It seems people have been asking the wrong questions when it comes to choosing a real estate agent to represent them in a purchase or sale. You’ve noticed how agent ads will say something like, "number one producer" or "response within 15 minutes" or "low commission"…Is that what you REALLY need from your Realtor?
What you DON’T need:
· Number One Producer: This person is going to be VERY busy. It is quite possible, they’ll be too busy for you. Are they going to be have the time to take the time to get to know YOUR needs and be there for YOU, or will you have to wait in line as they are neck-deep with others?
· Quick Response: You need a quick response ONLY when you are in the middle of negotiations that are time sensitive. Other than that, just because someone returns your call quickly does not mean they will be sensitive to your actual needs.
· Low Commission: You’ve seen the ads that say in essence: ‘hire me, and you’ll save $$’ But if you don’t get into a home (or you sellers, your home doesn’t sell at market price), how much you would have paid in commission is a moot point, isn’t it?
What you DO need:
· Well, what’s your goal? Is it to own a home? The home you finally purchase should be one that meets your needs, is within your budget and brings you joy. So you need someone who will really listen to your wants and needs and match it with the reality in the market.
· Or maybe your goal is to sell a home. Your agent should understand not only your needs, your area, but also your market. My market? What does that mean? It means: Who are the potential buyers for your home? How do we attract THEM? How can we get them in to see it and fall in love with it? What is the most effective way to reach them? What sort of “look” do we need to convey? What sort of reports and/or repairs do we need to do to make this sort of person comfortable to buy? So you need an effective marketer.
· An agent who can successfully negotiate on your behalf. Did you know price isn’t the only negotiating point? I once helped a young woman purchase her first condo. The condo was being offered for rent, but had some issues. She said “I wouldn’t rent it, but I would buy it.” I spoke with the listing agent and worked with my client to get her finances in order and we made an offer to purchase. We had a loan and a low down-payment in our initial offer. I wrote a cover letter talking about her circumstances, emphasizing this would be the first home she owned and she would be fixing it up and living in it. As we were negotiating, an investor swooped in with ALL CASH and a Higher Price! EEEK! What would the seller do? Well, the Seller decided to continue with us, and my client successfully purchased the condo at her lower price. Why didn’t he go with the higher price, all-cash offer? The seller told us it was because my client was purchasing for the first time and this condo had been his first purchase too. His emotions were touched. He felt good about letting her have it, even though he would be receiving less money.
· Your agent needs to be someone you can communicate with well. If she’s not asking you probing questions and listening carefully, your needs are not being met. You need someone honest. You will be shoulder-to-shoulder with this person in one of the biggest decisions of your life. You need to be able to trust that they will be straight and honest with you.