From Listed to SOLD - How to Sell Those Listings You Work So Hard to Get!


Would You Want Me as Your Client if I Did This?

HouseI'm going to pose a situation to you and ask for your honest feedback as to how you would respond if this situation were presented to you. 

Sometime in the next year, my husband and I will be selling our home and buying a new one. Since I'm not licensed in the state of Florida (and have no desire to be), we will be seeking the services of a local real estate agent.

Honestly, this scares me to death. I have rather high expectations for an agent who represents me - well, actually I don't feel my expectations are unreasonable, but my past experience with hiring listing agents has been discouraging - my 'I-consider-to-be-reasonable' expectations weren't even close to met and I spent a lot of my time frustrated.

So, how do I ward this off? I don't WANT to be frustrated! But I want my agent to have a clear understanding of what I expect... and to be willing to live up to my I-consider-to-be-reasonable expectations.

Here's my idea... to make a proposal to the agents we interview, outlining what we expect from them in terms of pre-market pricing research, photography, communication, marketing, ongoing market research, etc. And see who, if any, are interested in our business... 

How would you respond if someone took this approach with you? (Caveat - this "someone" has real estate experience and has maybe even written a book or two on the subject.)

Would you be offended and irritated? Or conversely, challenged and inspired?

Your thoughts?

Here's a little survey on the matter - would love your input!


It's Here!


The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
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Comment balloon 19 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • August 10 2012 10:21AM


Thanks for your feedback, Pete! I agree...

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) almost 8 years ago

Jennifer - you asked for honest....I would welcome a discussion of your expectations about communication (method, frequency etc) and would be ready and willing to discuss how I go about analyzing the market before making a price recommendation and what type of marketing will be done.  But I would also expect that at least part of your reasoning in hiring an agent is to be represented by someone who is very, very familiar with that local community.  And with that said, I would ask that my experience with the most effective ways to market a home in that community be respected.  Just my two cents worth...

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA almost 8 years ago

Jennifer, if I were you I would expect out of your realtor the professionalism and dedication that you yourself have to your job. You will be able to tell pretty easily which Realtor will be the right fit. Just make sure he or she is a member of Activerain and knows your market inside and out.

Posted by Mike Frazier, Northwest Tennessee Realtor (Carousel Realty of Dyer County) almost 8 years ago

It's a good approach, but on the other hand expect the potential listing agent to lay out their expectations for you as well. You can't set expectations without being willing to meet expectations equally.

Posted by Dale Bledsoe, Realtor in Tracy, California (Crown Key Realty) almost 8 years ago

Sounds fair to me, as long as the expectation are reasonable. In other words, you don't want $2000/month in advertising for a $200,000 listing, etc.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) almost 8 years ago

Nancy - thank you for being honest! And I very much value and need local expertise which is why I wouldn't even consider FSBO'ing (as others have suggested to me). I just have expectations as to the level of professionalism I want... although I probably wouldn't broach it that way ;-]

Than - Personally, I don't really care what an agent does to market my listing as long as the basics are covered. I've always thought that the majority of expensive marketing was to market the agent, not the home, so I would not expect that sort of thing! 

Dale - Great point! My "What to Expect While on the Market" brochure for sellers does exactly that... tells the seller what they can expect from me... and what I expect from them.

Mike - Knowing the market is definitely KEY... and a big part of what I expect. 


Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for your comment Jennifer - and to answer your blog post question - if I was licensed in Florida and worked in the area where you are, I would LOVE having you for a client!

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA almost 8 years ago

I think it would be refreshing to work with a client who actually tells their agent what they expect of them up front.  Too often they have expectations - sometimes unreasonable - and their agents don't always know what they are until there are problems and the client is unhappy. 

Posted by Vicki Pedersen, Providing Exceptional Real Estate Service (Pedersen Real Estate) almost 8 years ago


My only involvement in Real Estate anymore is as a referral agent but I am involved in a certain amount of counseling. Granted I am mostly involved with families that are selling their homes because of hardship but I think the advice is the same.Right now it is your home, once the decision is made to offer it for sale it becomes a business decision. One which requires entering into a series of contracts. You have to make the decisions which are most beneficial to you withoutbringing emotion into it. (as well as you can). Whoever you hire treat them with respect and if you get along great if not at least hire someone you respect. As someone who knows a thing or two about real estate why wouldn't you want to leverage that knowledge to your benefit. There will be a point where you will have to trust your agents abilities but it would be foolish to not use your own expertise in hiring the agent. Many people liked me but honestly I realized quickly that I was a terrible listing agent. You'll do fine.

Posted by Hugh Krone, Realtor, Sussex County NJ (Weichert Referral Associates) almost 8 years ago

You know Jennifer, as I think about this more, it may be that you are looking at hiring 2 different agents.  Hugh pointed out that he thought he was a "terrible" listing agent.  Although, that's probably stated a bit strongly, I suspect that there are many agents that are better at working with sellers than buyers and vice versa.

Therefore, in order to get the best service for your situation, I would consider interviewing both buyers' and sellers' agents.

It may be that two are better than one.

I think the criteria for both transactions are similar and you deserve to have the best representation possibel to make sure you acheive your goals in these transactions.

Posted by Sally Lawrence, Broker, CHS, e-Pro, SFR, REALTOR® (Advantage Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Jennifer,  At least the agents would know up front what you expected and that your standards might not be the same as an average home seller and buyer.  

Posted by Kim Peasley-Parker (AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Jennifer, I think this is a great idea with a couple of additional thoughts added.  First off, I love written mutual expecations on any and all projects.  Too many assumptions lead to frustration by all involved.

Be aware that some agents (good and bad) will be afraid you'll be a royal pain in their, um, side.  We've all had the crazy, overly demanding client. Some of those don't mind paying, some use this a ploy to later demand a price change. This will be great to run off the poor agents, but you may lose great ones too depending on how you explain it all.

Kim's point (right above) is dead on.

Take care, G

Posted by Glenn S. Phillips, CEO, Lake Homes Realty / (Lake Homes Realty) almost 8 years ago

Jennifer... Honesty is always the best policy and what you're asking for is exactly what any good agent would and should be doing.  I would imagine you would be interviewing agents that appear to be performing these duties already... so I suppose the delivery of your expectations are going to make it or break it.  :)

All the best!

Posted by Lisa Piltz (Keller Williams Realty) almost 8 years ago

An agent should already have a plan in place in regards to the marketing of your home, etc. and how they plan to get it sold.  An agent needs to be prepared.  It is just like applying for a job.  The interviewer has their pre-planned list of expectations, qualifications etc. and the interviewee needs to prove that they are the best person for the job.  Anyone not willing to step up to the plate I would consider lazy.

Posted by Christina Ehli, RE/MAX Platinum Brighton MI Real Estate Agent (RE/MAX Platinum - Brighton, Michigan) almost 8 years ago

Are you going to have a requirement of a certified ACRE®?  

Sure you've heard that the 4 items for selling your home is 1. LOCATION, can't change that. 2. CONDITION, can work on that.  3. the AGENT you choose to market your home.  4. Price, this is the NUMBER ONE item.  If you do not have a reasonable price to attract the buyers, then....... I'm sure there are a lot of fantastic ACRE®'s in your area.

Posted by Bruce Hicks, Your Lifetime Friend/Helper! (Best Homes Hawaii) almost 8 years ago

Bruce - sure wish there were an ACRE anywhere nearby! Unfortunately I live in a small bedroom community and there aren't any SWS'ers or ACREs to be found here...

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) almost 8 years ago

If I were in Pensacola, and I interviewed for your listing, I would know your knowledge of the business and would welcome your list of expectations.  Hopefully, should I feel that some of your expectations are unrealistic, you would also welcome my input as well.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 8 years ago

I would embrace a client like that.   I love it when people have clearly defined expectations.  

Posted by Coral Gundlach, Real Lives. Not Just Real Estate. (Compass) almost 8 years ago

Hi Jennifer.  I did't see this at first.  For the record,  I think it makes total sense.  Many buyers and sellers are very unrealistic these days.  Setting down what you expect from each other from the get-go is very practical.  It certainly stands apart from the crap-shoot that I have seen with buyers and sellers lately. 

I recently had to let a buyer go that was all over the county and wanting prime showing time for hours every Saturday.  After she had me take her back to five homes twice and then announced that she would never dream of living in any of those places, I realized I was wasting a ton of time and would lose clients to boot.  If you would "never live there" then why did we see all those homes - in three separate towns - twice?   This certainly put me out and if I was inconvenienced, what about the poor sellers? They had to tidy-up, primp, fluff and vacate their homes TWICE for this person.  With a second showing, they were doing back flips hoping for an offer.  Sadly, this sort of behavior is the norm not the exception around here. People have become very unrealistic and yes - selfish. 

Point is - if I have a client that has set up their expectations and I understand what they need and what to expect...that client is worth their weight in gold. I know that I am not squandering my time.  I'm also not disappointing people on the other side because I have a crazy client. 

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) almost 8 years ago

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