Biggest Mistakes A Homeowner Can Make When Interviewing an Agent

There's a lot of questionable advice out there, from "personal finance experts" on TV or from friends, family. They tell you: interview 3 or 4 or 5 agents, then pick one. When somebody tells me that's what they're going to do, I ask:

"What criteria are you going to use, to compare them, judge them, and pick one?"

Many admit: they don't know.

They are going to spend 3, 4, 5 evenings interviewing different real estate agents with no pre-determined way to pick the one they will ultimately trust to handle one of the biggest and most important financial events of their life!

Let me give you a comparison, you may or may not know. When a company decides to hire somebody for an important job, let's say one that costs the company $100,000.00 or $200,000.00 a year, they have a pre-determined set of questions - a set criteria - they will use to judge the people they interview. They know in advance what they are looking for.

To do otherwise is to play 'Blind Archery', and that's dangerous!

They NEVER interview a bunch of people and go with the one they "like". Or rely on "He or she seemed nice?". No.
They use reason and logic.

Well, you are hiring somebody to do a very important job for you.

You should NOT play 'Blind Archery'.

You need to know in advance the kind of agent you want. The things that are most important to you. The smart questions to ask.

For example, is the agent's track record at getting top dollar more or less important to you than the commission s/he quotes you? Is the fact that s/he is a lone wolf and may be constantly and immediately accessible to you more important than his/her 'success percentage', that is, the percentage of homes s/he lists s/he ever sells? And on and on.

On the following pages, you will find a list of 9 different "Selection Factors" to consider and weigh against each other.
From this list, you can make your own "Short List" in the space provided of the five most important things you are looking for, from the agent you will hire.

You will also find my Facts and Answers to all of these Selection Factors, in abbreviated form, of course.

You will also find a list of the Top 4 Mistakes Most Commonly Made, in choosing an agent. The most frequent results of these mistakes are: the home never sells, is tied up for months, and eventually the agent is fired. The home is sold for much less than it should have sold for, because the owner is stuck with an under-performing agent, is worn out, and just wants to get it over with. 


Rank each item, 1-8 (1 = Not Important To You; 8 = Very Important to You) WARNING: Not all of these criteria will leave you with the most money in your pocket. Some of them are, quite frankly, common Seller traps. Read on for more information.

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Unrealistic Price

Going with the agent who promises you the highest sale price, the most amount of money (even if the price seems unrealistic)

Discounted Commission

Choosing the agent who promises to save you money by discounting the commission rate.

Choosing the "nicest" agent

Just like you wouldn't hire a doctor being he is the 'nicest' don't choose the "nicest" agent. Choose the most experienced.

The Juggler

Choosing an agent who works all by themselves, because you think they'll work a lot harder and give you more personal attention.

The Most Frequent Results Of These Mistakes Are . . .

1. The inflated list price you were quoted(in order to get your listing)results in few buyers coming to view your home(because they can get a comparable, properly priced house, for less money)and you end up having to endure a series of price reductions which result in your home finally selling for BELOW its true market value. 

2. A lower commission does not guarantee you will net more on your home sale. According to Real Estate consultant Bernice Ross, there is a "Big Lie" in real estate. It's the lie that reducing the commission always results in more money for the seller. Nothing could be further from the truth. Virtually all sellers want to obtain the highest price possible for their property. No matter what you are selling, maximum exposure to the marketplace is a critical factor in achieving the highest price possible.Companies who cut services in exchange for taking a lower commission often cost clients much more than the extra one to three percent they save in commission. Depending on price, the cost can be tens of thousands of dollars.

3. Your agent may be nice, but this doesn’t necessarily qualify them to do the best job of selling your home. Your agent’s personality will mean very little to you if you ultimately discover that they don’t have the marketing expertise to market your home properly so it sits on the market and either doesn't sell, or sells for lower than market value. (The Realty Team members are all great to work with AND we have a proven system to get your home sold Fast and for Top Dollar.)

4. Your agent ends up neglecting some important steps because s/he is so over-busy trying to do everything all by themselves (and you end up with an inferior result)

8 Key Questions To Ask Agents

How long have you been an active, full-time real estate agent?

How will you market my property?

How many homes are you currently marketing? (Note: A successful top-producing agent may be more effective at managing many listings than a less experienced agent with a handful.)

What can you tell me about your share of the marketplace compared to other agents in the area?

Do you have a Team? How many are licensed? (Note: An agent who has a support Team to handle office chores and routine details can usually devote more time to the business of serving a client's highest priority needs and getting the home sold successfully.)

How will you attract buyers to my property?

How many buyers are you currently working with?

How will you make sure my needs are attended to?


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About Your Local & Experienced Realtors - The Real Mccoy Team


Susan and Sydney McCoy, a mother-daughter real estate team, proudly run Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty Services, a residential real estate company serving Nassau and Suffolk County.

They're all about their unique home-selling services like the Guaranteed Sale Program, Multiple Cash Offer Program, and Probate Solutions.

But here's the deal: last year, half of the houses on the market didn't sell with the first agent chosen by the sellers. They realized there's a lot homeowners need to know to sell their homes for top dollar in record time. At Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty – The Real McCoy Team, we get it. You want your home sold, no fuss. With over 50 years of combined experience in Long Island's real estate market, we'll make it happen. Fast sale, top dollar, and minimal stress – that's our promise.

Susan has also won the Top Agent Recipient Award multiple times and sits in the top 2% of Long Island realtors (out of 24,000 realtors)- so you're in great hands.