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Is it ok to switch Realtors before the contract is signed?

askphyllis real estate question, real estate q and A

ask phyllis real estate question, real estate q and A

Ask Phyllis is a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions.  Have a question about real estate?  Email us here

Dear Phyllis,

As trustee, I will be listing my uncle’s home for sale. My question is it ok to switch Realtors before the contract is signed? The probate attorney recommended a Realtor® that they often work with. We met at the home and he provided me with a pricing recommendation. He emailed me the listing contract but I thought the asking price was too low. A neighbor recommended another Realtor® who I contacted and they suggested a much higher asking price. I would like to hire the second Realtor®, but I feel an obligation to the first Realtor®. Is it wrong to switch?

Thank You,
LGT

Dear LGT,

Hiring a real estate agent is similar to job interviews. Ethically, you can choose either agent. You can simply tell the first one that although you truly appreciated his time, you decided on another agent. If you are uncomfortable making that phone call, you can do so in an email, or have the agent you hire make the call. But a little advice, if I may:

The biggest mistake a seller can make in this market is overpricing a property. Many homes are selling quickly over asking price. The asking price is your decision not the Realtors®. I suggest that you first compare both real estate agents’ marketing plans:

1) Open house schedule, broker’s open house. Homes that are selling quickly are thoroughly exposed to the public through open houses (weekends and the Broker’s Caravan).

2) Advertising, print and online (open houses should be advertised in both print and online).

3) Have both Realtors® made recommendations regarding repairs, cleaning, landscaping, etc. I am often amazed at how a mini-landscape clean up can improve curb appeal and positively impact the final selling price.

Sadly some agents will suggest a higher listing price in order to secure the listing and hope that you will agree to a lower offer. I suggest you discuss the pricing and comparables with the agent who has the superior marketing plan. Hopefully you can get a better feel for the pricing recommendation. Regardless of whichever real estate agent you hire the asking price is your decision.

Be certain that the Realtor® you hire understands the probate process. An experienced agent will simplify the process for you. My condolences to your family.

Call Phyllis @ 818 790-7325 or email her at Phyllis@RealtorHarb.com with your real estate questions.

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