Okay, choosing the right Real Estate Agent isn't quite as important as choosing a spouse… but it may be a close second. Your home is likely the biggest purchase and sale you will make in your entire life. If you are buying, your Agent will be selecting homes for you to view based on your preferences. If you are selling, your Agent will be marketing your home to bring you the best price in the shortest amount of time.
Since you were young, there were likely character traits you dreamed your spouse would have. Loving, selfless, funny, attractive. I propose that the two most important characteristics to look for in a Real Estate Agent are listening skills and innovation.
Let's talk about the Agent's role in the buying process. You meet the Agent, whether through a referral from a friend, a post card you get in the mail, or on a blog like this one. You tell them what you are looking for in a home - South Charlotte area, 2 car garage, brick, etc. Every good Agent knows that most buyers are looking for more than what they can actually explain. In other words, buyers may say they like transitional neighborhoods, but when they discuss their children being able to walk to school and run around until dark, those two criteria often contradict each other. A great Agent would be able to discern the non-negotiables from the "I saw a person in a magazine living in that kind of house" criteria.
Sellers: Many people would consider themselves to be "innovative," but when listing your home, this is a vital time to evaluate that innovation your Real Estate Agent claims to have. What kind of phone does your Agent have? Inman News claims that you should never hire an Agent that does not have a Smart Phone. A bold statement, but very indicative of how this Agent runs business. Does this Agent have a website or blog? There are very few successful Agents without an internet presence. And most importantly, how will your Agent market your home to get you the best price in the shortest amount of time? You want someone who uses mixed media - print pieces, internet presence, professional (or professional looking) photos, Open Houses, and perhaps a virtual tour and staging.
Knowledge, a strong reputation, and a friendly personality are certainly great traits to look for. Focusing on innovativeness and listening skills will likely go hand-in-hand with these characteristics.
Another pointer: Don't get caught in the "power-agent" trap and choose an Agent simply because he or she has signs all over the city. Oftentimes these Agents don't have as much time to devote to you personally. The biggest complaint of these Agents is that they get the listing, then their clients never hear from them until the house sells. You don't want to talk to an assistant every day, you want someone you can call or text at any time with those little anxious questions.
Do your homework to be sure you choose the right Real Estate Agent. You are essentially "hiring" the Real Estate Agent you select. Meet them for an interview and ask them these questions. Like choosing a spouse, you can never be too thorough in the selection process. Email Sami MacDonald for an interview today!