Getting what you pay for

Kathy McSherry
Published on December 11, 2018

Getting what you pay for

Hi Kathy:

I recently noticed a home for sale by a 1 percent commission company. What does 1 percent offer and how does it compare with a full-service Realtor.

—Tom S.

Hi Tom:

That’s a tricky question to answer as I am not a personal fan of discount real estate. What it all boils down to is what value you are getting for the price? If you are considering selling your home, which to many is the largest purchase of their life, you would want to do your homework and go with the best.

Full service brokers typically carry with them a reputation built on years of performance, longevity in the marketplace, are forerunners in the latest types of digital and target marketing, have access to proprietary software for the latest in analyzing market related data, and the knowledge and experience to obtain the highest price possible for your home. They are adept at negotiation skills and are brand recognized.

Any licensed Realtor can put a home in the MLS. You want to make sure you are getting full service when choosing one. What type of marketing will the agent provide for you and what is the plan moving forward? Will the agent be doing open houses themselves or even at all?

Does the agent provide staging advice to make sure your home looks its best? Does the agent send out a professional photographer to make sure your listing looks top notch or do they take pictures off their cell phone and put that in the MLS? Does this company and brand have a great website presence, considering that the internet continues to be one of the most important resources in people’s home search? Besides putting your home in the MLS, what other services will the agent prepared to offer or provide?

Tom, it reminds me of the old phrase, “you get what you pay for.” When you are considering hiring someone to handle what could be your largest asset, you may think of it the same as “What if I needed a surgical procedure, like Lasik?” Would you consider going to a less expensive surgeon to do a procedure that could affect your total vision for life, just to save a few dollars? I personally would not. I would look to find the top doctors that have an established reputation. I would ask and check for any personal referrals or friends that may have had an experience with this office. I would look for great testimonials or feedback from their previous clients, and I would personally check out the physician and his training.

When you think of great companies that have great reputations, rarely will you see them discount. They have achieved their reputations based on past performance and quality of service.

I can also share my personal experience in the Origen community in Mission Valley. I had a listing at the same time as someone that went with a discount real estate company, and my listing sold quicker, less days on the market, and I obtained a higher price for my client in a similar square footage model. I was also doing open houses every weekend and the other agent was not. In addition, I could internally market with my colleagues in Southern California, approximately 4,000 agents, before it even reached the MLS system.

Kathy McSherry

The goal should always be to reach as many people as possible to ensure the greatest chance of capturing a buyer for your home. These larger, more established, full-service companies have a greater presence and outreach in the internet and social media world. Why would anyone not want to ensure reaching more people with their marketing?

All in all, Tom, I guess it would boil down to doing a little research of your own. Check out the reputation of the discount real estate firm and interview the agent, and possibly track how many days on the market their typical listing sits? For an asset that valuable to any homeowner, I cannot see not going with the best. I hope this helps you.