Real estate agents love to take credit for selling the homes they list. Ask any of them how many homes they have sold recently and they will happily to tell you. When a real estate agent tells me how many homes they have sold, I sarcastically reply that “I didn’t know they owned that many.”
The truth is, home owners sell homes, with some help (hopefully) from a real estate agent. When a home sells, it is not the agent signing all those contracts, it is the home seller. I think the seller-agent relationship is akin to that of the player-coach relationship: the seller is the player and the agent is the coach.
A good coach can advise a player and can put them in the best position to win, and that is what a good agent can do too. But, the coach can only call the play. And if the coach calls the wrong play, it is incumbent upon the player to make the necessary adjustments to find the winning play. But, the player can only change the play if they are smart enough to realize the original play will not work. If the player blindly follows the original play, regardless of the opposition’s defense, it may fail miserably. And you too may fail to sell your home if you blindly follow you agent’s advice.
Most real estate agents are good at what they do, but they are not perfect, and they are not infallible. They are working with partial information and suffer, to some degree, from the inherent conflicts of interest in the real estate industry. As a home seller, you should look to your agent for advice, but that is all it is, advice. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines advice as a recommendation regarding a decision or course of conduct. It is a recommendation. It is something you should consider, along with other information, when making your final decision.
If you think that using a real estate agent to sell your home absolves you of your responsibility in the sales process, you are likely to be disappointed by the result. It is your responsibility to sell your home. And you will not get the best results selling your home by hiring the most informed agent. You will get the best results by being the most informed seller. How could you even find an well-informed real estate agent if you are not an informed seller? You would not know one from the another.
Taking responsibility means getting educated on the sales process: understanding staging, pricing and marketing. And if you think it is difficult to learn about selling your home, just think how difficult it was to earn those thousands of dollars you will undoubtedly be throwing away as an uniformed seller.
The minute you accept responsibility for selling your home, and do not just throw the whole thing into the agent’s lap, the less likely that you will be sitting in a home that does not sell. And, as an added benefit, you will finally understand the immortal words of the popular singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett: If the phone don’t ring, it’s me.