Monday, March 3, 2008

Negotiate the Deal, Unless the Agent Kills It

I cannot believe I haven't written a post since Thursday....no, it couldn't be that long. Wow, time really does fly. Unfortunately, it wasn't all fun, more work than anything.

Over the weekend, an offer came in on one of my listings. No big surprise but it was a low-ball offer. Needless to say, the sellers were not too happy, especially because the buyers saw the home four times this last week. Now, if you are going to make an offer on a home, and have taken four days of the seller's time for showings, wouldn't you think to be a little nicer?

The sellers counter offered, but the buyers rejected it, stating the sellers were living in la-la land. Problem was, they had an agent with faulty data. Yes, that's right, faulty data. Some agents just don't know how to evaluate a home and find comparable homes. Just because a home has the same square feet, doesn't mean it is comparable. You can read all about what I am talking about on my other blog.

But my point with this post is, many times, the agent kills the deal. The agent tries to negotiate on a home or price range that they have no experience in. They "think" they "know" what they are doing, but in reality, they have no clue. Take for instance, writing an offer on a property priced above $1 Million. If you don't know how the luxury market works, don't jump into it without doing your homework. But agents are thick headed, and won't admit their limitations, so they jump in anyways, and quickly drown.

I have seen plenty of agents kill the deal. They let emotions get in the way, take personal offense to my negotiating techniques, lack experience, lack knowledge....the list can go on and on. Unfortunately, their client is the loser and doesn't realize the agent and their "negotiating" skills were the problem.

I would consider myself a blunt person, and usually tell my clients upfront that I don't believe in sugar-coating things. Some have asked me to put a few sprinkles on top, just to appease the sweet tooth, but it always comes back to honesty. I take my career seriously, and do so by educating myself as much as I can. That includes talking to vendors and asking questions on their profession. Many times, the things learned don't come from books or classes. They come from the field. Sadly, most agents never take the time to learn.

Did you know that 85% of all real estate agents have no prior sales experience before coming into the real estate industry? Or how about the fact that only 17% of all real estate agents have earned at least one real estate designation or certification? No wonder the drop out rate is high and the profession is bulging with terrible agents. Maybe the agent I dealt with this weekend needs to take a class on doing a proper CMA...but I highly doubt that will happen.

One thing to think about, if you are a home buyer or seller, is to ask your agent about their experience. Are they all things to all people, or do they specialize in certain areas? Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you don't, you could be losing out on a home you love through no fault of your own.

4 comments:

daytona beach fl remax said...

A good point is made not all realtors are equal. A great question as you mention is do you specialize in a particular market? How many houses do you sell per year? How many have you sold in last 6 months in todays current market? Ask for comparables? Ask for CMA of the house? Being able to talk honestly is key and you should be hearing good and bad from them not just all good.

Making informed decisions when choosing a realtor and a lender is key to a sucessful house search and finding the right loan.

Jennifer Kirby said...

Honesty is always a good policy, unfortunately some people are completely honest, but the problem is that they are just bad agents. and by bad I mean inexpereinced or lack the knowledge to represent their clients well.

Blue Ridge Georgia Land For Sale said...

It can be hard to know if a realtor is knowledgable and has experience. You definately want both when looking for a realtor. I would think if they have been in business for some time shows they have weathered many markets and can best describe the local market. Listening to what they say and asking questions is important.

I saw a blog yesterday that said they go to open houses and talk to realtors to see which they like and then go to them to sell or help them look for a home. So see many leads can come from a open house.

Jennifer Kirby said...

You know when I was in my second year as a real estate agent, I went to a listing appointment and was up against two other agents. I wasn't chosen as the agent. When I asked why, they told me I was young, and the agent they chose had been in the business for 25 years.

When I asked them if they knew the selling stats for that agent, they said no. I proceeded to tell them that in one year I had sold 22 homes, while that "experienced" agent had only sold three in the last two years. They were shocked and had no idea, but the damage was done. From then on, I learned to look up an agents stats before a listing appointment so that I could educate sellers, if the need arose to do so. Many sellers don't know to ask questions about actual experience in the field. The number of years an agent has been in business is an irrelevant number.