Friday, January 14, 2011

Is Your Agent Doing Everything They Can For You?

This business is a funny one, so individualistic, so customizable.  In the game of real estate there is so much unspoken competition while at the same time, so much interdependency on others in the business.  In my first year in the business I have come to realize so much about this business that is both fascinating and respectable.  At the same time, I more fully respect the underlying reasons REALTORS are so important to the process.  Even as an educated professional who has been through several sales and purchases of property, I had no idea what service or purpose a REALTOR served.  I, not unlike many, was under the impression the job of a REALTOR was to open the doors of homes for viewing and write offers.  I had no idea the depth or breath of services they truly offer.  It is also true that I didn’t fully leverage the skills my former REALTORS had to my advantage.  No one ever told me what they could do for me, so I really didn’t know. 
If you are transferring into a community, is your agent working to introduce you to the area in which you are choosing to move?  Are they telling you about the school districts, speaking with you about local shopping options, where you can go see a movie, or what entertainment options there are in neighboring towns?  Where would you drop off your dry cleaning, or how close you might be to the local hardware store?  Has your REALTOR spoken with you about financial qualifications, perhaps helped you with what a bank would do to qualify you?  Did you know your REALTOR could help you with what your options are on buying and selling if you are going through a divorce?  Is your REALTOR out there telling the world that you are a “motivated” seller when you haven’t specifically told them to do that in writing? Is your REALTOR working for you, or are they working part time?  Is your REALTOR spending money to market your property above and beyond what their brokerage firm does? Most people know that the various firms do a great deal of marketing.  Most of the high quality firms offer great websites, mobile viewing technologies, and weekly print advertising for your property.  But are you asking your chosen REALTOR to show you, or demonstrate to you what they are doing to add value to doing business with them?  Some will tell you they have been in the business for multiple years and they have people come to them when they are ready to purchase.  This is true, and there are some truly gifted REALTORS (like Sue Byers) in our market who can simply make a few phone calls and generate either a lead or a buyer. Others will point to a billboard, or custom flyers.  But as a client, what you want is for “your” property to be in front of the most people possible on the most regular basis.  If you aren’t seeing that from your REALTOR, you should be.
When you have code questions, covenants questions, or you would like to build a new home, is your REALTOR helping you get to these answers through the appropriate channels, or are they volunteering “their” own opinions?  Be leery of the REALTOR who presents themselves as an expert in numerous areas.  It is the job of a REALTOR to help you get to the experts in a variety of fields, not necessarily to be an expert themselves.  That said, some of your more experienced REALTORS of course have experienced many different situations and may be a fantastic resource for general information about a multitude of topics.  Are you as dedicated to your REALTOR as they are to you?  There are so many misunderstandings in this area.  Some people feel they should buy with one REALTOR and sell with another.  While others feel they should call the listing agent to view their listings and if they decide to purchase, buy from them.  My suggestion is to find a REALTOR you match up with on a personal level.   Gain a feeling of trust, enjoy being around them and test their
knowledge so you feel comfortable with his/her ability to walk through this process at your side.  Once you have done this, COMMIT to them.  Let them know they are your REALTOR of choice and that you will keep them informed of everything you do on the real estate side.  I assure you, if you do this, they will think of you first when it comes to recommending a sale, or a purchase.  Always keep in mind, this is a relationship you have with someone who is helping you with, what is very likely, the largest purchase or sale of any single item you have.  Be sure it is a person of character and someone you feel you can work through issues with and trust with your most important possession,  your home, and everything in it.  Give us a call, set up a meeting.  Let’s have a conversation about what it is you want from your next transaction.  If it’s a good fit, we’ll work together, if it’s not, I would be happy to recommend someone who may be a better fit.

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