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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Meet the real estate competition head-on

Sam Morreale, right, a real estate agent with Nothnagle Realtors, and his daughter, Danielle Riley, left, also an agent with Nothnagle, meet with Sandy Adams at the Maplewood Neighborhood home she is trying to sell. Morreale is sales agent to multiple homes on the same street.

Meet the real estate competition head-on

Your neighbor just put up the "For Sale" sign on his front lawn. The real estate agent turns out to be the one you are considering to sell your own home. Should you proceed with your own plans and hire the same agent who is selling a competing home?

If you're on the fence about it, consider that no two houses are the same, said Sam Morreale, an agent with Nothnagle Realtors. Even if the homes are similar in style and size, there are still little differences that will set them apart.

"You have to let the house sell itself," Morreale said.

Morreale is currently representing a seller with a 2,000-square-foot home on the market in the Maplewood neighborhood for $62,900. A 1,300-square-foot home on the same street listed by Morreale for $39,900 is currently under contract.

Morreale used to shy away from taking listings on the same street for fear of upsetting the client, but gaining more experience helped him realize that buyers' agents will advise their own clients on what best suits their needs, Morreale said. Plus, he said each home has a different marketing plan.

Michael Haymes, president of ReMax Realty Group in Pittsford agreed that even in tract homes, the décor or interior paint colors will appeal to different buyers.

"Someone is going to walk into both houses and like one house more than another," Haymes said.

If you are considering the same agent who is marketing your neighbor's home, Karen Leonardi, vice president of corporate and consumer affairs at Nothnagle Realtors, suggests you ask the following questions:

-How will you market my house differently than my neighbor's?

-How should I price my house to be competitive?

-How will you provide both of us with equal service?

Dick Beers, an agent with Red Barn Properties in Pittsford, thinks the buyer's agent has more influence on the sale, so he does not believe there's a conflict if a real estate agent markets two homes in close proximity.

Where there could be more of an issue with a conflict of interest is with a dual agency representation, which is when the agent is representing both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction.

Having a similar home on the market in close proximity is a way to gauge your competition, Haymes said. But it is currently a buyer's market and it's important to make your home stand out against the competition.

Buyers are choosy and noticing little details, Haymes said. That means your home should have immaculate curb appeal. And if you have older roofing or an old furnace — anything that's a big-ticket item — consider replacing them.

"Your home should stand out inside and out," Haymes said.


  1. If you face stiff competition when dealing with prospective clients, you will have to make good use of your knowledge of persuasive selling techniques. This will allow you to get the client's attention and draw interest away from your fellow sales agent.