Tell me again, why you chose this Agent?
"My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw . . . " (Got it, and now you are paying the price.)
I'm sure he meant well; he just didn't DO well . . .
"They kept telling us to 'trust the process,'" Mr. Seller said, "and so my wife and I did even though we had serious doubts along the way. I mean, what do we know about selling a house? You all are the professionals." (Not ALL of us, as it turns out.)
But I see your point; you SHOULD be able to hand your Realtors the keys to your house secure in the knowledge that he/she/they will leave no stone unturned. Suffice it to say, we've had the same conversation with Sellers many a time, and frankly, Sarah, Jill and I are always grateful for those who CAN quickly move into faith and trust. Believe me, it's not lost on us how scary letting go can be. (The vast majority of Sellers give up control with great difficulty.)
However, "trusting the process" only works, if you are in good hands to begin with. (Not all Agents are created equal.)
The truth is, I don't know if my dentist is amazing or below average; if my doctor graduated at the head of her class or in last position; if the pilot in the cockpit can execute an emergency landing (or not) and so it goes. . . . Whatever the challenge, we're trusting highly-educated "professionals" to know what they are doing and to deliver the goods (typically without question) and in retrospect, that's probably a mistake.
No matter the task, there are those who work more diligently, have more training, are more experienced, and simply care MORE. ("More" being the operative word.) The difference in one's work ethic is true for REALTORS as well.
How do you know the difference?
You'll need to ask pointed questions, listen to your gut, and follow your instincts.
At the end of the day, this is your house and you have a right to know what's going on, but by all means, speak with a few Agents, grill them about their process, take notes, fully understand what they do and DO NOT do, and above all else, hire LOCALLY! No matter how great your house is, it isn't going to sell itself.
At the end of the day, your Realtor is not just selling your house, he/she/they are selling a community, a lifestyle, and a sense of well-being. How does an outsider speak to the nearby hiking trails, the Sunday Farmers' Market, or the highly-rated public schools? How does someone who lives elsewhere adequately deliver the message if they haven't walked the walk (quite literally).
When it comes to selling your house, you've got one opportunity to make a first impression so who you work with IS going to matter.
In the word of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Hiring the right Agent to begin with may be the single most important thing you do!
How can we help you?
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 18 years and has published more than 670 essays on life and real estate.