The Dreaded Phone Call
The phone rings, I answer "Hello, this is the Red Baron Realtor ...." I can hear the defense in their voice as they speak. "Eh, Hi, eh yes, eh I am looking at one of your yard signs."
Red Baron: "Yes sure, which one are you in front of?
Caller: Hesitation, as if an answer will reveal way too much information.
Caller Thinking: Must give that info if I want to ask a question.
"Well, I am over on 123 Main Street." Now with a quicker pace to not give any time for the agent to start a sales pitch on the house. "I wanted to know how many bedrooms it has?"
Real question: "How much is it selling for?
Red Baron: "It is a four bedroom."
Caller: "How many square feet?"
Real question: "How much is it selling for?"
Red Baron: "It is 1580 square feet."
Caller: "Well, how much is it selling for?" Ah, the real question!
Red Baron: $165,000."
Caller, afraid they have been on the phone too long and it is probably being traced, hurriedly responds "Okay, that is all I wanted to know, thanks." CLICK.
Finding A Good Agent Will Make Your Real Estate Life Easier
There are a lot of people that take on one the biggest financial decisions they will make in their lives believing they can do it all by themselves on the internet. Well, maybe that is true. So, how much money does the buyer save? Not a penny! Agents are not paid by the buyer, but by the seller. So is there a risk to passing up this free service? Well, how about negotiation? How about house history such as sink holes or Chinese drywall. How about announced price drops of a house viewed, but was too expensive at the time?
Which is the right agent for you?
This is a great time to get the record straight. The "Dreaded Phone Call" exists because of a fear of being sold. Do NOT begin a relationship with an agent afraid all they are is a sales person that is out to get your name on the dotted line. Rather, adjust your thinking that you are hiring them the same way you would any professional. Here are three suggestions that will make your home shopping a less pressured event.
Check their resume. Do you have a name of someone or a local broker? Enter their name in a Google search and see how many different links come up from their name. You want an agent that is active on the internet and you want to read their blogs to get to know them and what they are all about. Have they published articles and do they show knowledge and dedication to their trade? You don't need an agent that is simply going to drive you around an open front doors for you.
- Meet and interview them. So you found someone that has a lot of experience. Are they the right one for you? Does everybody mesh together? Are they willing to work for you as your hired consultant or are they in fact only interested in "selling you something."
- Define the mutual expectations. What is the agents response time on phone calls and emails. Find out so you can hold them to it. How available is the agent for showings? This is important to know for both the agent and the buyer. A good agent is not going to be available if you call and say you are in front of a house and can they come by and show it to you. Determine, mutually, the best way to work together.
A good agent would likely guide you through steps two and three. If being interviewed and putting a plan together that meets your needs is foreign or not important to them, you might want to keep shopping ... not for a house, but for a good agent.