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Should You Give Your Realtor a Second Chance?

Scott Gamm

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—Hiring a realtor to sell your house typically involves signing a four-month contract with the real estate agency.

Also see: 5 Questions to Ask Your Realtor Before Hiring

Even though the housing market is heating up in many areas across the country, selling homes isn't an overnight process, hence the extended contract.

At the end of the four months, if your home hasn't sold, should you renew with the same realtor or hire a new one?

As the contract expiration date approaches, rest assured you'll be approached by competitor real estate firms trying to persuade you to sign with them.

Having your house sit on the market for four months is frustrating for you and the realtor, since he or she is spending money on advertising and not seeing any return.

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If there was tension between you and your realtor, you might decide not to renew for that reason alone. But there are plenty of reasons why a house fails to sell, from a slow market to an exorbitant asking price to bad luck.

First, assess how well the realtor marketed your house, based off of what he or she initially promised you when you signed with the agency.

"The agent may have listed the home via the traditional online and print outlets, but was there a property-specific website created?" says real estate agent Paul Santucci of Boston Lofts www.BostonLofts.com. "Think about what set the agent's marketing efforts apart from other listings."

When it comes to open houses, it's common for the agent to send a junior broker to conduct the open house. "If you weren't aware that the agent you hired at the initial contract signing wasn't the agent that would be actually showing your open house, that's a problem," Santucci adds.

An inexperienced broker showing your property may have contributed to the lack of traction during the time the house was on the market.

Next, consider how the realtor priced the home. Were you presented with a comparative market analysis, which shows how other homes in your area have sold over the past few months? If not, the agent may have inaccurately priced your home.

Also see: How to Make Your Real Estate Make Sense

Alternatively, you the seller might be at fault for pushing the agent to up the listing price. "Sellers can have an inflated sense of their home's value and if an agent suggests a lower price to sell, but the seller refuses to listen to relevant market data, that is not the fault of the agent," Santucci said.

Figuring out why your home didn't sell is elusive and is based off of a number of factors. Though if you come across another realtor who is offering to take the sale of your home in a different direction (whether related to pricing, staging or marketing), a change of course just may be what your house needs to sell.

Scott Gamm is founder of HelpSaveMyDollars.com and author of the new book MORE MONEY, PLEASE.

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