CHOOSING THE BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT:THE 3Cs TO FINDING THE ELUSIVE PERFECT AGENT FOR YOU
Reliant Realty Team – Jun 21, 2017
Buying or selling, you need to focus on the 3Cs to find the real estate agent who will get you to the finish line.
Connection. Communication. Commitment.
The three most important factors for any relationship to succeed. The relationship with your realtor included.
If your realtor's usual answer to your questions is "I'll get back to you tomorrow" but tomorrow turns into two and three days later, you can bet your relationship isn't going anywhere.
And it's not you, it's them.
How to avoid committing to the wrong Real Estate Agent
Everyone who's ever bought or sold a home will agree it's an emotional, stressful time. And it doesn't matter if you're on your third home or buying your first property, that doesn't change.
If you're relocating, add in the difficulty and uncertainty of having to buy a residential property in a new and unfamiliar city, and that stress only intensifies.
So how do you find an agent who'll address your concerns, answer your questions, and be sure all your needs are met? How do you find the agent who's your perfect match?
Well, just like in dating, it's all about personal connection, open communication, and mutual commitment to the ultimate goal.
Like in dating, finding the perfect real estate agent for you is all about
- personal connection,
- open communication,
- and mutual commitment to the ultimate goal.
Connection: A real estate agent you can like
She ain't pretty, she just looks that way. Like the song goes, just because she - or he - looks good doesn't mean they're good for you.
In other words, don't commit to the first agent you run across: it's important to meet with and interview at least three agents to find the one whose personality, approach, and knowledge are suited to you.
Ask questions: What's their specialty? Do they specialize in residential properties? Houses or Condos? How familiar are they with the city and neighborhoods you're interested in?
If you're relocating or are a first-time buyer you're going to require more time and special effort from your agent than most clients. Ask whether they have experience - and success - working with clients in your circumstances.
If they give you the answers you're looking for, then do some research. Confirm what they've told you – check out their reputation. Look online for reviews and, if possible speak to past clients to learn about their experience with the agent.
Which brings up a great source for introductions to good agents: tap your family and friends for names of agents they've used and had success with. Again, though, be sure to interview these agents to determine whether that same ability to work well together holds true for you.
After speaking with each agent and doing your research ask yourself how you feel about them. Do you feel comfortable with them? Do you feel you could ask all the questions you need to ask and that they can - and will - answer your questions clearly and honestly? Do you have any doubt about their expertise and ability to get your best deal done?
If you have any doubt, trust your intuition. Move on and look for an agent with whom those doubts don't come up.
Just because a real estate agent looks good on paper doesn't mean you will work effectively with them to meet your real estate goals.
Don't commit to the first agent you run across.
It's important to meet with - and interview - at least three agents to find the one whose personality, approach, and knowledge are suited to you.
Communication: Your questions, your real estate agent's answers
Real estate is a people business. Your agent has to be able to ask the right questions, listen to - and act - on what you tell them. And they must have the ability and willingness to communicate what they know.
Before signing on with an agent, ask yourself whether they show interest in learning about what your needs are.
If you're buying, are they interested in learning about your likes and dislikes and what you really require from a property? Are they able to take that information and reflect back to you what your style is?
If you're selling, do they take the time to look at your property and make recommendations about how to prepare it for showing? Do they let you know what the market is looking for and how you can present your property to meet that demand?
It’s also important to recognize that digital media has transformed the real estate market. To do well in today’s market you must be sure your agent both has access to and knows how to use digital technology to your best advantage.
What digital platforms a prospective agent has access to will determine how well they know the market - its current state and what the trends are.
It will also determine what they can tell you about what's available when you’re buying and what your competition is when you’re selling.
An agent's knowledge of and comfort with digital marketing platforms will also greatly impact how effective they are at attracting the right buyer to get you your best deal when selling; so, be sure to ask them how they plan to market your property if you’re in the market to sell.
Before signing on, ask yourself whether the agent shows interest in learning about what your needs are:
- If you're buying, are they interested in learning about your likes and dislikes and what you really require from a property?
- If you're selling, do they take the time to look at your property and make recommendations about how to prepare it for showing?
- In both cases how comfortable are they using digital communication platforms in their real estate practice?
Commitment: When your real estate agent just isn't into you
As in other relationships, availability matters.
Ask what level of service commitment you can expect. Do they work full-time and will they will be available to you by text, email and/or cell phone?
If the agent has a team, ask if you can expect to deal with them directly or are they going to assign a team member to assist in executing the plan they develop for you.
If you can expect to be dealing with a team member, ask what their experience is and arrange to meet with them before signing on as well.
Expertly navigating any real estate market requires knowledge of the locality. A selling agent must know what attracts buyers and how to price your property for the market.
To make recommendations that don’t result in your making a costly mistake, a buying agent must know the neighborhoods they’re selling in. You’re relying on them to be up on development plans for the area, the quality of local schools, and the level of city services and amenities.
This is all information you need and should expect. While the agent may be willing to put a lot of time in to start, will they continue to focus on your needs over time and until your best deal is made and finalized?
If the agent can’t or won’t take the time to provide you with this information or loses patience with having to find these answers, it will undermine your relationship and your success.
If it feels at any time like your agent isn’t working to your best benefit - or your agent tells they can’t meet your needs - be ready to discuss how to rectify the situation. If it can’t be resolved, be ready to part ways and look for an agent who can commit to getting you to the finish line.
While the agent may be willing to put a lot of time in to start, will they continue to focus on your needs over time and until your best deal is made and finalized?
If the agent can’t or won’t take the time to provide you with the information you need or loses patience with having to find answers to all your questions, it will undermine your relationship and, ultimately, your success.
Making your real estate connection
It’s important to realize that when you choose a real estate agent, you’re embarking on a relationship. As in all relationships, the agent you choose to work with will be bringing their own unique personality, skills and experience to the table.
Remember, the perfect real estate agent for you will:
- Be someone you are comfortable with;
- Match your communication style;
- Be committed to meeting your needs and getting you your deal.
Taking the time to get to know an agent to ensure a match between what they can offer you and what your needs and expectations are before you commit to working with them will go a long way to ensuring a successful, long-term relationship.
JUST THE FACTS
- Take the time to interview at least three prospective agents;
- Ask questions to find out how knowledgeable they are and how willing they are to get you the information you need;
- Pay attention to how well they listen and confirm they understand what your goals are.
Additional Resources if You're Moving to Tennessee
Searching for a house can be both exciting and stressful. Here are online resources to help you plan your move.
- The Nashville Chamber of Commerce "Getting Established" page is a great resource for information on a variety of topics and is a great place to start.
- Department of Motor Vehicles instructions to re-register your out of state driver's license and vehicle.
- Check out the neighborhood! Read up on Nashville's eclectic neighborhoods and find your ideal vibe.
- Have kids? Learn about schools and their ratings before you move.