There are two factors at play here. On the one hand, you need to be beware of agents who set the list price on homes at unrealistically high levels simply to get listings. This is really unfair because it can set homeowners up for disappointment and failure. On the other hand, you have homes that are priced correctly, but are marketed ineffectively. Without a proper marketing program in place to ensure a home is exposed to the highest number of qualified buyers, many home sellers feel forced to accept a lower offer. There's nothing worse to a home seller than to have their home sit unsold for many months because of improper pricing and/or marketing techniques. Needless to say, either of these situations is highly frustrating to any home seller. But more than that, it can be financially crushing if you're counting on the full proceeds of the sale of your home to fulfill some other obligation. To prevent this scenario when selling your home here are some points to consider before choosing the agent you want to represent you.
A good agent knows the market and has information on past sales, current listings, a marketing plan, and will provide their background and references. Evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of their experience and qualifications.
Are they pricing your home correctly? Home prices are determined by the marketplace not by your emotional attachment or by what you feel your home is worth. You should work closely with an agent who will suggest establishing a realistic price for your home. They will help you to objectively compare the price, features and condition of all similar homes in both your neighborhood and other similar ones which have sold in recent months. It is also important to be familiar with the terms of each potential sale. Terms are often as important as price in today's market.
Do they set themselves apart from the others by offering innovative marketing plans to sell your home fast and for top dollar? Will they set up an aggressive marketing program to ensure your home is exposed to hundreds of qualified buyers? How much money does this agent spend in advertising the homes s/he lists versus other agents. In what media do they advertise, (newspaper, magazine, TV. etc.) Do they use a 24 hour hotline, "For Sale" signs, lock boxes, a Tour of Homes program, and Talking House signs and transmitters? What does this agent know about the effectiveness of one medium over the other?
Are they accountable to you? In other words when they promise to sell your home, do they offer you a guarantee (in writing) that you will sell your home in the said timeframe?