Everyone wants the best of the best real estate agents to help them sell their home – the one with the best personality, the one with the most experience, the one who gets you the best price for your home… and finds your new home at the lowest possible price. But be careful when choosing your realtor… the glitz and glam of seeing new homes and the excitement of new beginnings can often mask the sneaky lies some realtors tell to get you signing on the dotted line.
As a home seller or buyer, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into with a realtor. Real estate agents make their money when a house sells, so they need to close on homes to get a paycheck. This requires finding clients… and convincing you to work with them – no small task when you’re competing with the 1.46 million other real estate agents working in the U.S. Sometimes the promises realtors make ARE too good to be true.
When the Price Sounds too Good to be True, it Probably is
When selling your home, the way you price it matters. Unfortunately, some realtors overpromise with a very enticing, but unrealistic, price point in order to win your business. What happens when you overprice your home? It typically sells for less than it would have if you’d priced it right to begin with. Here’s why – agents and buyers are market savvy. They know when a product is overpriced, and they don’t bite. You’ll ultimately have to lower the price. Your target buyers may have already found another home while you wasted days on the market with a home priced too high. New buyers see that your home has been on the market without a contract, that the price has been lowered, and make assumptions (right or wrong) that something is wrong with your home. Fewer potential buyers come to see it. And the offer you eventually get is lower than you want because buyers assume you are in a more desperate position to sell at that point.
While your overpromising agent still leaves with a nice commission, you walk away with fewer proceeds, less time, and more headache than if your home had been priced right to start with. So the best advice to give in this situation is to choose a real estate agent based on qualities other than the lofty price they promise you’ll get for your home.
The Phrase “Potential Buyers” is a Sticky One
Some realtors will say things like… “I have a handful of potential buyers just waiting to get into your home!”… just to try and get your business. While this may even be true, it’s not a reason to hire a realtor. An experienced real estate agent knows that buyers can be fickle, deals fall through, and other homes come on the market every single day. If your prospective realtor has buyers waiting in the wings, so do other realtors.
Don’t rush into business with an agent based on the promise of them selling your home to “interested parties.” Dallas real estate is a bustling business. And with the right realtor, there will be plenty of prospective buyers coming to see your home.
Some Realtors Pretend to Have More Experience Than They Actually Do
When choosing an agent, experience matters. An experienced real estate agent has deep networking connections in the community, with their colleagues (and even with their competitors), and has a very close pulse on the market and how it’s trending. Knowledge and relationships like this only come with time.
With that being said, an agent with only a little experience may still know what they are doing and know how to work the market (hopefully they are working with a more experienced agent to guide them!). The problem comes about when an agent claims to have more experience than they actually do.
Unfortunately, realtors have a reputation for fluffing up their experience. Sometimes this goes a little too far and a client ends up trusting in a real estate agent who doesn’t have the experience they’ve promised… At best, a client receives sub-par service. At worst, a client loses out on potential buyers, doesn’t get the home they want, or even ends up with a breached home contract.
But fear not! You can check an agent’s credentials with a quick look through the Texas Real Estate Commission or even a simple Google search. You can also call the agent’s Broker of Record to inquire about their experience (the Information about Brokerage Services with their Broker’s contact information should be on the bottom of agent emails, their website, and social pages).
Make Sure Your Realtor has a Good Online Market Strategy
According to Statista, 99% of new home buyers start their search online. In other words, if your home isn’t presenting well in the digital world, potential buyers won’t come see your home in the real world (and may not even know it’s on the market!).
In Texas, every home that is publicly listed will appear online through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or other aggregator. But many agents lie to prospective buyers about the breadth and depth of their digital marketing efforts (and even criticize other agents’ lack of digital skills). So what’s important to know is how your agent is planning to market your home online. Will there be a virtual tour? Are the photographs a positive reflection of your home? Will your agent use video? Organic and/or paid social media? Email marketing? A real estate agent who really does maximize their digital efforts to sell homes will have a clear and concise plan to provide you.
Once again, checking your agent’s trustworthiness is simple. Check their website, their broker’s website, their social channels, and online reviews. You can even ask to see examples of what they’ve done for other clients. Photos and aesthetic matter. The amount of online traffic their website and social channels receive matters. Be diligent, you want your home to be seen and interest garnered online, so prospective buyers will take the time to come see it in person….
When It’s Time to Choose
It may seem strange for a real estate agent to write about how realtors can mislead buyers and sellers. But in reality, no one finds dishonesty in the real estate world more upsetting than a reputable Realtor. So if you’re looking for a group of experienced real estate agents who will always sell it to you straight, look no further than the Minnette Murray Group at Compass.
Remember, you are in control of your real estate experience. If you feel pressure from your realtor or you suspect they are not giving you the whole truth… have a conversation. Ask them the hard questions, and remember that Google is your friend. If you are still feeling uneasy you can always switch to a different agent (despite what some may tell you!). The process of buying and selling a home is one that should cater to you… it’s personal and it often takes a good bit of time. Your best buying and/or selling experience will be with someone you have confidence in and trust from start to finish.