It is an interesting question, because it is something most home sellers probably should do, but don’t.
If you are like most home sellers, when it comes time to selling your home you will call a real estate agent you already know, or call friend or family member and solicit a referral. The thought being, that selling your home is such an important transaction, you simply have to use a realtor that comes with some degree of pre-approval. But should you? I am going to try to make the case that using a referred agent may not be in your best interest.
But first, what if I posed that same question to a real estate agent: would you list the home of a seller you don’t know? I bet a 100% would say yes. Hell, they dream about it. They are constantly marketing themselves to find new home buyers and sellers, because they know if they limit themselves to only people they already know, they will not do very well in real estate. If agents are willing to work with you as a stranger, maybe you should be open to doing so as well.
The most important thing to understand when choosing an agent to list your home is this: selling your home is a business transaction that will cost you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. You can be friendly toward your agent, but they are not your friend. They are your service provider. It is essential that you select the best agent, and choosing a referral comes with a litany of potential problems.
Problem number one: selling a home can get emotional. Arguments and disagreements can ensue, which in extreme cases, can end the relationship even before the home is sold. It happens all the time in real estate. Do you really want to have a relationship go south with someone you may have to see socially again? It is better to keep business and pleasure separate.
Problem number two: it is really difficult to negotiate a better deal for yourself with a referral. Make no mistake about it, real estate fees are negotiable and if you do not negotiate your fees, you are going to pay too much. Negotiations can get heated, and you may even have to walk out and find yourself a better deal. Do you really think you can walk away from a friend or a friend of a friend? So, what do most home sellers do? They end up paying too much to list their home for the vague comfort of working with a referral. Not worth it.
Problem number three maybe the biggest problem of all. The best realtor for your situation may not be a referral. The best real estate agent to list your home may be an agent you do not know (yet). And you will never meet them if you limit yourself to only referrals. Why limit yourself?
Problem number four: not interviewing more than one agent because you got a referral. Whether you use a referral or not, you should always interview at least three agents to list your home. The only way you will know who is best suited to list your home is to compare. Sellers are often times afraid they will insult the referred agent if they speak with other agents. If that makes you uncomfortable, that is even more reason not to work with referred agents.
When it comes time to sell your home, be open to working with a real estate professional you do not know. If things go really well, you can always use them when you sell your next home.
To see how ReaListing helps sellers find real estate agents to interview, click here.