There’s a lot of pressure to find an excellent listing agent when you’re ready to sell your home. This is one of the biggest sales you will ever make, and there’s also emotional factors in the sale as well. Sometimes, you may find that you and your agent just don’t work well together, or that your agent doesn’t have enough experience. Here are 8 signs you might need a new listing agent, and how to get one.
8 Signs You Might Need a New Listing Agent
Since this is a big step, many people defer to someone they know as their listing agent. However, this can be problematic. Though it is important to be comfortable with your listing agent, you should prioritize experience. If your listing agent shows these signs, it may be time to walk away.
1. Bad Communication
Do you know what stage of the selling process that you’re in? Do you know how many buyers have expressed interest in your home? Do you know if your listing agent is conducting an open house, or when showings are? If you don’t know these things, it’s a sign that you might need a new listing agent. Your listing agent should be in close contact with you, whether that means email, phone calls, texting, or face-to-face meetings. It’s understandable that your listing agent is busy, but they should be able to make time for you.
2. Dodging Questions
Is it difficult to get a direct answer from your listing agent? While your agent may not have all the answers, they should have some. If you find yourself looking up answers to all your questions online, or you come away from meetings and phone calls feeling more confused than before, it’s a sign that you might need a new listing agent. If your agent can’t answer your questions, or can’t give you an approximate answer, it might be because they don’t have enough experience and don’t know the answer themselves.
3. Unsure How to Sell Your Home
You’ve probably asked your listing agent what they will do to sell your home. This is a particularly important question that your agent should be able to answer. If the response to this is vague, or you feel like parts are missing, it’s a red flag. Your listing agent should be able to articulate what they’ve done to sell other homes, what they will do to sell yours, and any reason why their previous strategies will be different for your home.
4. No Staging Strategies
Not all homes need to be staged, and sometimes it’s not practical. However, staging can help to showcase a home’s strengths. Your listing agent should be able to tell you how to best stage your home, or they should know an expert who can help. If you’ve talked to your listing agent about staging and they haven’t been able to offer any hints, or can’t explain why staging wouldn’t be helpful in your case, this is a sign you might need a new listing agent.
5. Price is Too Low
Some homes are clearly different than other homes in the area. They might be smaller, have a smaller yard, or be missing certain key features. In these cases, the home price might be significantly lower than other homes in the area. However, your listing agent should be able to explain why your home is priced the way that it is. If the price is lower than comparable homes, or significantly lower than the home value you approximated, and you’re not sure why, your agent may be trying to sell the home fast.
6. Bad Attitude
Your listing agent should be someone you want to work with. You should feel that your concerns are being heard and that your questions are being answered. If your listing agent is rude or short with you, or they’ve spoken badly about previous clients, it’s a sign you might need a new listing agent.
Negotiations and contracts are a critical part of selling your home, and your listing agent should be able to help you with this. If contracts aren’t signed, offers or counteroffers aren’t sent, or other key stages of selling your home get lost, it can cause your home sale to fall throug. If your listing agent is missing deadlines or seems scatterbrained, it’s a red flag.
8. Lack of Experience
Everyone has to start somewhere when they first start a job, but you probably don’t want your home to be a listing agent’s trial run. Ask your agent about previous homes they’ve sold. If they haven’t sold a home similar to yours, it might be a sign that you need a new listing agent. Look at your listing agent’s reviews and years of experience to get a good idea of what they can handle.
If you’ve encountered these red flags from your listing agent and you know it’s time to look elsewhere, there are steps that you can take. If you haven’t signed a contract, talk to your listing agent and tell them, tactfully but honestly, that it isn’t a good fit for you. If you have signed a contract, look for a cancellation clause. If your listing agent hasn’t fulfilled their part of the contract—for example, they haven’t advertised your home as they said they would or they haven’t returned your calls—it can be grounds for termination. Talk to your broker about the situation as well. Be courteous, but firm. This is a big step for you, and you shouldn’t settle for anything less than high-quality service and a high level of experience.
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