At a recent home show I had a number of interesting conversations. With one gentlemen, his main question was: “What percentage does your company charge?” I told him, “That’s not the question to ask.” The main question to ask is: “What are you going to do to sell my home?”

The percentage will not matter if there is no sale. At that point, it is zero. And it means you don’t move on with your life.

It’s tempting to believe that the highest list price means more in the seller’s pocket. Or that the lowest realtor fee does as well. Neither of which are true. If you were buying shoes, would you say: “Just give me the ones with the lowest price tag?” Heck, no. We look at how it is stitched. We assess the materials. We try them on for comfort.

Selling a home is not so very different. What will you get for whatever fee you pay? What is the realtor’s marketing like? How extensive is it? Are the photos clear, bright, engaging? Do they tell a story? Do they communicate what is special and inviting about a property? Do they refer to the surrounding area?

Do you believe that the realtor will educate you on the local market? It should raise a red flag if he/she comes to you with a ‘ballpark’ price on the top of their head—with no supporting data. Listing price is determined by assessing comparable homes that have sold and those that are currently for sale. The public sees ‘list price’—and may find that actual sales price is not as available to them. You’ll want an agent who will give you the inside scoop.

Is the agent available to you? Does he/she answer the phone? Call you back? Some of this is difficult to know in advance. You may need to rely on the experience of friends or family to answer these questions.

And lastly, is it your experience that the prospective agent listens to you? That he/she really pays attention to your goals, fears and needs. Is it someone who you sense will really work for you?

So… the end it’s like the rest of life. It just may be that you get what you pay for. And in the arena of what might be one of your largest investments, it pays to be prudent. Is it the place for a discount Broker? You decide.

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