What is more important to a home buyer or seller: working with a "neighborhood expert," or working with an expert on negotiations, contracts, marketing, or real estate transactions?
You can probably tell where I'm going with this!
There is nothing wrong, of course, with being knowledgeable about everything that goes on in your neighborhood, or the area you choose as your market. Buyers and sellers are always interested in the real estate activity of their community; and they're also interested in the latest news and events. But with the exception of some data on the MLS, that information is freely available on the internet and in local publications. You don't even have to have a real estate license to be a neighborhood expert.
It's not so easy to be a real estate expert, however. And in my opinion, that's what buyers and sellers should look for in a REALTOR. They will be paying for work that they are unwilling or unable to do themselves.
Of course I would think this. I am a big-picture person, and my market area is roughly the northern portion of the San Antonio metro and to the northeast through Selma, Schertz, and Cibolo to New Braunfels, Canyon Lake, and Seguin. I am generally familiar with the neighborhoods and demographics of my market area; more familiar with those in which I've sold homes. I have made it my business to be as much of an expert in Texas contracts, negotiations, marketing, research, transaction management, and the tasks and responsibilities that go along with those skills, as I can be.
I've chosen to become more of a real estate expert than a neighborhood expert, so I write more blog posts about real estate topics than about neighborhoods.
But I also realize when buyers are honing in on a community, they want to know more about what it's like as a place to live. Likewise, sellers want to present their property in the best light, so if there is some aspect of their neighborhood that would attract prospective buyers, I want to know about it so I can include it in my marketing. So if you ask me about something going on in a neighborhood I'm not that familiar with, I will say, "I don't know, but I'll do some research and find out for you!"
What do you think?