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Choosing the Right Agent

Monday, May 4, 2015   /   by Jen Koenig

Choosing the Right Agent

I just read an article (see the link below) about "red flags" to watch for when choosing an agent. The article suggests several things, such as not working with a relative, avoid part-time agents, not choosing an agent just because they priced your home higher than other agents you interviewed (which, by the way, is a BIG one; all agents have access to the same information, so if one agent is telling you it's worth significantly more, there's a good chance your home will be sitting on the market for awhile because it's overpriced), etc. I think it's a pretty solid article and worth a read.


Reading this got me thinking about our own agents and the transactions we've had, and I realized one thing the article forgot to mention: you need an agent who LISTENS to you.


Recently we got a phone call from a couple who were literally in the car, on their way here from Indiana, looking to house hunt and write an offer the next day. They had already booked time with another agent from another agency for the next morning, but the agent was only available until 1pm. Since they were only here for 2 days and needed to find a home and write an offer in that time, they called us and asked to set up afternoon showings.  One of our Buyer Agents, Tyler, took the call. He rearranged his schedule to be available, and he talked to them about what they wanted. 

What they wanted was pretty simple. They wanted a home with at least 2 bedrooms and at least 1 bathroom. They needed a yard that could be fenced. They had a pretty wide price range and said they'd take a house on the lower end that needed some work or one on the higher end if it was already in good condition. They stressed that the MOST important priority, though, was that it had to be near a lake. They didn't even care particularly which lake, as long as they were only a few blocks away. 

They sent Tyler the list of homes the other agent was showing them (so there wouldn't be any redundancies). Tyler searched through all the available homes in the system to find them homes that met their criteria and prepared his own list to show them.  After doing all of his prep work, Tyler was very confident that he would be the agent writing an offer for this couple.

The next day, the couple toured at least 5 homes with the other agent.  They went to 1 house with Tyler, and they wrote an offer on that house.  Tyler was right.

Here's how Tyler knew that he'd be the one to find the home for this couple and not the other agent: when Tyler saw the list of the homes the other agent was showing the couple, not a single one was near the lake. Not one.  The home Tyler showed them was a block away from the lake, just like they asked.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that the couple really insisted that the home needed to be near the lake. I actually took the initial call and forwarded it to Tyler, and even in the short conversation I had with them it was very clear how important being near a lake was to them. They had previously lived in Colorado and missed being surrounded by nature.  

I'm not sure how the other agent missed it.  Maybe he heard it but discounted their wish because homes by the lake generally tend to be out of their price range.  Maybe the agent was busy and just didn't do a thorough search (it does take a lot more time and effort to find a home that's near a lake but not on it; there's not a preset search criteria for that). Or maybe he really just wasn't listening.

I know I've posted before about our impressive stats. Our team IS really impressive: while the average agent sells 8 homes in a year, our team of 4 (& Tyler just became our 4th member in March) has already sold 42 homes this year, & we have another 25 accepted offers waiting to close.  The thing I don't always talk about is HOW we're able to do that. Our team leader, Amber, has personally selected great agents to join our team.  We work together to ensure our clients have a great experience. We support each other and help each other when one of us needs it.  And we listen to our clients. Your time is valuable, and no agent here would waste it showing you homes that aren't anything like what you'd want. They'll set you up on a home search even before you're ready to shop, so you can look at the homes, tell them what you like and don't like about them, and then tweak the search as many times as necessary until you're getting what you want.  So many times clients discover along the way that there are different important aspects of a home that they hadn't realized before, and our agents will patiently work with you and evolve their search with you.  And our agents know the neighborhoods and cities throughout Dane County, and they'll make sure you end up in an area that truly fits your needs. And we'll work with you as long as it takes. We've had clients who weren't in any hurry and were looking for the perfect property, and we've helped those people for as along as it takes (once in awhile more than a year!) until the perfect property finally came on the market. We've even done mailers to specific homes/areas our clients really like but aren't on the market to see if any of them are interested in selling.  Basically, we'll listen to your needs, we'll refine our search until we find the perfect home, we'll go the extra mile for you, and we'll stick with you for as long as it takes. That's why we have sold so many homes and have so many happy clients.

For more info on what to look for when choosing an agent, click on the article below: 

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/11/07/9-red-flags-to-watch-for-when-picking-a-real-estate-agent