Homes for sale and sold in the Comox Valley, once they sell, have statistics associated with them, but what if they are invisible? Avid sports fans will understand the significance of statistics to their favorite sport. The application of statistics to business ventures such as real estate is no less significant to more fully understand the processes and successes of the industry. Consider, for example, the understanding that can be imparted with statistics such as time to sell and sell to list ratios when it comes to the health and type of the Comox Valley real estate market.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, REALTORS ® in British Columbia generally provide services to people within an agent – client relationship referred to as agency. When no agency is provided, people are treated as customers and while they are entitled to the provision of full and accurate information, they are not provided advice. Let’s delve further into the agent – client relationship.
For any Comox Valley property sale to be successful there must be both a willing seller and a willing buyer. Each must often be prepared to compromise. Buyers and sellers can be brought together in many different ways and their different needs represented by REALTORS ® on both sides of the transaction. This two-sided relationship is often forgotten in the statistically driven real estate world.
When a person or persons decide to sell a home, and they enlist the services of a professional Comox Valley real estate agent to represent them, they sign an agreement with that agent to market their home so that it gets the necessary exposure over a period of time for the home to be competitively sold in the real estate market. On the selling side of the transaction, the listing agent is the one whose sign appears on the lawn of the home being sold. The name of this agent is the one that becomes known relative to the sale of the home. But where does the Comox Valley real estate agent’s name appear who represented the buyer who actually purchased the home? The short answer is nowhere but in the MLS statistical database and perhaps on the website of the buyer’s agent. It does not appear on the SOLD sign but perhaps it should.
There are a couple of different approaches that a Comox Valley listing agent can take with respect to the marketing of the home. A passive approach may merely involve getting the listing and then making it known through various media that the home is for sale. In this scenario the listing agent gets their name exposed and they are hoping that another agent will bring a buyer to the table who is willing to make an offer on the home. A more active approach will involve more than merely making it known that the home is for sale. An agent who takes this type of approach will work hard to locate a buyer through a variety of means that includes, among other things, significant networking.
When a home is “sold” by the listing agent who also finds a buyer for the home, the SOLD sign is attached to the listing agent’s sign and they receive recognition for the sale. But what happens when a different agent actually locates the buyer and they help negotiate an offer that is acceptable to the buyer and seller? Exactly the same thing – the listing agent still has the SOLD sign attached to their sign and they receive the recognition for the sale. The buyer’s agent’s name appears on the Contract of Purchase and Sale but really nowhere else that is visible to the general public. The SOLD sign does not make it know that two different agents played a role in the sale. The buyer’s agent becomes the forgotten or invisible statistic in the real estate transaction even through they played a very important role in the Comox Valley home sale.
Why is this discussion important to people who are considering selling their homes? Perhaps a prospective seller would want to know more about a listing agent and their role in previous real estate transactions? How successful has this agent been in the past and will this agent have time for them? Are they experienced in Courtenay real estate sales?
Some real estate agents measure success by how busy they are and, in turn, by how much money they make. Is this really success or is client satisfaction a better measure of success? As with most things in life as people become busier they have less time to devote to specific issues. In the case of real estate, agents can become very successful but if they become too busy, there is a level at which personalized attention to any single person can actually diminish and suffer. While there is no exact level at which this happens many top producers believe that when they, as individuals, are working for more than 10 sellers and 10 buyers at a time this potential for diminishing individual attention becomes real. There are only so many hours in a day and days in a week.
In statistical terms, success can be measured, at least in part, by sell to list ratios – those related to a specific agent – not those that appear in real estate board statistics relative to the overall market. For example, if a listing agent has 20 listings and 10 of them sell, how many of those did the agent find a buyer for and how many did a different agent find a home buyer for? These statistics are generally not highly published but a good agent should be keeping track of them. Is this something that a person selling a home might wish to know?
If an Comox Valley realtor has many listings will they have time for me? If an agent has many listings what percentage actually sell, and of them, of what percentage did they find the buyer? These statistics are generally invisible in the real estate market but they do exist. Would a potential seller want to know them before making a decision on the listing of their home? Being better informed is often conducive to better decision-making.
If you are looking to sell a Comox Valley home, contact Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty to make an appointment with me so we can discuss how he can help you meet your real estate needs.
by Brett Cairns Invisible statistics can become visible by asking informed questions.