I have a distinct point-of-view on the value that a real estate agent can bring to the table — they are either your biggest asset and ally... or your weakest link. And given that your home is your biggest investment, when it comes time to sell, you want to get as much out of the sale as you can — and you depend on that agent to prepare and market your property "right" in exchange for a flat 6% commission. It's 6% for the best, most experienced agent... or 6% for the guy who's just phoning it in. Sadly, three of the last four houses in our neighborhood have been represented by the latter (so poor that I haven't even featured the bad ones on this site).
Edit: Since it first went live on the MLS, the agent has added mroe photos... some more epicly bad that the previous, for instance.
Really!? You're going to charge a client $30K commission and this is the effort you put in?
In what other industry do you pay the same flat rate regardless of the quality of the service you deliver? If you want a haircut, you could pay $15 at SuperCuts... or $90 at a Di Pietro Todd. I you want a burger, you can get a McDouble for $1... or a kobe beef burger at Burger Bar for $17. If you need your car fixed, you can turn to the guy hanging out in the auto-parts-store parking lot... or take it to the dealership. And in each case, the range of quality between the two is drastic and commensurate with the price. However, in real estate, a seller is basically on the hook for 6% regardless of the agent. They might get a break at 5%, but never a 6X difference like the haircut example.
Agents: This is not acceptable. Presumably, the sellers can't sell their house on their own, so they hired you — and they're paying you to do a good job. If you can't take good photos yourself, hire a photographer. If you can't design a marketing flyer, hire a designer. If you can't design a custom website, hire a programmer. Good photos, good marketing and a good web-presence are table-stakes. You owe it to your clients to step it up a bit... that 6% (in this case $30,297) should buy a lot more than this.