How is your agent going to market your house? Are they going to promise the moon and not deliver? I’ve always been taught to under promise and over deliver. Is your agent going to assume that your house will sell itself? Some agents in a sellers’ market may just list it and have one open house then collect some offers.

A few weeks ago I went to an open house with a client. I tried to call the listing agent ahead of time but it went straight to voicemail, I left a message but never got a call back. I had looked at the tax information and compared it to the listing information and found a difference of almost 300 square feet. When we got to the house the agent that was there was not the listing agent and couldn’t answer any of my questions. They didn’t even know what type of flooring had been laid down in the kitchen.

I’m certain of two things, she was thoroughly embarrassed when I pointed out that the hard wood floors she had been talking about were actually a vinyl flooring made to look like wood and that her lack of knowledge was the fault of the listing agent. I actually had several questions about things that would be staying with the house or going, when remodels or repairs had been done, how old the roof was, etc. The agent who was there hadn’t been informed on any of this.

I won’t fault a new agent for wanting to help out at an open house to learn and possibly get some clients. I will however fault that listing agent for not properly preparing her, not being accessible, and not even attempting to mentor this young woman. That listing agent set her up for failure which not only made him look bad but possibly affected the offers that were received.

I know in my client’s case we decided against submitting an offer even though the house and neighborhood were both very nice. A lazy listing agent combined with an unprepared showing agent did not make my client comfortable. While the saying is buyer beware a seller must be careful when choosing a Realtor. While it is more common for sellers to interview multiple agents than buyers do there are enough out there that bad ones will slip through. Especially in a sellers’ market. Before you list make sure that your agent is a full time agent with the time available to answer questions from potential buyers as well as the integrity to do the things necessary to not just sell your home but get great offers and move you through closing with ease.