Surely you’ve seen the ads. In fact, as a whole, they’re hard to miss. Newspaper real estate sections and the free real estate magazines you pick up in grocery stores and realty offices are full of page after page of nothing but house advertisements. However, decades of research show that less than one percent of buyers actually buy the house they called on from the ad. How can this be? Why would agents/brokerages keep paying for these ads, you ask? Well, keep reading.
House ads are designed to serve agents and their brokerages, not maximize value for the consumer. When you select a real estate brokerage or agent based on the quantity of house ads they run, it’s a recipe for disaster. In essence, you’re selecting an agent by default, and in hindsight, I don’t think anyone wants to do that.
Agents who run house ads do so as an enticement for you to call them. When you call, the agent immediately knows you’re a hot prospect, and they begin asking questions about what type of home you’re looking for. They now have the opportunity to convince you they can help you find a match. As soon as you agree, you’ve selected your real estate agent by default.
In reality, consumers should be the ones doing the interviewing by calling agent and asking about their qualifications and experience. We all have access to the same property information, so anyone you work with should be able to find a match to your property. What you should be looking for in a agent is a match to your personality and style.
It’s important to me for my prospective clients to understand how the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) works. The truth of the matter is that more than 70 percent of all homes sold are sold through the MLS by effective real estate agents, not classified real estate advertising, or house ads. Additionally, those agents who consistently run tons of house ads often have less time and money to provide high-quality service.
Rather than advertising homes, my agents and I at Unit Realty Group choose to advertise ourselves and the services we can provide. We know long-term success in real estate is ultimately about developing a partnership with our clientele, and we don’t want clients to choose us by happenstance. This creates a win-win situation in that consumers who choose us as their real estate professionals have a knowledgeable sounding board for any questions that might arise at any time. Much like having a family doctor or lawyer, many savvy consumers prefer to have a Realtor® with whom they have developed a relationship long before they need to buy or sell a home.
So when selecting your real estate agent, pay no attention to who is running the most house ads. Agents who tell you they’ll advertise your house are only serving their own needs, not helping you. If at the listing presentation the agent promises to advertise your home, they’re doing so primarily for their own personal gain, leaving less time to focus on doing the most effective things to get your house sold.