"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

November, 2011

I’ve been doing this a long time, and one of the things I am noticing in the current market is that quite a few unsold listings are coming up cancelled, withdrawn, or expired, only to be re-listed shortly thereafter by another Realtor.  While I’m sure there are occasionally other reasons, I suspect the majority are due to the notion that another Realtor might be able to sell the house where the first one didn’t.

There is a fundamental misconception behind this which involves the way the market works.  The fact is that the exact same set of potential buyers is going to look at a given house regardless of who the agent is.  All agents know this, by the way, but you will rarely hear it.  When a property is listed for sale with a local Realtor, it goes on the Multiple Listing Service, which acts as a central clearinghouse for all property for sale.  From there, it automatically goes onto nearly every real estate website you can think of, including the ones of competing real estate companies.  In other words, when I list your house, you will find it not only on Prudential’s website, but also Re/Max’s, Coldwell Banker’s, etc, and vice versa if you should [gasp] list with another agent. 

The odds are actually quite small that the agent you list with will have the best buyer for your house.  No matter how much business he/she does, it’s just one agent.  There are thousands of other agents out there who, however occasionally, do business in Palos Verdes, and are constantly showing buyers the homes for sale.  They will see your house whether it is advertised, held open, or not.  The odds are overwhelming that one of those agents, having shown their buyer 30-40 homes by the time yours comes up, and thus able to recognize that yours is what the buyer is looking for, will have the best buyer – one who is qualified and will pay the highest price.   

If you think about this process, the identity of the listing agent is fairly unimportant in this phase of the sale – you’re going to have the same people looking at your house regardless, with one possible caveat below.  Buyers’ agents don’t say “oh, that’s John Smith’s listing, so I’m going to show it”; agents show homes and/or buyers look at them based upon the value offered – the correctly priced homes get shown and sold, the over-priced ones don’t.  No amount of advertising is going to cause an overpriced house to sell (the buyers, after all, have seen all the competition and you can’t fool them), and a correctly-priced house will be shown and sell without it.  It bears pointing out here that your agent becomes vitally important once you receive offers and on thru the close of escrow, which I have discussed elsewhere.  You should select your agent based upon his/her skills at negotiating the contract and handling all aspects of the escrow, and not because they can “find a buyer”. 

The caveat above is that, all else being equal, it is a disadvantage to use an out of area (not doing business Palos Verdes) agent because a) the out of area agent is very unlikely to have seen the past sales, which would better equip them to negotiate the sale price when an offer is received, and b) the other agents don’t know them and are more comfortable showing and selling listings of agents they’ve actually heard of.  A good question to ask prospective agents is for a list of properties they’ve sold in Palos Verdes.  In this market, you need all the advantages you can have, and using an agent who concentrates on Palos Verdes is one that is within your control.  

Give me a call at 310 613-1076 and visit my website:  www.DanaGraham4re.com, or email me at [email protected]  I appreciate your continued loyalty and patronage.

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