Whether you’re a real estate newbie or a seasoned professional, making mistakes is bound to happen. According to an analysis by Choice Home Warranty, one of the costliest mistakes a real estate agent can make is to agree to take overpriced listings.
However, real estate is a multifaceted profession with various components that affect the process. To cultivate success down the road, learning about common mistakes and turning them into lessons is the key to taking selling agents to the top of their real estate game.
Making costly mistakes
For long-time professionals, one of the mistakes selling agents make is the lack of client education, which leads to costly issues for sellers. “One of the biggest [errors] is not advising their sellers on work needed on the home, especially in the area of home staging,” states Amy Vastardis, Realtor of Vastardis Team at Coldwell Banker Real Estate.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 82 percent of buyer’s agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. Without quality photographs that capture the essence of a home, buyers may avoid a listing or end up making lower offers than they would otherwise.
“If the owner doesn’t have the money to do the work needed, there are several options available that would allow them to do the work upfront and pay for it at closing,” she adds. For real estate professionals, telling sellers exactly what they need to do is a top responsibility to sell quickly and for top dollar.
As a beacon that sellers look to for real estate guidance, giving uninformed pricing advice is a mistake that can result in inaccurate information.
“One of the biggest mistakes I see agents make is throwing a number out on the spot. I always tell sellers I will provide them with my listing price the next day,” says Sam DeBianchi LaViola of DeBianchi Real Estate. While it is a common practice, no individual can truly be prepared with a listing price before seeing a house and conducting needed research.
“Listing agents need to see the house, understand the floor plan, take into account specific upgrades and also hear from the seller what they feel makes their property valuable,” DeBianchi said.
Using the same old strategies
In a profession that negotiates a seller’s home for the highest price, using a one-size-fits-all strategy is a recipe for disaster among agents looking to market properties.
“I like to include a video of the sellers describing why they enjoy living in their property or an area in the property they particularly love. This allows me to create a marketing story on the property that is very personal and specific,” explains Gary Lanham of Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Realty Fort Lauderdale. This includes professional photography to showcase the property and where to publish it.
“Agents should use a variety of marketing channels, such as social media, email and print advertising to reach the widest audience possible,” shares Shri Ganeshram, CEO and Founder of awning.com. For that reason, utilizing various strategies in real estate is what sets apart good listing agents from the great.
Failing to disclose
Additional mistakes like the absence of disclosure and unresponsiveness to buyers are major errors that can affect the outcome of selling a property and affect the agent’s reputation as a trusted professional in the real estate business.
“Failure to disclose is the main cause of real estate litigation. Any information regarding a property that could have an impact on its value must be disclosed by a real estate professional,” shares James Angel, co-founder at the contact management company DYL.
While disclosure may impact the property’s sale price and the agent’s commission, honesty proves to be the best policy. Likewise, expressing authenticity is often forgotten among agents and in their efforts to communicate with clients.
“Weekly emails or newsletters can help keep the home at the top of buyers’ minds and let them know their inquiries are being taken seriously,” says Shaun Martin, CEO of We Buy Houses In Denver. “Prospective buyers can quickly lose interest when they don’t receive timely responses from listing agents, so it is important to answer questions as soon as possible.”
As the real estate industry continues to grow, becoming educated on the day-to-day errors made by listing agents remains essential to being a top-rated professional in the future. Knowledge is power, no matter the profession.
Jason D. Greene is a global real estate adviser for Greene Luxury Group | ONE Sotheby’s International Realty in South Florida. Connect with him on Facebook or Instagram.