Dwellful survey of more than 200 home sellers underscores the importance of choosing the right agent.
Highlights from the survey focus on:
- Finding an agent
- What’s most important in choosing an agent
- Satisfaction with agent
Selling a house is a big deal. You want to work with a real estate agent who you trust; someone who has your best interests in mind, and who can competently guide you through every aspect of the process.
So we wanted to know - are agents delivering? To find out, we commissioned a third party research firm to field a study to ask people about their recent experience selling a home. In order to qualify, respondents had to have sold a house for more than $200,000 in the past 12 months. These results are based on 206 home sellers who responded to the survey in August 2019.
Here's what we learned.
Agent Selection Is Not Easy
The first step is to find a good real estate agent to list, market, and sell your home. This is something that many of our survey respondents struggled with. Half of sellers agreed that it "was difficult to find a good agent" (48%) and it was "difficult deciding which real estate agent to choose" (50%).
When it came to the selection process, more than 60% of respondents either did not have an agent in mind at all, or had an agent in mind but considered other agents as well.
Of the sellers who did have an agent in mind, more than 50% found that agent through a personal recommendation or online real estate site. Only 14% had an agent in mind based on prior personal experience.
Most of the sellers who did not have an agent in mind ultimately ended up finding an agent through online real estate sites and general online research.
On average, sellers said that they considered 2-3 agents before signing a listing contract with the agent they chose. This indicates that sellers did their research and put a lot of consideration into selecting an agent to sell their home.
It's Not Just About The Lowest Commission
The commission that a seller pays is typically split between their agent and the buyer's agent, but the seller's agent has the ability to negotiate with the seller and accept a lower commission. While this might seem appealing, commission was actually the least important consideration to our survey respondents.
What were the most important factors when choosing an agent? The agent's experience and reputation in the area. This is great news for agents, as sellers recognize that partnering with a reputable, experienced, top-performing agent is key to selling their home.
Some Sellers Would Take A Do-Over
All of that being said, many of the sellers in our survey agreed that in hindsight, they didn't choose the best agent. The reality is that when a seller signs a listing agreement, they're kind of stuck with that agent. While there are (difficult) ways to get out of the contract, so often we hear the "We've come this far, let's just get it over with" mentality. But seller dissatisfaction is bad news for agents. In fact, 40% of sellers admitted that in a perfect world, they "would have chosen another agent."
While most sellers were satisfied with their agent in general, 32% of sellers were neutral or dissatisfied with their agent. Only 55% of respondents agreed with the statement that their agent “went above and beyond to sell my house."
What Does All This Mean?
Simply stated, if sellers were satisfied with their agent, then they were happy with overall selling process. However, for the sellers who were either dissatisfied with their agent or who felt neutral about their agent, they were much more likely unhappy about the selling process.
The quality of the agent matters. Sellers want an experienced, reputable agent that can provide guidance and full transparency throughout the sales process. They want a top-performing agent with a proven track record who will go above and beyond to sell their house.
While there are countless online resources to find agent information and reviews, not to mention personal recommendations, many of the sellers in our survey still struggled to find the right agent. If they had to do it all over again, nearly half would have chosen a different one. When we're talking about selling your home - often the largest asset you own - it's critical to choose the right agent from the start.
Ready to find an agent that we guarantee you'll love? Get started now.