Tips On Hiring Your Next REALTOR®
Trust me. I’ll take good care of you! Famous first words used by every REALTOR® in every market. Why should I trust you? I met you on the internet, saw your sign in a front yard, or heard someone mention your name. You say you can sell my house? You say you can help me find my new house? Why should I believe you?
Buying or selling a home, whether the first time or the tenth time, is stressful. The rules change every year (sometimes even faster!) and no two states follow the same rules. To make matters worse, no two agents, much less their brokerages, do things the same way. How do you know which REALTOR® to trust?
Do your homework! Before I became an agent, I bought and sold four homes believing I knew what I was doing and what I wanted. Each time, I walked away with another painful lesson notched on my belt. The last experience cost me $30,000! Here’s some healthy advice:
- Size does not matter! Great agents work in large, small, known, and unknown brokerages. A company’s name is no way to gauge the performance of an agent, but great brokerages do help create great agents!
- With age comes experience. It’s said that doing the same thing twenty one times will form a habit. Do you want to hire someone who has done it wrong twenty one times? I can promise you that no two deals are the same. The best agent to hire is one who is committed to making your experience great, with a knowledgeable team of experts guiding him/her along the way.
- No man is an island. Great agents have great teams. Those teams include a back office ensuring the contracts are strong and adhered to, they know how and where to advertise, they have a team of inspectors, lenders, handymen, movers, contractors, title companies, insurance agents, and most importantly experienced and successful agents coaching and mentoring them through the process! Ask them about their team!
- Don’t be afraid to try new things! In 2010 I went skydiving for the first time. As I leapt from the plane, my first and only thought for the next ten seconds was, “Oh no! I’m going to die!” The dragline was released and that tiny tug reminded me I was going to be alright. Don’t hold onto the fear. If you’re given suggestions or provided information you don’t quite understand, open your mouth and say something! Give new ideas a try, the results could be staggering!
- It’s like riding a horse! Buying and selling a house is like riding a horse. The only way to get on is to put your foot in the stirrup and hoist yourself up (make the leap). Don’t try to control everything. If you pull the reins too tight, the horse stops! Don’t wear spurs! Constant interruptions, second guessing, and not putting your trust into your REALTOR® will not change the speed at which the deal has to be done. Trust the horse! They know the route, the hazards to avoid, and the distance to the water!
- Is it a present or a presentation? I love watching presentations! All the pretty graphs, charts, and colorful stories about the best REALTOR® in town! And when the popcorn and candy are gone, guess what? I exit the theater! If I’m a seller, I want to know the bottom line! How much am I going to net at the end of the day? If I’m a buyer, I want to know how empty my billfold is going to be at the end of the month! And if it’s really empty, then I had better be loving it! A good REALTOR® will give you expected costs and a framework for how things should end up front. Sometimes it’s a hard pill to swallow, but remember, they have access to a lot of information and resources.
- I did it my way (you need to sing it out loud to hear it in your head). Always remember, your REALTOR® works for you. Ask for their opinion and expertise and don’t be afraid to try something new or one of your own ideas. Talk about the timeline and make sure you can measure the results. The best result is one which comes from an open and honest relationship. Be clear about what you want and expect. Be open to feedback, coaching, and information. The REALTOR®-client relationship is a work in progress and it’s up to both of you to make it a success!
Just remember, your real estate agent is there for you. We all want the same conclusion – your home sold or you getting the keys to your new home. By working together and making sure we’re communicating, we can get there. And after the sale is over, don’t be afraid to give us a call – we’ve seen a lot and if we don’t know the answers, we can find someone who does.
image courtesy of DrewbieDoo