Do sellers really need to work THIS hard if they hire a “full service” agent?

A week ago (hey – I’ve been busy! 😉 ) there was an interesting piece in the Seattle Times, an “open letter” to sellers in the Seattle area. As you can see, the author believes that a successful seller will devote a SUBSTANTIAL amount of time to the project, even if the seller has hired a “full service” agent to list and sell the property.

This got me thinking: Is the author right? Should people expect to work this hard REGARDLESS of who they use as a listing agent? Seems to me that if a seller should expect to work this hard, then maybe that seller would be better off using a listing agent who didn’t pretend to “do it all” but who also charged a lot less for the service.

Or am I missing something….

13 thoughts on “Do sellers really need to work THIS hard if they hire a “full service” agent?

  1. The article seems to be geared towards sellers AND their agents. Nonetheless, there is still some responsibility left to the owner such as scooping their cat box. Responding promptly to offers…. I think #1 and #2 are very important for a home to consider regardless of how far an agent will bend over for their client. don’t you?

  2. As a Residential Architect I’ve been involved in quite a few house sales by clients as I’ve designed their new homes and as we’ve done the same for ourselves. The rule is: If something needs doing
    to help the sale process, whoever can help, should. It takes everyone onvolved doing their part. It’s that simple. J-

  3. I thought she was spot-on in her advice to sellers. Seeing your introduction, I was expecting something snide but this piece was quite good. What stood out to me was

    #4. Be Demanding
    Anyone who doesn’t cast a critical eye on their home is asking for trouble. High quality photos aren’t all that difficult to come by. If your agent cannot provide them, it might be time to find a better agent who ‘gets it’. An honest to goodness video tour will also help to get people interested in seeing your home over another. It is also helpful because the prospect can go back home and review the video once they’ve seen your house in person. That’s just one more opportunity to keep them thinking about your home.

  4. Jerry got the ball rolling so I will submit this video tour to show how much can be done to help people see why they need to look beyond the first impression (or a few cheesy photos) and give your house serious consideration:

    (Be gentle…videography is not my day job!)

    At the office we call it the ‘Miami Vice’ house. It is striking architecture but many people I polled prior to the video just didn’t get what this house was about. I think this video shows people how much there is to see that could never be captured in two-dimensional photos. Doing this project helped me realize the necessity for a proper camera or a professional videographer.

  5. The letter writer said “If you don’t occasionally feel exhausted, discouraged and frustrated, you probably aren’t giving it your total effort.”

    It sounds to me that this homeowner either didn’t do her due diligence of regular maintenance, and cleaning, organizing etc. for a long time prior to selling.

    Pride of ownership will help your home or condo sell, but it doesn’t start the month before you list … it’s a lifestyle.

  6. It’s a well written piece. Basically it says be fully devoted to your objective. Nothing wrong with that message.

    I agree with Justin. The article treats the agent and the sellers as a “team effort”, without much distinction as to who is doing what.

    If the owner is still living in the house, there will be more things for the seller to do on a regular basis while the home is on market, than if they vacate the property.

    A well informed seller is more likely to have meaningful discussions with their agent. and be able to react more quickly to agent advice.

  7. Yes, that is a good article with plenty of common sense. She obviously cares about her home, but the reality is that not everyone treats their home the same. Really. These recent clients did everything I asked and listened to my stager’s every word, and the results were four buyers stepping up with contracts the first week!

    Poor quality online photos are a pet peeve of mine, and I will tell any real estate agent that every internet marketing campaign starts with good pics. If you don’t like them, go back and take some more… rearrange furniture, roll up rugs to show off hardwood floors.

    The writer of that article should become a real estate agent and then experience what it is like from a professional’s point of view.

  8. Most sellers have no idea what they own.

    A good real estate agent can help guide a property owner in what makes sense for them to do. Some agents, very few, have a true gift for what a property needs, what to disclose, and what to make a matter of best presentation. Some stagers, who have a design sense, can also contribute to making a property more presentable.

    I agree about the pictures. It’s well worth the $250 for a good set of shots.

    Yes, it’s up to the home owner to get a property in shape. Yes, it’s well worth the money to get a professional opinion on what to do. Yes, your property has to conform to the competition. You also need to do what needs to be done to get through an inspection.

    We are well past the days of list it, and leave ’em. A property owner should get the best advice for the price they pay.

  9. We sold our split entry home in Kirkland last June, which took a heroic team effort by our agent and us. Our house was already perfect inside and out, as we had spent several years and close to $90K fixing it up. We got the best agent we could find — after going through Angie’s list and interviewing the top 10, and firing the first one we’d hired. Cindy helped me stage the house, told me what to store, worked with the photographer to get the best shots, made up a beautiful flier, had a floor plan drawn up to go with it, gave us our own web site in addition to her brokerage webside, MLS, etc. She held open houses, sent out fliers to all local realtors and everyone in ouryneighborhood, followed up on every showing and followed up again periodically thereafter. On and on and on. For our part, after staging it, we kept the house perfect 24X7 and vacated for every showing. The newspaper article about what sellers need to do is right on. We did all that and more. It was exhausting. But we got the house sold in a very difficult market. It took about 8 weeks (of hell), and our first buyers backed out for no reason after tying up the house for the last week of the buyer credit. But Yeah! We have been able to move to Ballard and buy our little dream retirement bungalow.

  10. Pingback: Do home sellers really need to work that hard -- and if so, why hire a full service broker? - Holmes Law Group - Seattle, Washington Real Estate Law & Lawyers

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