We sometimes get to interview with folks for a listing that was previously on the market. These are generally people who have had the heartbreaking experience of hiring an agent, getting their house ready for the market, seeing it go on the MLS and Internet sites, and being excited that soon someone would come and make them a full price offer so they can go on to the next stage of their life….followed by weeks of keeping the house picked up, and last-minute showings, and getting the dogs and kids out so it can be shown…and the house didn’t sell.
One of the most common things they say is “And MY Agent never even showed the house.” What showings they did get were scheduled by other agents representing Buyers. Their own listing Agent showed it a time or two and maybe had an Open House.
Right away, we know that the previous agent did not do a great job of explaining the process, or the Homeowner would not have expected their agent to be the one doing most of the showings. That isn’t really how it works. The listing agent might be the one to show and sell the property, but chances are much greater that another Agent will bring the Buyer to see the house and sell it.
The 2014 Home Buyers and Sellers Profile from the National Association of REALTORS® tells us that 88% of Buyers used an Agent in their purchase. This is up from 69% in 2001. In the Topeka market in August 2014, 266 homes sold. My math tells me that if we use the NAR® statistic of 88%, of the 266 homes sold, approximately 234 of those Buyers used an agent.
At the time I am writing this, there are approximately 422 active Realtors® in our MLS.
What this boils down to, is that most Buyers are represented by an agent and will use one to view and purchase a property. The chances are MUCH greater that one of the other 422 Agents in town will have the perfect Buyer for a house than the chances are of the listing Agent having the Buyer already.
The job of your Listing Agent really focuses first on Marketing. Once price and terms for the listing have been decided between us and a Homeowner wanting to sell a house, we go full steam ahead with producing eye-catching photos, Virtual Tours, and online marketing. We share the listing on the MLS and about everywhere you can think of on the Internet. The goal is to appeal to a qualified, motivated buyer who is ready to make a purchase, and most often, these Buyers are in a relationship with a REALTOR® already.
Most of the “sign calls” we get are from people who are just getting started in the process, people calling for their friends or family because they want to help, people who hang up when you tell them the price, people who are just curious, people who want to rent… You get the picture. While we love the Buyers who are just getting started, IF they can qualify for a mortgage, and IF they decide they want to work with us, that process takes time. After all of this qualifying is done, the house where we first met this Buyer may not be the right one for them when they are ready to write an offer.
We as Agents don’t each have 50 active, qualified Buyers who are ready and willing to write a contract every day, but I’ll bet at least 50 REALTORS® in our MLS each have at least one! It is far more productive for your agent to be marketing your house to their colleagues and their qualified Buyers than trying to find that elusive Buyer themselves.
Keep your eye on the goal, which is a fair contract followed by a successful closing. It shouldn’t matter if your agent or a Buyer’s agent writes the offer as long as you get to move on and enjoy your life. Put the odds to work for you by hiring an agent, but don’t be surprised if they don’t bring the Buyer themselves. Just be happy that they did their job done and got the house SOLD.