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Mitch Rolsky
Mitch Rolsky - REALTOR®

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Top 10 Reasons Sellers Select The Wrong Agent

As a successful REALTOR I have heard from unhappy Seller’s about the reasons their last Listing/Selling Agent failed to meet their expectations.

Mitch is proud of his accomplishments and track record but only you can decide what makes a REALTOR #1 or learn What’s Unique about Mitch as A Listing Agent 


So I offer the Top 10 reasons to NOT hire a REALTOR as a List Agent or Click HERE If You Are Looking to Buy a Place 

Reason 1 – They are a close friend (or family member or Friend of….)

While you want an Agent you are comfortable with having open, honest and direct communication can be nearly impossible if the Agent is a close friend or family member. Not only could it be tough for them to tell you what you may not want to hear about the list price, staging, marketing  or responding to offers on your property but you may find it equally hard to convey your frustrations and concerns.


Friend or family member aside professional successful agent’s can appreciate that selecting an Agent to sell a home is typically the largest single decision you will make and it’s business first and last.

Reason 2 – They were the first Agent to meet with me

While you want an Agent to be responsive you also want to make sure the agent’s quick availability is not because they are not successful and have nothing else to do.  If you called two surgeons in need of surgery and one doctor told you they could schedule surgery any day, anytime in the next 3 weeks and the other said they could work you in to a handful of openings they have over the next couple of weeks which doctor would you select.


It’s always best to look at more than one presentation and consider the advantages and disadvantages of working with each agent. Making an impulsive decision when caught up “in the moment” could be difficult to correct later. The most important time for selling you home is the initial 30 days it’s on the market. While you may be able to switch agent’s later you cannot get back the 1st thirty days and unfortunately statistics prove that the longer it takes to sell your home the lower price your home will ultimately bring.

Reason 3 – They agreed to list the home at my sales price.

Good agent’s are not in the business of Listing homes they are in the business of Selling homes. So start by asking yourself if you want to list or Sell your home? Then understand that determining a Sales Price is not an exact science. So it would be very common to have different agents tell you different sales prices. Make sure that every agent shares with you the current and recent sales that the believe will impact the purchase price of your home


Keep in mind that there are 3 factors that will impact what your home should sell for but none of these items include what you as the seller think it should sell for, how much you previously paid for the home, how much you currently owe or how much you need to sell the current place for in order to purchase your next place. We have all heard the phase that lawyers who represent themselves have a fool for a client and we all understand why physicians should not diagnose or treat family members. Unfortunately you as the seller may not be able to be objective about how potential buyers will feel about your home. Agents that tell you what they think you want to hear regarding sales price is actually a indication of a poor negotiation skills. If your Listing Agent cannot site the statics that support the price of your home, with conviction, to you  than what will that same agent tell a buyer’s agent who has done their homework and presents a low offer.


Good agents realize that the value of your home is 1/3 about the home itself. The location, finishes, size, configuration  floor plan etc. 1/3 of the value of your home is about what else a buyer can buy at the same time for comparable dollars with similar location, finishes etc. Note that if a comparable home is listed for less than it should be, than until that home sells, then your home’s value will also be lowered. Why would a buyer spend more money for your home if it’s very similar to a lower priced comparable property? The last 1/3 of what a home is worth is based on the comparable sales in the last 6-9 months. Since most buyers will need to have a mortgage if the purchase price of the home is not supported by the appraisal than lenders will not provide a mortgage regardless of how much a buyer loves the home. When a home does not appraise out typically you will be forced to lower your purchase price or  more often than not a deal will die.  Good agents will also discuss the impact of proper pricing on both your timeline and the ultimate sales price. Although perhaps not what you want to hear, good agents will be very open and direct. They will offer to show you the active listings that buyers might consider when also considering your home. Great Agents wont just tell you what you want to hear and then hope the agents that show your home will do their dirty work for them telling you the price is to high etc.

Reason 4 – I did not need to check references.  I’m a good judge of character.

A snap judgement isn’t good enough. You also need to determine if the agent is competent and familiar with the specific portion of the local market that includes your property. The best way to do that is to check up on references. Ask for references on recent sales — check up on references of recent customers. Find out how an agent’s customers feel about their selling experience.


Remember that how long an individual has been in real estate isn’t necessarily all you should look for. Experienced agents can grow jaded and not work as hard – newer agents sometimes make up with enthusiasm and effort what they lack in experience.

Reason 5 – They charged the lowest commission.

We have all heard the phase “You get what you pay for.”  The notion that a home can or will sell itself, that All agents are the same so why pay more, or that the only important objective is to get the home in to the multiple listing service are clearly not true or else all homes listed would sell in 30-60 days.


Good Agents will market your home not only to potential buyers but to other agents with effective marketing and exposure that will cost more.


Commission not only compensates your listing agent but it compensates the buyer’s agent. And lower commission typically means lower commission for the Buyer’s agent. We would like to think all agents remain objective and put their clients interests first. Still when a buyer is trying to decide between two similar properties and looks to their Agent for advice, even giving any benefit to the doubt to the agent, if all other things are equal and the other listing pays more than your lower commission then which property do you think the agent will probably say is a better buy etc.


Lastly do you want an agent Negotiating, with a buyer’s agent, when they do not have great negotiating skills.  If an agent is not able to able to successfully negotiate even a typical market rate commission for themselves then how successful do you think the agent will be in negotiating the highest sales price for you?

Reason 6 – The agent is what counts – not the company.

Beyond the List Price selling your home is first and foremost about “exposure.” While there are exceptions to every rule, and so some agents may be very effective on their own through a smaller offices or “boutique” agency typically larger firms offer their agent’s more resources.


For example large companies generally have more marketing resources available to their agents… resources like expanded internet presence to increase the odds buyers are aware of your property, Showing services with longer office hours to make sure that a buyer’s agent can easily schedule a showing when their client is available and specialized Relocation services team that can expose your property to buyers that may be moving to Indianapolis.


Lastly large real estate companies often have lots more agents. This is important because when your house is newly on the market, the company may stage an “office preview” where every agent in the office comes through and tours your home. Every agent who views your home and is impressed is another agent on your sales team.


Additionally, larger companies are often better at offering ongoing education to their agents. As a result, your agent may be better qualified and prepared to offer a quality service. Although most states require real estate agents to enroll in “ongoing education” to keep pace with changes in the real estate market, many agents only take the “bare minimum” in ongoing education courses. Sometimes, large offices are better at convincing their agents to go beyond the minimum.

Reason 7 – All agents passed the same test so they must know the same things.

The real estate profession is constantly changing and, as mentioned above, the best real estate professionals stay abreast of those changes by continuing their education. Some go beyond the required minimum requirements.


Additionally great agents have a focus in their practice. That means that may know more about your community, your neighborhood, builder etc. The ability to provide clarity and insight to a buyer’s agent can mean the difference between a great offer and no offer.

Reason – The agent will hold an open house every week.

Open houses can and do sell homes, but usually not your home. Only a small percentage of the homes held open are sold as a direct result of the open house. More often, “open houses” are a way that real estate agents “prospect” for potential clients. If they develop a rapport with those visitors to your open house, they can find out about their housing needs and sell them the home that most closely matches those needs. Meanwhile, the person who eventually buys your home may be visiting someone else’s open house.


Good agents are not counting on an open house as the way to sell the property. They have proven and effective marketing programs to highlight your property.  The most effective marketing is not directly to the public, but to other agents. By getting other agents interested in your home, your listing agent multiplies your sales force beyond just one individual.

Reason 9 – I want an agent who lives in my development or neighborhood.

Knowledge of the local market isn’t only acquired by living in the immediate neighborhood.  While, your agent should have intimate knowledge of recent sales, comparable places, schools, businesses, and so on, living in the neighborhood does not automatically guarantee that an agent will be fully informed. 

Reason # 10 – This agent sold more homes last year than anyone else.


That should only be the beginning. What is more valuable — an agent who listed 32 homes and sold 25 – or an agent who listed twelve homes and sold all twelve? So you need to ask some questions. How many of their listings did not sell? How many were reduced over and over before they sold? what was the average sales to list price percentage? How long were the houses on the market? How smoothly was the process handled? How accessible was the agent when there were questions or problems?


Quantity is important, but only if all of the quality questions have been answered satisfactorily.


Quantity may also come at the expense attention to detail and great customer service.  One of the best ways to determine if you will be a big fish in a small sea or a small fish in a big sea is to call the the agent. Do they only publish their office phone or do they publish their cell phone?  When you call the office do you get a live person or do you more often than not get a recording? Realize that access to the agent for you as a seller is the same access the buyers will have. If buyer’s can’t easily and quickly reach an agent they will move on. If other Agents can’t easily and quickly reach and agent to ask a question or get information to submit an offer that agent’s buyer may grow frustrated and just move on!

The best agent is the one who has a great read on what the home should and will sell for, and then will do the most effective job of marketing the property, negotiating the most favorable terms and conditions, and communicating with the you and other Agents to make the process as smooth as possible.