Saturday, August 9, 2008

Door #1 ... no, door #2, ... no .... oh Monty, how do I pick an agent?

Introducing a series on how (not) to pick an agent…
There are a lot of reasons used to select a real estate representative. Unfortunately the search for “good”, “logical”, “rational” “statistical” selection criteria is rather futile. It’s a hard job.
It’s just as hard for a good agent to express what makes them unique and/or an agent you should consider. Poor us.
In the end, many agents advertise their strength in the areas that buyers and sellers have decided or been told meet the above criteria. And they usually mean … nothing.
In our opinion, what you should be looking for is an agent or “consultant”
• that is most concerned about your satisfaction and success,
• who you can trust to work for you and you alone,
• who will be completely honest with you at all times and
• who will keep you informed and be available throughout the process.
Unfortunately, it is near-impossible to objectively measure any of these.
So you don’t. Instead …
• You assume that all agents are in it for themselves and the gold and you should just hire the toughest, self-centred, biggest producer of them all.
• Or you decide to hire the “nicest”.
• Or the one with the slickest presentation.
• Or you decide that they’re all the same so you might as well go with your brother-in-law’s kid who just got her licence.
• Or you go back to the “objective” measures and go with “sale-to-list-price” ratios; number or size of deals; average days-on-market; etc.
Wrong. Nice try, and we understand how difficult and frustrating it all is. But still wrong.
Coming up: A series on assorted “myths” in selecting an agent. We’ll try to be succinct and clear about how the business works and why a given selection criteria is of little use (or worse, could lead in a wrong direction). We’ll try to help with some of the ways that are good ways to select an agent. But we are the first to admit this list is shorter and harder to use.
So, yes, we’re trying to help but we’ll make the decision harder. Hopefully better. But definitely harder.

Related posts:
... "98% of list ... NO NO NO!!"
..."Days NOT on market"
... "How many houses do you sell..."

... or just click the "selection" item in the tag list on the blog (in case I add a post and forget to update these links ... it happens!)

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