First of all, let me tell you that I am about to climb up on my soapbox here. Last week I went to meet a potential seller. The property next door was listed as a For Sale by Owner, or FSBO, in real estate language. The lady I was meeting with said the owner next door had the home on Zillow and was getting minimal showings. She was, however, very excited that she was going to be listing the home next week with an agent who was going to do it for free. You see, this agent is a full time dentist, recently licensed, and just "needed the practice" of listing and selling a home.
Now, I'm not going to go down the obvious path of "would you hire a part-time dentist who just wanted to practice on your cavity". Obviously, a dentist has been through years of medical training and hopefully experienced enough to know how to treat different dental emergencies. What I am going to say is that hiring someone who wants to "practice" their real estate skills on your most expensive investment can't really be a great idea. In my 30 years of selling real estate, I find something new every single day. Just when I think I have the potholes in the road to closing mapped out, something new comes up. I am by no means dissing new agents. We all had to start somewhere, but when I began my career I gave it 100%. I took classes, talked to other agents, read a lot of books (pre webinars for the younger crowd) and went to seminars. I wanted to be the best at what I had chosen as my career. I just cannot see how you can run a succesful dental practice and a successful real estate practice concurrently.
One of my clients is closing on his home this week. He is building a new home and needed a 6 month interim lease to move his family into until the new home is finished. I reached out to another agent and found that a family in one of her listings was willing to lease it. My clients comment to me as we are going over his closing papers and his temporary lease was "Why, if you have the chance, would you work with an agent who has no experience, when, for the same amount of money, you can work with someone who has years of experience and lots of contacts?" I explained that some agents are willing to work for a reduced commission or no commission at all. His response "Well, you get what you pay for."
Now I will begin my ascent from my soapbox. My purpose in this blog is to just get folks to thinking. Interview agents if you are thinking of buying or selling. Find out how experienced they are and what their plan is for your transaction. If all you care about is how much commisison you pay, then obviously you can go with someone who is just "practicing" for free. But if you want things done right, choose a hard working, experienced agent who will be your advocate and help you avoid all those potholes in the road to closing.