Close friends and relatives should generally be avoided
I’ve written several blogs about how to find a real estate agent, including How to Hire a Competent Realtor: Consider Their Use of Technology. I know being a real estate agent involves more than just knowing the combination to the lockbox. It means having sales and marketing know-how, the diplomatic and negotiating skills to close a deal, and the ability to represent a client’s interests above all else.
Today, let’s dig a bit deeper on the topic. Here are some words of advice based on my 25+ years in the industry:
- Real estate is local ― hyper-local, actually. Your agent should be, too. It’s important to choose someone who has knowledge of the neighborhood, who understands the housing market there, knows the inventory, is familiar with the schools, services, local culture and more.
- Keep in mind, your friend or relative may not be the best agent for the job. For one thing, if the home-buying process isn’t going well, you need to be able to fire that person. Ask yourself if you could do that.
- The best listing agent is not the one who tells you what you want to hear. You want to make the best return on your investment when you sell your home, but make sure you select an agent who backs up the price with local data and doesn’t just say what you want to hear.
- Pick an agent who uses winning marketing strategies. Some agents think pricing low and letting the marketplace drive up the price in a bidding war is the way to go. Others think pricing high and testing the waters will get you more comfortable with the idea that your house isn’t really worth as much as you thought. That’s the agent who tells you what you want to hear.
- Go with the agent who actually closes deals. Check a potential realtor’s website to see their sales record, or ask prospective agents how many deals they’ve closed with homes like yours. If they’re inexperienced, they’ll have a difficult time answering that question.
If you’re listing your property in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, and wondering how to find a real estate agent, take a shortcut. Check out my bio, testimonials and sold properties. Then, give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com.