Last week I attended a meeting with some of Boston’s top agents. The speaker was very good and covered several real estate topics. One thing that stood out to me though was something very simple and something we, as agents, hear every year. The National Association of Realtors does a survey every year with real estate customers asking them what is the most important thing to them in working with an agent. You might be thinking it should be a “Knowledgeable” agent or something about commissions. Once again the #1 answer was honesty. Buyers and sellers want an honest agent, someone they can trust to have their backs.
I bring this up in my blog because of some recent things I have seen in the market. One of those things is the recent bombardment of ads from Redfin and their new 1% listing fee. Right out of the gate, they are missing the #1 thing people want from their broker, honesty. That 1% listing fee is very misleading because the actual cost to the seller is 3.5% ( On top of the 1% they still have to pay the buyer’s agent 2.5%) One of the reasons that Redfin and Zillow may see a downfall is that they are corporations that care only about the bottom line and not the client. Starting off with a lie, in any business, is not your best way to build trust. Unlike the corporations, agents are independent contractors ( even if they work for a larger chain brokerage firm) These independent contractors care about their clients more it is their livelihood at stake.
I see many ads that are misleading or just plain wrong. I recently saw a website. On their website and Instagram site, they state that they are a “Luxury condo” specialist. It is very funny to me, and not exactly honest, that someone who has not been in the market but a few months and not sold a home over $700,000 claims to be a “Luxury condo” specialist? The worst thing is that I know this person. I really wanted to call her and say to her that the #1 thing people want is honesty and you are starting off with something that is not true. I did not call her because I feel it is not my place to do so, but I wish somebody would because it would do her more good in the long run.
Honesty comes in many different forms. I very much appreciate agents that are trying to get a new listing that are honest in their pricing. I see so often agents that over promise the pricing to get a listing over another agent. What happens in the end is very familiar, the Boston sits on the market forever with no offers, the agent then starts doing multiple price reductions and then finally the condo sells well below where it should have if it were priced correctly. Unfortunately that agent still gets rewarded and the agent that was honest in their pricing, the one that might have sold it for a higher price , gets nothing.
There are many really good Boston real estate agents out there. There are many that give you all that they have to do the job right and that means putting their needs aside and working for the clients best interest to capture the best price for their clients and take care of all of their needs.
In years to come, you may have multiple options in selling your Boston. We have begun to see programs that are trying to disrupt the way homes are sold. The interesting thing here is that none of these new programs care about getting you a premium when you sell. It is just about selling the home and collecting a fee. I know, as a person that has been in real estate for 25 years, if I had someone sell a house for me it would be someone that I know has my back and truly cares about me. It would be someone that I know would spend money to market my home in many different avenues to give it the most exposure ( the big corporate discounters will not be doing this!) When an agent does this, more times than not, they will sell that home for a premium price, a price that far exceeds the amount of discount that the corporation says they will be “Saving” you.
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