The Buyer's Perspective, First hand

Real Estate Agent with Realty World Virtuoso BRE #01369847
A couple of months ago, I sold an investment property I have here in Santa Cruz county, and decided that I'd like to invest the proceeds in some out-of-state property.  So, like 90+ percent of buyers out there, the first thing I did was hop on the internet and start researching a few areas I was interested in.  One thing I found surprising was how hard it was to access real estate listings in some areas - many areas I encountered did not have public access to the MLS, as we have in this area.  In many areas, you had to register on a Realtor's web site, and the Realtor had to send you the listings manually.  How 1997!
As a course of registering with more-than-a-few Realtors, I came into conversation with a number of them.  It was pretty interesting to be in the position of a consumer, talking to a Realtor.  I found a great disparity in the quality of the folks that I talked to.  It was shocking to listen to all the contradictions:  one Realtor might say that the market for investment property is going gang-busters, another would say the market is in a nose-dive.  Some Realtors would call me right back, some would need me to call and write to them several times before I got a response.
Quite a few Realtors gave me tax and accounting advice about my 1031 exchange, which I did not solicit - I'm not sure why such advice was proffered, but I can only suppose it was to impress me with a demonstration of their knowledge (or lack thereof) of the 1031 exchange process.  The funny thing is, of course, that unless a Realtor is also a CPA, they're not supposed to give out tax advice...
Ultimately, I did choose a Realtor to work with.  We just closed escrow on one property, and I should be signing papers to close another tomorrow.  What was it that won me over to working with this Realtor?  He wasn't the most experienced, and he didn't presume to know it all.  But here is what he did have:
1) Prompt communication:  he always got back to me within a day of whenever I sent him an e-mail.
2) Friendly:  He came off as really a nice guy, who wanted to help me.
3) Honesty:  He didn't feed me any lines.  He told me what he knew, and when he didn't know it, he didn't fake any it, but just said, "I'll find that out for you."
Interestingly enough, those are three traits that I pride myself on, so it is maybe no surprise that this is what I (unconsciously) looked for in a Realtor.  You may be surprised to read that I was not looking for an "experienced" Realtor.  Certainly, if I had found an "experienced" Realtor who had all three of the above qualities, I may have chosen to work with that individual instead - but the voices of "experience" I ran into either blew me off, were not friendly, or seemed dishonest.
It certainly was interesting being on the other side of the web browser, as a consumer of property, rather than as a purveyor.  I will take those lessons learned and work, as I always do, to provide by clients with the best possible service.
Seb Frey - The Real Estate Guy
Broker Associate, Thunderbird Real Estate
(831) 293-6727 /
Specializing in Santa Cruz Real Estate  

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Sean Schroeder
Century 21 - Virginia Beach, VA
Century 21 top producers
Those three traits are very important ones!  Wow agents gave you account advise!  But I do strongly agree that those three points are the important points especially that last one.  We agents have to learn to say "I don't Know" 
Nov 01, 2007 02:43 PM #1
Judy Cicalese
William Raveis Real Estate - New Canaan, CT
Market Knowledge-Social Media Savvy 203-638-7812
It's always interesting to hear why someone is chosen over someone else.  It amazes me that people don't respond promptly and when that happens, I simply move on to the next one.  I don't have the patience to wait for days for an answer.   
Nov 01, 2007 02:44 PM #2
Barb Merrill
Cactus Mountain Properties, LLC - Tempe, AZ
GRI, Associate Broker
Call me.  I'll set you up on Home Buyers Scouting Report here in AZ and you can have full access to MLS listings in any neighborhood in Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, FREE and without any hassle from an agent unless you ask for it!
Nov 01, 2007 02:48 PM #3
Jason Smith
DreamDirt Auction - Mondamin, IA
I can't even imagine what it would be like to be on the other side again but your post is interesting.  I think I would have looked for the same things you did.  Experience would not be my highest priority. 
Nov 01, 2007 02:48 PM #4
Gail Gladstone
Gladstone Group & Long Island Business Brokerage - Huntington, NY
Brokering Success
No matter what I am doing...listing presentation, buyer consulting, open does not matter...I always try to wear the consumer hat and step into the consumer's shoes.  It's eye opening and very much appreciated by the consumer.
Nov 01, 2007 03:13 PM #5
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