Home Seller Mistake to Avoid: Right Surgeon, but Wrong Hospital

J Philip Faranda January 31, 2011

The Hudson RiverWe've heard the phrase repeated thousands of times, but there are still people who don't get it to their own detriment. 

The phrase? It is not the company that matters, it is the agent. 

If you were unjustly accused of a crime and faced the death penalty, you'd hire the best defense lawyer you could find. If you were going to have cancer surgery, you'd want the best, most experienced surgeon for the job. Getting the best professional can be a life or death matter. 

Yet when it comes to the largest transaction of their life, I see sellers make the fatal mistake of hiring an agent solely because they work for a certain brokerage over an agent with a far better track record because they somehow feel a company name is an advantage over a competent agent. The fallacy here is that if you don't list with the "local mafia," they won't show your house if you list with an "outsider." The underlying assumptions of such a belief defy credulity. Moreover, the results are telling: tons of homes like this fail to sell. What good is being at the "right hospital" if you have the wrong doctor? 

Agents these days are delighted to have a buyer and will bend over backwards to make a sale. If a buyer finds a home online and asked their agent to see it, no agent with a brain cell would steer them away from a possible sale. The best way to lose a buyer client is to not show a listing because of dislike or unfamiliarity with the listing agent. Buyers don't care who lists the house. They really don't. They only care if the house fits their needs and price point

There was a time when our firm was absolutely unknown to most other companies, and sometimes we'd get a listing in a town for the first time. Were some agents territorial on the phone? Sure! Did they show the property? Absolutely! And we built our reputation working with everyone to make the closings happen. No agent walks from a legitimate commission. In 2011, the idea that a firm would boycott a so-called outsider or prevent their buyer client from seeing a home that might fit their criteria is not only bad business, it can result in the loss of a license. No one walks from a commission, and no one jeopardizes their professional status over school yard pettiness. 

There is always peace at the watering hole, and agents know this. We have an unusual industry in that we cooperate with the competition when a sale is made. We may compete for listings and clients, but we have to collaborate to make closings happen. There is no such thing as the wrong company, but there is certainly such a thing as the wrong agent. Choose the best agent the way you'd choose the best attorney or physician- get a professional and don't worry about what is on top of their stationary. You'll end up with a better outcome. 


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