Ask O: Who Do I Choose?

Dear Olivia,

I have a family friend who is a Realtor. I like her and she is a help but she gives me one price to sell my home for and I think it is too low. So I called another agent who suggested a price more in line with my expectations. Who do I choose?

Signed, So Complicated

Hello So Complicated!  What a great question!

My first suggestion is to really take a look at the comparable sales both your friend and the other Realtor are using as the data to price your home. Some Realtors will not only analyze sold data, but also your active competition, which is very important in a upwards market.  Take a little time to look at the Virtual Tours online of the competing properties and try to look at your home through Buyers eyes.

You might want to consult a couple more Realtors on the market value of your home. Most of the estimates should be in the same ballpark.

It could be that your friend is being more honest with you about the value of your home and the other Realtor gave you a higher number because he already knew you expected it. This is called “Buying a Listing” .  Sometimes a Realtor will know what you are expecting and want the listing enough to tell you that price, with the expectation that once you sign the listing they will be able to get you to reduce the price to the actual value.  This gets them the listing if the Seller is only shopping for what seems like the highest price.

Or it could simply be that your friend is a good friend, but not that great of a real estate agent.

Mixing business and friendships can be risky to the friendship, however if your friend is the more knowledgeable Realtor, and you know you are getting good advice, it might be risky not to work with them in this instance, keeping in mind it isn’t a long term working relationship, and if your friend is truly competent and was providing wise advice, she may be offended if you ignore the advice and choose another agent.

Ultimately, your Realtor friend, or not, should be your partner in selling your home and therefore should be giving you the best advice, and educating you on the market and how to properly price in the market.

I can say personally that I have sometimes listed a home higher to “test” the market, especially if the data isn’t giving us a solid pricing answer.  The next most important thing to pricing, is understanding the market and knowing when to make a move.  Make sure you choose the most competent Realtor, that will give you the best information and teach you about what your options are, and how they will affect your sale.

Good Luck with your Realtor choice, and if it would help you, please feel free to call me,  would be happy to offer you a free market analysis in relation to your home for writing in, and you can use it to compare the other prices!  Have a Fabulous Day!

Olivia

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