By ROBERT RADCLIFFE | Special to the Palisadian-Post
There are many things to look for when you are shopping for the perfect real estate agent. Do they have a long-running track record of successfully selling homes in the neighborhood(s) where you would like to purchase or sell your home? Have they been servicing the area for a long period of time? Are they qualified specifically for the area you are considering or is their range of professional reach very wide so that they may not be able to provide pinpointed advice or expert knowledge of the vicinity?
Does the agent have a staff or team? Agents with teams typically offer better service and ultimately better results; they have invested in a staff and therefore, they treat their business like a business.
You also may want to check their references. How is their performance in terms of transactions for both sellers and buyers? If you are looking to buy a home, check how many buyers the agent has represented each year, including in what areas and price range. The same applies when selling your home.
Additionally, what forms of marketing do they engage in? How will they keep you updated on the market as it relates to your home when being sold?
When you get down to it, most real estate agents are like most people, incredibly nice and honorable. Yet, that does not necessarily mean they are the best person to represent you as your agent.
Obtaining a real estate license is fairly easy to do; after 40 hours or so of instruction, most states will grant a license. Given the ease of this for most people, there is a plethora of agents in most markets who are licensed but most likely not the best choice to represent you, or anyone for that matter.
Most people are unaware that the average agents in most neighborhoods sell on average one home per year. The fewer the number of homes an agent has sold, the less experienced they are. And, at the end of the day, when you have an agent who may not know all of the ins and outs of the industry when handling your transactions, you really stand to risk quite a lot in terms of money, time and/or legal ramifications.
The chances of you knowing a real estate agent personally who fits this description are very high. How can you assert that you would rather work with someone else for your property endeavors? The best way to manage this is to politely explain that since this is one of the largest financial transactions of your life, you would prefer to work with an agent that you hand-picked to suit your specific needs.
If the agent (friend) you are explaining this to is a true friend, you should not have much trouble with this, as they would genuinely have your best interests at heart.
Keep in mind also that there is a much greater chance of the relationship going awry if something goes wrong in the transaction, which puts the relationship itself in jeopardy.
Another factor that can be brought up is that the ability to demand professionalism from a relationship that is built on being casual and friendly can become very difficult.
The bottom line is this: as the old saying goes “Never mix business with pleasure.” It is never a good idea to choose a Realtor just because of your personal relationship.
Robert Radcliffe of The Radcliffe Group at Sotheby’s International Realty credentials, along with Buyers and Sellers videos can be viewed at www.robertradcliffe.com or contact Rob directly: 310-255-5454.
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