Make sure you take your Lancaster County Realtor for a "TEST DRIVE"!
So how should one choose their Lancaster County real estate professional? You know, that one person who is going to guide you through one of the most important financial decisions of your life? Do you just call up the office closest to your home and go with whoever answers the phone? Do you drive around, find a house you like and call the person whose phone number is on the yard sign? Or maybe you go online to different company websites and choose the agent whose picture you like best. Or better yet, choose the agent who claims to be the "#1 agent in Lancaster County" and whose picture is plastered on every home magazine and billboard.
As you've probably guessed, I am going to strongly suggest that none of these strategies (if you can call them that) are suitable ways to find a quality realtor. Sure, you may get lucky by calling up your local office and getting a trustworthy , reliable professional on the other end but why leave such an important choice to chance?
One good way to choose your Lancaster realtor is the same way you might choose your pediatrician or handyman and that is by REFERRAL. If a good friend or family member that you trust is recommending a professional that did a stellar job for them chances are that they will do an equally outstanding job for you.
An even better way to choose a realtor is to do what I call a "test drive". You have likely never heard of this concept because there are not a lot of agents out there willing to do this. Essentially a "test drive" means to not officially "hire" a realtor (i.e. sign paperwork) until you are sure that you, Number one: TRUST this person. Number two: LIKE this person. Number three: BELIEVE this person knows what they're doing, and Number four (possibly the most important): HEAR from this person.
No matter how much you trust, like or believe your realtor, none of it will matter if they don't return your phone calls. Or your texts. Or your emails.
It's my personal opinion that your realtor should treat you like you are their only client and frankly there is no real way to know how they are going to treat you unless you work with them for awhile! Who in their right mind meets a realtor they don't know and because they seem nice (and can deliver a mean sales pitch), signs a contract to work with them exclusively the same day? I know I wouldn't be willing... so I don't pressure people who are looking to purchase a home to "sign here" until their ready. And when it comes to putting your house on the market, I write clearly at the bottom of the listing agreement, this agreement may be cancelled at any time if you are unhappy with my service.
Crazy? Maybe. But the bottom line is that I would never want a person to feel obligated to work with me because of a piece of paper. If I'm not your cup of tea or if you feel I'm doing a lousy job then it's certainly your right to move on. So the next time you, or your aunt or your neighbor is looking to buy or sell real estate in Lancaster County make sure to ask the agent you're considering working with if you can do a "test drive" first! And if they laugh at you and tell you how silly you are for asking such a thing... well, you know who to call.