Buyers- Do your part!
So much has changed in the world of real estate since I began my business in 2001. That doesn't seem that long ago, however in the technology age - 17 years is a lifetime!
The way we communicate with one another and what our expectations are of people in certain fields has evolved. Especially in the field of real estate. Now that there are so many ways for people to learn about what homes are available, to scout locations and understand communities from walk scores to API scores to crime statistics. Consumers can use Google Earth and see exactly where a home is located and everything that surrounds it without ever leaving the comfort of their homes. It's pretty magical actually and it feels good to be armed with so much data. You are in a position of power and control over your own home buying destiny...sort of.
You may think that going online and registering with various websites to get more information will help you to understand your market. You are right it will and you should use those tools effectively. However, the truth is no matter how much you study online information there is no substitution for a Realtor who will help you through the process.
Real Estate even now is a relationship based business. More transactions happen because of relationships than just passing through an open house or having a Realtor open a door for you only to talk with ten other Realtors in the coming week.
What do I mean by that? Search for a Realtor like you search communities. Find ONE. One you like, trust and want to do business with. Realtors are commission only sales people and business owners. They are not employed by brokerages. They don't get paid by the hour. They get paid when then help someone buy or sell a home and not until all is said and done. Sometimes Realtors work with their clients for a year or more before seeing any compensation.
Many consumers don't realize these facts but nonetheless they are true. I am always shocked when I get calls from people who just want a door opened. Many times they have a Realtor they are working with. However, they don't want to bother that person so they call someone else. It is a Realtor's job to open as many doors as their clients need in order to make a homebuying decision. You aren't bothering them, you are their client.
Recently, I have spoken to people who were getting emails from 10-20 agents at a time regarding new listings that might fit their critiera. All of these Realtors are hoping to earn your business and they have no idea you are talking to that many other agents. They are providing you a service and not being paid but they are acting in good faith.
The worst part of all is that you aren't doing yourself any good. We all have basically the same data to work with. While it is true we may know of new listings coming up in our office or from our friends that are agents or our own listings. Aside from that everyone is dealing with the same MLS and the same data.
So what is your part you ask? Interview Realtors and ask them face to face a list of questions that helps you to know who they are and if you believe they can help you. You are a certain kind of person and you will appreciate a certain kind of service and communication. This is where differences will appear. How much knowledge an agent has of their service area is another difference. How many transactions they have done that speaks to the level of experience they bring to you changes it up as well.
Your part is to find your perfect Realtor partner to share the journey with you whether you are buying or selling a home. We are here to help and most of the time when you connect with an agent they will move heaven and earth to make sure you are happy. The trick is making sure they know you are loyal to them so they will be loyal to you. That is the magic combination that will help you with all of your real estate needs!
So...do your part!