Not all agents are created equal.
1) There are some agents who just received their license from the state. Thats cool but typically it takes a bit to “learn the trade”. I know this because I was a newer agent over 15 years ago.
Since the advice a Realtor gives to their client is based off experience, this experience was learned while working in the industry. We all get better at things the more we do them. Right? I am sure that the things you do in your job have been getting easier or faster for you as the length of your time in that industry has increased. Typically we all get better at our jobs as we stay in them longer. Having an agent who is more experienced is going to save you time, money and frustration in the end. Experience should be a concern when you pick your agent.
2) Some agents are focusing on other things than dedicating themselves to buyers and sellers. Some agents are focused on creating a team with some younger agents. Some agents are focused on starting a Brokerage. Some agents buy and sell homes for a profit. Some are lead generation machines. That is their focus.
My focus are my clients. Period. It’s what I do. I became a real estate broker because I wanted the extra education over and beyond what schooling a real estate agent goes through in Michigan. I can, by law create or run a brokerage if I want to. I have even been offered a local franchised real estate company to purchase in the past few years but did not buy into it because I did not want to run a brokerage.
When you pick an agent for your next move, find out that agent’s focus. I think it is an important part of the decision on which agent to represent you since if their focus may be split on other projects, you may not get the one on one attention with an agent that is dedicates their time with Clients alone.
3) At least half of the agents at any given time only sell 4-6 homes a year. There are a TON of variables in the real estate transaction. Many transactions have no issues with them. But since the advice you get is purely based on the experience that agent has gained through the process, you should be aligning yourself with an agent that understand all the potential pitfalls of the transaction. The more transactions the agent has been through, the better likelihood that they have experienced a unique situation that they can draw upon to offer you the appropriate advice to your situation.
Do your research on agents FIRST. Please.
As I write this in February of 2021, I have had to explain the purchase agreement to several agents representing the other side of the transaction numerous times in the past 6 months after the seller accepted an offer. That means, that agent did not know what was signed on that purchase agreement. Since the purchase agreement is the legal document that controls the sale of the home, you should demand that your agent knows what every document you are signing states. You would be surprised on how many do not. The barrier to entry into our industry is surprising low.
I routinely answer questions from distant friends or friends of friends who are looking for real estate help. I responded to an Instagram message today about this very thing which inspired me to write this part in the blog. Many times I or any other agent can not offer you help after an offer or listing agreement has been signed. This is against our Code of Ethics. Almost certainly, there has been an agency relationship set up just before the purchase agreement was signed and also the listing agreement is actually setting up a relationship with that client and agent at that time. So…..there is little I can offer when someone calls me in frustration since they “have no idea what is going on” or it’s really apparent that this agent has no clue what they are doing” or “I wish this agent would inform me of what is going on” after the purchase agreement or listing agreement has been signed. Do your homework. Your agent should be able to answer all your questions on the spot and be effective in their communication. Once you pick your agent to help in the process, you are likely not able to choose another one, although certain circumstances do arise where that is not 100% certain.
Zillow makes it tough for non “premier” agents to compete.
Zillow is a business who started out selling advertising space to agents in the hopes that you call them first. They are premier because they paid to be called premier. As a premier agent of zillow, the premier agent of Zillow does not need to update their profile. It is automatic. Once an agent or team sells a home zillow updates their profile. A guy like me who is still offered a profile, needs to go claim the homes that I sold. Thats why it looks like that some agents don’t sell anything each year. They have not updated their profile and claimed the sale. Here is my Zillow profile. I do not spend much time on this so understand that.
Additionally, it is very fashionable for a group of agents to share the sales data on Zillow. For instance, the JOE SMITH REAL ESTATE GROUP (Made up name) might have sold 200 homes last year alone, but JOE SMITH did not sell them all. His team could consist of 25 agents and when you average that out there is a 8 homes per agent each year average. Many of the agents on teams are pretty new. Make sure you are comfortable with the individual agent that you are working with on any team. They may not be as experienced as what appears on Zillow.
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