Type of Real Estate Agent Matters When Selling Your Home in Northern Virginia

Broker-Agent Business Models

Independent Agents are Best Calibrated for Seller Success
BrightMLS statistics prove that Top Producing, Independent Agents perform at an exceedingly higher level when compared to bargain-priced agents and large agent-teams. There is a proven Seller Success Trajectory that occurs across home selling models. The selling model that produces the lowest seller value and highest risk is For Sale By Owner (FSBO) – a model where the seller uses no agent at all. This model produces a very low selling probability. Contacting a bargain-priced agent is usually the first move for a failed FSBO or a seller who is in search of the cheapest agent. The low-cost can be attractive to sellers, but bargain-priced agents commonly compete on price alone, falling woefully short on implementing and executing best practices that deliver exceptional seller outcomes. These low-cost providers typically carry the highest risk and lowest value among agents underscoring the consumer truth “You Get What You Pay For”.  

Large Agent-Teams Don’t Necessarily Mean Better
As consumers, we experience this fact in our everyday lives – bigger doesn’t mean better. We see it in banks, telecom/cable companies and big-box retailers just to name a few. One of the best examples that resonate with many consumers in Northern Virginia is possibly where we shop for our groceries. On a combined basis, large grocers like Giant Food and Safeway dominate market share and sales. However, a relatively smaller grocer like Wegmans Food Markets dominates in quality and ultimate customer experience.

This is not too dissimilar in the residential real estate space when hiring an agent to help sell your home. Large agent-teams often boast of $200 to $400 million or more in sales volume and 500 to 1,000 transactions per year. However, the sheer size of these teams can administer the home sale process like a disjointed bureaucracy. The production line nature of their process often does not accommodate a customized approach required by sellers. Agent availability and communication can suffer – sellers can become confused and frustrated when dealing with multiple team members in the sale of their home. In fact, a November 2017 Inman survey of agent-teams found that 67% of agents reported “the biggest issue clients face when working with a team is confusion about who does what”. This is an unfortunate by-product of too many agent-teams making the critical mistake of placing transactions over relationships.

How can they not? Large agent-teams are easily consumed by the weight of their 500 to 1,000 transactions. It creates an inability to hyper-focus and differentiate between sellers, much less know the unique objectives of each. This agent model exists in stark contrast to the agility of a Top Performing, Independent Agent who is usually better positioned to hold a seller’s individual interests permanently top of mind and deliver a uniquely exceptional outcome. This fact is no more apparent than in the 30% plus failure rates (unsold listings) experienced by large agent-teams. Not to mention the significant financial losses and other seller advantages squandered by agent-teams as a consequence of their inevitable higher days on market.

Sellers Have Just One Opportunity for Maximum Gains
The residential real estate market is a high stakes business that operates in the realm of what’s most financially important to sellers. A seller’s home or investment property often represents a significant portion of their net worth. The process of selling the home demands the absolute highest in agent expertise and commitment. Your home only has one opportunity to prepare a positioning and selling strategy – one opportunity to be brand new to market – and one opportunity to capture maximum gains. Agent type and selection matter and it has a direct impact on the quality of the seller’s outcome. 

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