Several years ago the doctor that I was seeing left the practice and moved to another part of the county. I liked him as a doctor and trusted his professional approach to my well-being. His replacement had great credentials but after the first meeting I did not have the same level of confidence in his looking out for my well-being as the previous doctor.
After a couple more visits over the course of a couple of years my wife, who is an RN, asked why I don’t change doctors. I replied that he seems qualified, but to be honest, I just did not like him. My wife asked if I got really sick, would I want him to be my doctor and I immediately responded with “no.” And she said that now is the time to change. And she was right; I found a great doctor and have all the confidence in the world of him.
Finding a real estate agent that is going to do a great job for you and instill confidence that they are doing a great job is extremely important. And I cannot stress enough that it has to be the right agent for you.
I have read a lot of books and articles about finding the right agent and they have a list of the criteria that they believe makes a good agent, and many of the values may be important, but the questions is: Are they important to you.
All too often people pick an agent because they are the friend of a friend or they are the first agent that sent a card in the mail once you decided to buy or sell.
Let me share some of my thoughts are what is important in selecting a good real estate agent.
First of all, let me explain the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR. For the most part, anyone who is going to sell real estate for a fee, or for another, must have a real estate license issued by that state. There are a few exceptions to this rule; for example, an attorney who is working on an estate may sell the property and not have a real estate license.
But many real estate agents go to the next level and become REALTORS. A REALTOR has a real estate license for that state but takes additional courses as detailed by the national and local REALTOR boards. In addition to that, REALTORS subscribe to a strict sent of values in their dealings with customers, clients and the community at large when it comes to real estate.
That is not to say that; you can’t find a good agent who is not a REALTOR; nor does it mean that all REALTORS are perfect. But I do believe you have a better chance of having a professional agent when you select a REALTOR.
The second area that I would advise people to watch for is what I call fluff. By fluff I mean that agents can tell a potential client what they think they want to hear and not what is backed up by facts. If you are selling your house, the agent will undoubtedly do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMS). This is part art and part science. Always talk to the agent and ask them how they arrived at the numbers. Remember that no one can predict exactly what a house will sell for, but a good agent will be in the ball park.
The third area that I will cover in this article is to have a level of confidence that you can communicate openly with your agent. Everyone is different and some people want to know every time someone looks at the property and others just want the offers. It is also important that you and the agent have a discussion of how best to communicate and what times are OK
The very first house I sold was to a young couple who were buying their first house. I represented them and I explained to them that once they wanted to make an offer, to call me on the cell phone and not to email me. (Cell phones were relatively new, and there was no such thing as a smart phone). The young couple decided to call me just as my wife and I sat down to eat in a restaurant on a Saturday evening. Nevertheless, I called the listing agent and we had a deal done by the time we were done eating. (My wife is very understanding).
The last thing I will mention is to be very careful not to get pulled into advertising and equating that with “good.” I see a billboard not far from where I live and it states “Number 1 Agent”. The billboard never mentions number 1 of what or who decided it, but I guess he feels he is number one.
If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a REALTOR who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision. If you are a first time home buyer, I strongly encourage you to start talking to REALTORS as much as a year from the expected purchase date.
As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to call or text me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.