This week we have a great article by Tara Nelson of Trulia entitled, 5 Traits to Look for in Your Agent. If you’re thinking about selling your home or buying one in the Silicon Valley right now, you need an expert Real Estate agent to help you. Although it might seem easy, if you’re a Seller, right now, with the wrong agent it can be a disaster. Reach out to the experts at The Dawn Thomas Team to help you.
1. Creativity- “Some transactions go precisely as planned, clicking right along on schedule. Others – many others – get messy:
the loan underwriter issues last-minute document demands
the appraisal comes in low
the buyer backs out
you see 50 homes without any winners, or
the inspection reports reveal issues that make you wonder whether the home is a diamond in the rough or a money pit.
When you’re agent-hunting, it behooves you to look for someone who has the experience and creative problem-solving skill to help you methodically think through the facts, surface alternatives, propose solutions and engineer obstacle workarounds – just in case the going gets tough.”
2. Deep, varied expertise- “To [buy or sell a home] with results that work well for yourself, your family and your finances for the duration, you need an agent that’s an eager partner with you. One that will deep-dive into all the nooks and crannies of your aesthetics, your psychology, your life plans, your financials and even your relationship dynamics.
You also need an agent with deep – not surface – understanding of homes, neighborhoods and local real estate market metrics, practices and contracts, and someone who deeply *gets* the home buying or selling process itself – so they can brief you on it and fruitfully coach you through it. You want to make sure that your agent has deep knowledge and understanding in most or all of these areas, so they can share the nuanced insights and patterns they have spotted in the past which you can harness to your advantage in the present.”
3. Calm resilience- “When you lose out on a home to other offers, it can feel like the end of the world. When you list your home, stage it to the nines, and not a single offer is forthcoming, feelings of discouragement, frustration and even depression can easily arise.
A great agent – and there are thousands and thousands out there – can bring a massive, game-changing dose of calm resilience to the table. They’ve been through this before. They know how to tell the difference between a normal delay in receiving an offer or an acceptance on your market and when your approach requires some serious course correction.
A great agent will be able to receive the news that you’ve lost out on a home or take in negative feedback from a prospective buyer, call you and deliver it calmly and right along with some smart, constructive suggestions for action items you should work on next, to keep the process moving forward.”
4. Frankness and optimism- “You need them to be frankly honest with themselves and with you about all facets of the reality you’ll face as you proceed through your transaction:
Sellers, you cannot afford to have an agent who will let you persist in fantasy-land beliefs about what your home is worth – contrary to all evidence as to what homes in your area are actually selling for and feedback (read: silence) from prospective buyers who have seen your home – without challenging you to look at the data and adjust your pricing strategy.
Buyers, by the same token, you can’t afford to work with an agent who encourages or allows you to make 5, 10, or 15 lowball offers on a home without urging you to face the truth that you need to house hunt at lower price points or make higher offers in order to be successful.
You need an agent who is willing to tell you the truth and have these sorts of hard conversations with you even when you won’t like it.”
5. Bandwidth- “If you know you’re going to want to meet up weekly for a house hunting session or debrief with your agent, tell them this up front and ask them flat-out how much time they can devote to your process. Make sure you’re comfortable with their response or solution (example – their listing specialist or partner can meet with you when they can’t) before you make your pick.
My advice for agent-finding is to engage in a multi-step process:
First, make sure you get referrals from your friends, colleagues and relatives to the agents they have worked with and love.
Then, check all of your prospective agent candidates out online. Narrow them down a bit by what you see in terms of reviews and style of advice you see them providing on channels like their blog, website or social media pages.
Reach out to all the people on your short list through whatever medium you prefer to communicate – phone, email, etc. – and note how quickly you get responses.
Then book appointments to meet with a handful of agents and let them present their method to you.
Get references and check in with those past clients – ask them to tell you about their transaction experience, warts and all.
By the end of this process, you’ll likely find someone who fits just-right with your own personality, timing and transactional needs and possess these five traits.”