Selling your home and interviewing multiple agents

Selling your Silicon Valley home? The common wisdom is to interview at least 3-4 real estate agents, ideally from as many brokerages,  before selecting one to work with you on the listing, marketing, sale and escrow of your home.  Many Silicon Valley home sellers don’t do that, though – in fact about half hire the first person they speak with – for better or worse.

But let’s say you’re doing your “due diligence”  and have interviewed a few agents.   How do you dismiss the ones you aren’t hiring?  Today I want to present a few thoughts and ideas on this for you, and I’ll keep it brief.

  1. On the off-chance that your property doesn’t sell with the agent you are now selecting, you want to keep the door open for future business with the other agents whom  you’re not hiring now.  In other words, if the agent you hire today ends up being a dud, you do want to be on good enough terms that you can go back to one of the agents you’re rejecting today to hire later. So # 1, be polite and friendly with every agent, even the ones you aren’t going to employ.
  2. Additionally, many of the agents you are now dismissing may later have a buyer who’s perfect for your home later. So again, be polite and friendly with every agent.
  3. Please remember that for Realtors and other real estate professionals, each listing presentation or buyer presentation is really a job interview.  Just as you would be waiting anxiously to hear back if you’re going to be hired for a position, so do they wait for news to learn if they are employed or not!
  4. It is important for agents to know what you’ve decided, even if they don’t get the job.  If they’ve done a good job, but you’re selecting someone else anyway, do tell them that you appreciate their hard work but are hiring someone else at this time. Sometimes it is really difficult to choose whom to hire if you meet a few stellar agents.   The worst thing is for them to not hear back from you at all, or led to believe that you’re going to hire them, only to have someone else’s sign show up in the front yard.  Almost every agent I know has had this happen and it’s one of the low points of being in real estate when it does happen.

Agents often spend many hours preparing to meet with potential seller clients, studying the market, pulling comps, and gathering presentation materials as well as listing papers, most likely, in case you want to sign with them when they arrive. (One of the worst things an agent can do is to show up at a listing presentation and not be prepared to sign a listing if the clients want to do so – and that does happen at times!) Whether you decide to hire them or not, it’s best for them – and for you – to communicate nicely and clearly what your decision is.


Related Reading:

What do Silicon Valley Real Estate Agents Do?

Selling Your Home in Silicon Valley




Being Secretive with Your Realtor? It’s Not a Help.

Recently I’ve had the uncomfortable experience (a couple of times) in which potential clients were overly secretive about their situation. One was in Los Gatos, another in San Jose.

I’m going to be blunt here: it is really hard to help when we, as agents, don’t know what is truly going on. It’s not a whole lot different than keeping important things from your doctor or lawyer. If you want help, it is imperative that you tell your hired professionals what is going on.

For that matter, if you are interviewing agents to list your home or to help you to buy your next home, expect those agents to ask you about your needs and motivation. Hiring an agent (and the agent agreeing to take you on as a client) is a two way relationship. Both sides need to be clear and honest with each other.

Let me give you an example. Years ago, I had some prospects (not yet clients) in Monte Sereno who inquired off and on for years about selling their home. At one point, it became a “hurry up” situation. Luckily, they told me the truth: one of them had been diagnosed as terminally ill. The sick one did not want to saddle the survivor with selling the home after the death.