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18 Jun 2014
Many sellers are frustrated with the process of listing homes and marketing and working with listing agents. The process of searching for a home and buying one is quite different for buyers. Buyers are using the Internet to search the MLS online, and buyers are researching information about Sequim and Port Angeles, and they are doing their due diligence on agents before they hire one. But the world for sellers is totally different, and many sellers have been and are very disappointed with the entire process of listing homes. This is worth knowing if you are a buyer. Let me explain why sellers are frustrated and why some are angry.
Listing homes and marketing homes has changed dramatically as the world has changed. Print media and many traditional advertising techniques no longer are effective to connect with qualified buyers. Even big expensive buildings and franchise names no longer draw clients like a magnet. Consumer preferences have changed just as the Internet has set consumers free to do their own research without committing to an agent from the beginning. Buyers know all this, but the vast majority of sellers don’t connect the dots to listing homes and marketing homes, especially their own home.
The rule for decades in the real estate industry taught by many at seminars is simple. They love to say that the key to success for a real estate agent is “listings, listings, and more listings.” I first heard this mantra 37 years ago when I was licensed in Fairbanks, Alaska. I still remember what our seminar teacher, who was a very successful broker from Denver, told us. “I was in Hawaii last week suntanning on the beach, and three of my listings sold. You can make money with listings even when you are on vacation. Folks, I’m telling you the name of the game is listings, listings, listings.”
Listing homes today is the name of the game for many agents. Therein lies a huge lurking frustration for sellers. Many agents around the country are good at listing presentations, and they get a lot of listings. But their whole focus is on a big inventory of listings, not on advertising in the new world of marketing. Top listing agents can make good money, because all they have to do is list properties and put them in the MLS and sit back and wait for other agents to sell their listings.
So how did they get a home seller to list with them if they don’t market and sell? They know what to say, and homeowners don’t necessarily know how to discern the difference between agents who really market and sell and agents who list and say they have big marketing systems (but do not).
Buyers are in a totally different place, and buyers are using the Internet effectively to find answers to all their questions, to find their ideal retirement home, and to research agents so they can find one they think is knowledgeable, competent, professional, and trustworthy. But sellers have not figured out how to use the Internet to find the best agents. Many sellers are looking for a “listing agent,” but they really ought to be looking for an agent who has a massive and powerful marketing system for their home, and then beg that agent to list and market their property. But sellers don’t understand this. They don’t know how to tell the difference between a great marketing system and no marketing system. Literally. I see this all the time, and it’s unfortunate for sellers.
There is so much more to listing homes than most sellers realize, and the key is a big and powerful marketing system that actually connects with qualified buyers. Far too many “listing agents” do not have that today. Sellers are finding out the hard way. After one year of listing homes with “listing agents” who had a great presentation with a three-ring binder and color glossy images, and with promises that sounded so darn good, they find out that their homes were put in the MLS and very little happened after that. The homes get sold by agents that actually connect with buyers through their own marketing system.
Many sellers have told me they feel like the listing presentation was manipulative and less than honest because the agent promised he/she had the largest marketing system, but it turns out not to be true. Now you know why so many sellers are frustrated with the whole process of listing homes.
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