Stage 1 Snapshot
At Stage 1, Whether you're buying or selling a home, choosing a strong agent is your priority. Your Agent’s Aptitude affects all stages and your home's final price. Aptitude is measured by the Agent's Value Profile (see below). If the competition has a strong negotiator sitting across the table, you will need a stronger one.
At Stage 1, strategically evaluate your Agent by applying your Agent’s Value Profile (below) at all stages. Maximize your Agent Profile to increase your leverage.
Before you begin selecting an agent, know the Rules of Engagement. Understand how agents are compensated as well as the conflicts they face with clients and with their competition.
Price Negotiator Stage 1 strategies guide you when choosing your Agent.
Use HomeToHome’s Agent Service Plan and Agent Profile tools together with Agent Search, and Price Negotiator strategies for choosing your Agent.
Agent Service Plan
Most of us do not clearly understand the rules of engagement when selecting our agent. We are left to rely on our "gut" or worse, how much of the agent's commission they are willing to discount. Apply Price Negotiator's Stage 1 strategies to negotiate this crucial decision.
Use Price Negotiator's Agent Value Profile when considering which agent you should hire. Their profile directly impacts your bottom line.
For each agent you are considering, summarize and rate each of the 6 Key Factors of the Agent's Profile by the questions you ask. Pick the agent with the highest rating.
Know the Rules of Engagement.
If you're selling your home, picking the agent based on their proposed listing price is a common and costly mistake. If you're buying a home, picking the listing agent may in some situations be costly.
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Stage 1: Agent Aptitude
Price Impact Range -10% to + 10% of home’s value (typical)
Welcome to Stage 1 of HomeToHome’s Price Negotiator.
From Stage 1 (Agent Aptitude) to Stage 5 (Home Acquisition), you will benefit from your Agent’s Value Profile. No single decision is more critical than choosing the right agent. A poor agent with a low Value Profile will cost you money. An excellent agent who understands how to increase value profiles through negotiation will save you money and increase your equity.
Understand the value that an agent brings to you. See your agent’s performance before during and after you hire them with their Agent Service Plan. Choose the best agent for the job and collaborate more effectively when buying and selling homes.
Selecting an effective agent is on par with picking the right house. It’s that important. And yet, many people find a house they want first and pick an agent as an afterthought. That can be risky and often more costly than first evaluating and choosing your agent as a trusted advisor.
One of the most challenging conundrums in real estate today is how to determine your home’s List Price. Most people fall into one of 3 traps. Price Negotiator can steer you clear of these traps so you get the most money for your home when you sell.
6 Key Factors of Your Agent that Affect your Home's Price
Your Agent’s Value Profile (below) affects all stages. Use HomeToHome’s Agent Service Plan and Agent Profile tools together with Price Negotiator strategies for choosing your Agent.
- Client Preparation: Educating client for each stage.
- Market Alignment: Aligning client’s expectations accurately to inventory, pricing, timing, and opportunity. Strategically prepare clients to win.
- Property/Purchaser Acquisition: Identifying best properties/buyers for client’s needs and executing purchase agreements.
- Negotiation: Knowing when, what, and to what degree to negotiate in client’s favor. Utilizing every skill in the agent’s arsenal to maximize value for client.
- Vendor Management: Coordinating inspectors, appraisers, lenders, contractors, etc. Developing strong list of resources for clients.
- Execution: Overall ability to orchestrate all elements of a purchase agreement to protect client’s interests.
No strategy will help unless you insure it’s successful execution.
Enhance your negotiating strength
With Price Negotiator: Stage 1, build your power base for negotiation. Begin with selecting an agent that is likely to be stronger than your opposition’s agent. To help you with this, HomeToHome provides the complete solution:
1. The Agent’s Value Profile (see above)
breaks down your Agent’s Aptitude into 6 Key Factors. When interviewing your agent, discuss each of the 6 Key Factors that define your agent’s value. Ask questions to decide your agent’s strengths.
2. Your Agent’s Service Plan
or our generic Agent Service Plan (if your agent is not yet a member). Have your agent walk you through their Service Plan to explain their unique value proposition. Your Agent offers this as services rendered in exchange for payment.
3. Our Agent Search database
of over 1,000,000 agents and brokers. We offer the most complete publicly searchable database with published Service Plans provided by our member agents.
4. Price Negotiator: Stage 1 Strategies
Explore strategies to sharpen your choices and strengthen your position.
Oops! I Hired a Weak Agent
In an undertaking fraught with so many pitfalls, it’s important to trust the expert you hire. Unfortunately, most of us choose people we trust and assume they are also experts. It’s hard to know how strong of a negotiator your agent is unless you are one.
Let’s take a quick detour and visit the well-trodden path of mediocre performance and what it will cost you. Whether buying or selling, most people begin with the idea of first shopping for their next home.
You find a home, find an agent, apply for a loan, and buy the home.This approach skips 3 of the 5 Stages to build leverage. It’s very common that the first home you find is not the one you buy. In the worst case scenario, you find a home on a listing site or an open house and you hire the listing agent, hoping to save money by getting a portion of the agents sales commission.
It may work out for you; it may not. But as you will come to appreciate, it is a colossal mistake when you don’t have a strong agent negotiating on your behalf. The other guy, your counterpart in the deal, will walk away with more of your money.
Bargain Shopping for your Listing Agent
It’s the right thing to do to save money so long as you understand the trade-offs. You don’t want to overpay an agent who fails to bring more value than what they are paid. Nor do you want to hire the cheapest agent and end up losing valuable equity when your home sells.
Here is one very common costly scenario that occurs-one that costs home sellers tens of thousands of dollars. It is because nearly all of us are not experts and lack adequate tools to choose and evaluate our agent.
Until now, we’ve had no way to measure to evaluate quality of service or price negotiation that an agent offers. So, we shop for agents by two prices. The first price is what they say they can sell our home for. The second price is how much sales commission they will charge to sell our home.
Whether you are considering a poor agent or an excellent agent, you may choose the agent who charges the lowest commission as a condition for hire. A poor agent may actually cost you even more than their commission, whereas a strong agent may actually make you more money than they are charging.
This is quite a conundrum for a home seller.
If it’s a poor agent that accepts this condition, possibly they compensated fairly in the market. If it is an experienced and valuable agent who is asked to Discount their Commission, then it is likely that the seller is doing himself at disservice.
Why would an excellent agent discount is Commission? When there are too many agents and not enough transactions to support a professional agents livelihood, price wars ensue. Even experienced agents are forced to discount their services. However in a market of hyper competition, the situation is exasperated.
If a seller can lose a lot of money by choosing the wrong agent for the job, they can lose even more money by not accurately knowing their home’s market value. A strong agent will push up the sales price whereas a weak one will sell below
That’s exactly what happens the majority of the time.
Consider a seller wishing to get the most money for his home by applying the “fixed-price paradigm”. In this paradigm, he believes that the price as listed is his best chance to get the price he wants (within reason). This reasoning works against him.
With Price Negotiator, you will see the many stages in between the list price and the final sales price. The seller sets his list price in Stage 2, Market Awareness, when he enters the market. Presumably he has already chosen an agent but he may in fact have already decided on a price. This plan is flawed.
WARNING: As a buyer, having the Listing Agent represent you may be potentially expensive or risky. There are a few exceptions.
For Sale By Owner
When it makes sense, what you gain, and what it costs you.
There are some rare situations in which selling your home on your own makes sense. Sales commissions are significant so you may ask if this is worth considering. In nearly all instances, you are best served by an agent who can get you the most money on the open market. Use HomeToHome to help you determine your best option.
When to consider selling your home on your own:
- You have a ready and qualified buyer.
- Both you and the buyer are agreed on price and terms.
- You trust that the buyer won’t try to take advantage of you once you enter into an agreement.
- You have a trusted and experienced attorney and escrow officer to handle the transaction.
- You are prepared to walk away if any of these things change.
When selling your home on your own doesn’t make sense:
- You are uncertain of how much your home could sell for or your home’s current value.
- You are uncertain with how to attract a buyer.
- You have a buyer who has an agent who wants you to pay them.
- You do not know the buyer or the agent well enough to trust that you will not get any surprises.
The items in these lists show us that there are many unforeseen outcomes and uncertainties going in. Of course, there are many more.
Note that neither list mentions how much you owe on your home or what you believe the market price for your home to be. That’s because these reasons are secondary.
TIP: Ask your Agent to walk you through their Service Plan. You don’t need to understand everything. You just need to know that they do.