Recently, I had a conversation with an out-of-state friend who wanted to sell her home and didn’t know how to find the right real estate agent. She normally would have chosen me to help her, but she knew I couldn’t because I am not licensed in her state. With no self-serving motive, here is the input I offered her.
Beware of the internet and information overload:
The internet is a good resource for information. However, the downside is there’s often too much information. Some sites say it matters where the agent’s office is located while others say it doesn’t matter. Some emphasize a Brokerage with a “one stop shop” approach to services while others encourage separate entities for best fit and pricing. Some say it’s best to get a seasoned agent while others say younger agents have a better handle on technology. The bottom line is it’s often hard to disseminate fact from opinion on the internet which, in turn, makes it hard to make good decisions.
Focus on trust
I believe trust is the most important and critical consideration in the agent selection process. It’s one thing to have all the skills and qualifications to execute a deal, but none of that matters if it’s not being used toward your best interests. Sure, a record of experience enhances the trust factor, but it does not guarantee it. Remember, a real estate transaction is a big deal. Who you entrust to represent you matters a lot. If the trust factor is not 100%, you’ll likely wonder if the deal could have gone better.
Interview the agent!
The interview is the most crucial step in the process. Don’t assume trustworthiness, even if the prospective agent comes highly recommended or all the credentials seem solid. The agent must earn your trust. Unfortunately, earning trust is not an exact science. That’s why you must actively engage to determine if the agent is right for you.
I never ask people to hire us on our record or reputation alone. I like to meet with people first to understand their situation and needs. Having a meeting gives me a chance to prove I understand their situation and can put an effective plan together that meets all their goals. When clients are shown a plan that meets their goals and considers their best interests their trust gets to a point where they feel comfortable that we can work together.