CommentarySelling April 12, 2012

Name Recognition Means Nothing to Home Buyers

If you are searching for homes online, do you care who the listing broker is?

I’ll go out on a limb and say that unless you have had a specific negative experience with an agent or broker, if a house fits your needs you could care less if it were listed by Attila the Hun, Rasputin, Herbie the Love Bug, or Kronos, Ravager of Planets.

This goes for both consumers and buyer agents. Most sellers get this, but a select few make the mortal error of listing with a name rather than the merit of an individual agent. That can cost. If you want to sell real estate in 2012, you have to understand how buyers and buyer agents think. They input their criteria into the search fields and hit “enter.” The results will come out in a list of homes, and they sift through the places to separate the best from the also-rans. Among the highest regarded choices, curb appeal, condition and price rank highest among reasons for a home making the short list.

No one chooses (or eliminates) a home because of who the listing agent or broker is. It is antithetical to the process. Do you care where the peanuts in the peanut butter were picked? No, you just want peanut butter. Do you care who installed your toilet? Probably not, as long as it flushes. Yet there are a few sellers out there that are hung up on the name recognition of the broker as if buyers care. They don’t. Buyers are tuned in to WIFM- What’s in it for me? I never in 16 years ever heard a buyer say “we bought the house because it was listed with ABC Properties” or “we want to see this house because it is listed with Joe Agent.”

Sellers should hire an agent based on that agent’s qualifications whether they work for a prestigious firm with a name that sounds like a high end law practice or if they work for a mom and pop. It isn’t the company. It is the agent. Their track record, their marketing plan, their references.

Track record.
Marketing Plan.

Those are the things that should matter to the seller.  Name recognition is the booby prize. It may sound nice, but it doesn’t sell houses.