LISTING YOUR HOME WITH AN OUT-OF-AREA AGENT
It seems that pretty much every person on Earth knows at least one or two real estate agents! So it commonly happens that someone who’s thinking of selling his or her home has a friend or a relative or a friend of a friend who is an agent but who’s expertise is in a nearby city and not the area where the home is located. It is wise to list with that agent?
It certainly can be; it can also be a big mistake. It comes down to the sense and the integrity of the particular agent.
For most sellers, one important goal of the sale is to achieve the best transaction possible. Whether that means the highest possible price, or the buyer most likely to qualify and complete the sale in a timely manner, or the quickest sale, etc., the best strategy is to make your property known to the widest range of buyers and their agents. That is basic to selling anything. More buyers, more demand for your property, better choices for you as a seller. Online exposure can be great, but it’s scattershot and incomplete. The greatest number of serious, qualified buyers come through your local Multiple Listing Service.
Unfortunately, it’s all too common that an out-of-area agent who typically is not a member of the local MLS will only list your property in his or her own MLS or online. This is a bad sign. This is very likely an agent who is either lazy or doesn’t want to spend the money to join your local MLS (and it’s a substantial fee) or who hopes to “sell it himself” by limiting exposure and not have to pay a buyer’s agent part of the sale commission. Or any combination of the above. This strategy benefits only the agent and is very likely to work against your interests as a seller.
When hiring an agent to represent you in the sale of your home you absolutely need someone who is knowledgeable in the immediate area of your property and who is trustworthy. That person might be your out-of-area friend of a friend but you must assess how that agent plans to market the property and ask him or her to be sure to post the listing in your local Multiple Listing Service.