Us & Them...

When you decide to sell your property your initial decision in choosing which agency will represent your investment will determine your ultimate success or disappointment. This can sometimes seem like an overwhelming even daunting decision. Something akin to shoveling smoke with a pitchfork in the wind while cutting the proverbial Gordian Knot.  Prior to realizing my license my wife and I sold our home upstate and moved to the Connecticut shore. Like many, we chose our real estate agency based on several assumptions and a few misconceptions. The idea that a big box 6% agency with a large number of agents was preferable to a smaller boutique agency with a flexible commission structure seemed to make sense. This false premise is very understandable and it can easily be costly. It is understandable because the idea of placing your property with a larger "known brand" seems like a no-brainer. The thinking goes something like this, a big box agency will sell my house for more money and with its myriad agents they will sell it faster.  It does seem on the face of it to be completely reasonable but it is also completely false. In fact, very often the opposite is true. At the local 6% brand name agency there are many, many agents. These agents are very often prohibited from marketing each other's property without that agent's permission. The listing agent is generally reluctant or unwilling to give their colleagues permission to market the property. They know that once that property is listed in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) it is only a matter of time before a third-party agent brings in their person and the property is sold. That or the listing agent sells the property themself.

At the boutique firm down the road, the agents are encouraged to share listings, and no permission is needed to advertise another agent's listing. This goes to the heart of customer service. A smaller agency is very often both able and more willing to spend the time it takes to properly present and market your property while getting to know you and your goals. You, as the owner, always have the final say in determining and setting the listing price. The agent's and agency's role is to advise and represent the owner.  This is true whether the agency is a national organization or smaller in scope.  The adage "Real Estate is local" refers, in part, to location and how the location of a given property impacts its value.  In real estate, the MLS is the disseminator that generally 'brings in' the buyer.  It is true the street sign, maybe the open house or a chance conversation in the market can all lead to a sale. Ultimately, whether a national agency or a smaller boutique firm, it is the MLS, disseminating to all corners of the globe, that wins the day.

Larger agency or boutique agency? As the seller, it is your decision. From my experience, it is not a decision to be made lightly. 

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