Monday, March 23, 2009

Decisions, decisions!

So you're thinking about getting a couple of real estate agents in to help you sell your home. One guy is a friend of yours. One guy's name was given to you by a co-worker. The people two doors down gave you their agent's name.

So you call them. Tell them you want to sell could they come over and take a look?

What's going to help you make your decision? The price they give you? The way they look? The commission they want to charge? The "stuff" they say they'll do?

There are so many factors that will come in to play here, that it's almost impossible to point to one as the most important!

But beware. Beware of the agent that gives you the highest figure for asking price. They are often trying to tell you what they think they want you to hear. Almost like you're going to list with the "highest bidder"!

Beware of the agent that seems to think you should list with them because their company is the biggest, or the best!

Beware of the agent that is going to offer the lowest commission rate. Often this is the person who will give the least amount of attention and effort.

But instead of what to beware of let's go this way....

Interview your agent.

Observe their manner when they set up their appointment. Are they succinct? Do they do a good job listening and confirming the appointment? How are their communications skills?

Next, when they are scheduled to arrive... are they on time? Early, but not too early? Or are they late? And if they are late, did they call you to explain why they got held up? Given they were late, are they flustered? Did they seem pre-occupied with making excuses for their tardiness? Were they able to get their feet under them and get down to business?

Do they talk too much? Are they trying too hard to impress you? Do they seem to be genuinely interested and willing to listen more than speak?

Are they credible? If you ask a question that they do not know the answer to, are they willing to admit to not knowing, but ready to do the work to find out and get back to you?

Are they organized? Do they seem to have a "plan of action"? Are they able to lay out a plan and show you how it will work?

Overall do you get a good feeling about them? I mean, they are going to represent you. Are you getting the feeling you can depend on them to negotiate and communicate in a professional and efficient manner?

How did they react when you asked them how long they've been in the business? Remember, it may be OK if they are brand new... as their training and their approach is fresh! But, if that question made them stammer, how will they hold up when they are negotiating on your behalf?

I'm still pretty convinced that you should do business with people you know. But, I am also acutely aware that you need to feel comfortable with their skills and style.

In the long run, you have to feel comfortable with your agent... don't have to become their best friend, but you need to trust them.

Do you trust them?

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