List with Me. I Have the Buyers!

Homeowners routinely receive bulk-mailing post cards from real estate agents wanting to list their homes. I saw one recently that caused me to do a double take.

ARE YOU THINKING OF SELLING?

Let me get you the most money for your home

I have several clients wanting to buy in your neighborhood

The message, ostensibly, is that you should list your home with this agent because she has buyer-clients to whom she can sell your home for top dollar. So what’s the problem?

Think about it…she is going to negotiate the highest selling price for you from her buyer-client, to whom she has committed to negotiate the lowest purchase price. Huh? The fact is that this conflict slips right past most people (and she knows this), but it doesn’t matter. What’s really going on is that this agent is attempting to get listings by capitalizing on the common misconception that the listing agent is most likely to find the buyer.

Atlanta is a wide-open real estate market; there are dozens of real estate brokerages and thousands of real estate agents, each with buyer-clients and they all have instant access to every listing via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). No agent or brokerage has unique access to buyers for any particular home or neighborhood. Considering that this agent hasn’t even seen your home, is it really likely that she has the buyer? Even if she does have a buyer and the home is listed with another agent, she will immediately see the home on the MLS and show it to her client.

There are a number of things to consider when interviewing agents to list your home; the likelihood of any particular agent (or her firm) having the buyer should not be one of them. Perhaps what should be considered is whether to trust an agent who markets herself with deception rather than transparency. As always, the more you understand about how it all really works, the better consumer of real estate services you will be.