Many sellers think it's important to find an agent who is a neighborhood expert to list their home for sale in San Antonio. Agents who farm particular areas tend to encourage that belief.
But how important is it to be an expert on a particular neighborhood when listing a home for sale there?
Twenty years ago, agents were the go-to sources of information on neighborhoods because there were few ways to get it other than walking around talking to residents. Agents would farm the neighborhoods they lived in or near and could pride themselves on selling several houses in the same community. Buyers would drive around and call the numbers on for-sale signs, and listing agents would be the gatekeepers of information about the neighborhoods.
But now anybody can become a neighborhood expert in a couple of hours. There are websites, blogs, Facebook groups, and discussion boards devoted to neighborhood, school, and homeowner association topics. Public websites abound with detailed data on crime statistics, toxic waste dumps, scheduled highway improvements, and upcoming bond issues that might affect communities.
It's a lot harder and takes much longer to become an expert at what I believe are more important skills for an effective listing agent to acquire. Research consistently shows that sellers hire agents to help them with these key aspects of selling their property:
- Determining the right price to sell quickly and for the highest amount
- Marketing it attractively to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers
- Negotiating contracts, inspections, and repairs
And over the years, I've found that my clients really want to be kept up to date on the progress of their sale. The most common complaint I have heard from their experiences working with previous agents is that they weren't kept in the loop—not that their agent wasn't familiar with their neighborhood.
It won't come as a surprise that I believe an effective listing agent should be able to market and sell a home in any neighborhood.
What do you think?