What’s the Best Way to Choose Your Real Estate Agent?
Choosing the best real estate agent to help you in the purchase or sale of your home can be a daunting task. Most agents are spending thousands of dollars advertising to attract your attention. In many cases, all that gets for you is someone that needs to churn out as many transactions as possible in order to cover the cost of all that advertising.
So what about online reviews on an agent’s website, Yelp, Google or other similar platforms? That can be a good choice, but think about how useful, or not, those reviews might be. Generally, a satisfied customer will be happy no matter what and so they will post a positive, glowing review about how great the agent was.
Curiously, I’ve read a bunch of these reviews and rarely find any that include a specific example of how that agent solved a difficult problem, made the seller money, or saved a buyer money. Rarely do the reviewers talk about how the agent protected their interests, reduced or eliminated stress when dealing with high levels of complexity, or made them feel like education was a part of the process.
And, perhaps part of the reason is that many reviews are just fake. It’s way too easy to go online, create a personality and write a positive review for yourself! Even easier is just to have friends and relatives write reviews. I recently came across an agent’s profile where the only review was written by her husband! So, are these the kind of reviews you can trust?
On the other hand, what about negative reviews? They may be more useful on several levels. For example, I have an incredibly negative review on a website, not from my client but from the other party in the transaction! I love this review because the reviewer says that I was not representing them and that I was looking out for my client and they couldn’t have their way because it was not what was agreed to in the contract. Of course, those aren’t the words that the reviewer used, but any reasonable person would understand the unhappy reviewer was simply reflecting how well I defended and protected my client.
So if you are depending on online reviews, then I’d encourage you to read the negative reviews with more interest than the positive ones.
What about the sites that claim to have agents compete to get your business? Think about this, a real estate transaction is highly complex, there are many laws that govern and a single mistake can cost you thousands of dollars. As a seller, is getting an agent that will reduce their commission to sell your house in your best interest? If they are willing to give away their own money that easily just to get your listing, what are the chances that they will truly work to protect your money when it comes to negotiating sale price, terms, repairs and so forth?
But is there a better way to find a really good real estate agent?
Yes, there is! Notice the people you are in conversation with that are thinking about buying or selling or that have relatively recently completed a real estate purchase or sale. Here’s another hint, when you are asking for recommendations, if the person just bought a house and you are thinking of selling, that may not be the best agent for you. The buying process and the selling process have a very different focus, so the best buyer’s agent may or may not be the best seller’s agent and vice versa.
That said, if you want a better experience when it comes to hiring a real estate agent to represent you, call or textor email Sally@YourRealAdvantage.com to get my list of the top questions to ask when looking for the best agent to hire. No cost, no obligation, it’s my free gift for you.