Real estate agents don’t abide by a 9-5 schedule or collect a regular paycheck. The real estate industry is all about working hard, making connections, and learning to enjoy your feasts and to save for famines.
Here are 7 secrets of real estate agents that you probably don’t know…
1. Real Estate Agents Are Always Working
Real estate agents are a cross between salespeople and emotional support humans. Buying a home can be a stressful process, and quality real estate agents are there to help you every step of the way. They’re not just there to take you house-hunting - they’re also the people responding to your 11pm emails, your frantic calls about whether the offer you put in was too high or too low, and the people holding your hand while you’re “hurrying up to wait.” Real estate agents are on call 24/7. It’s the commitment they make the moment they sign you on.
You, the customer, always comes first. There have been multiple times at MG Real Estate where we’ve excused ourselves from restaurant dinners to answer quick calls or sat in our cars outside our family’s house to double-check the specs of a property you’re interested in. One time while floating down a river, Mike answered a client call while several of us were frantically splashing away from a pile of rocks protruding from the river.
And yes, he closed that deal. Why? Because good real estate agents are reliable and always on call. And because we missed the rocks.
2. Agents Must Have a Strong Read on People
Quality real estate agents know that fostering a strong agent-client relationship is often just as important and closing a transaction. When you’re putting one of the biggest, life-altering decisions you can make in the hands an expert, you need to have a strong bond with them. Real estate agents are working with you for months – sometimes even years – to help you find the right home.
To do so, they get to know what you like and what you don’t like. They need your expresses, get to know your quirks, and what you really mean when you say, “yeah, it’s fine.” If your agent isn’t putting in the effort to really understand what’s going to make you happy during a transaction, you should look for one who will.
3. They Speak in Code
Well, not necessary this code.
Almost every industry has its own jargon, and real estate is no different. Writing up a home listing is an art in all of itself. Often, agents (or their writers) have to describe all of a home’s attractive qualities in 500 characters or less. Buzz words have emerged from their listings as a result.
4. Trust Pending Sales Over Recent Sales
Some agents determine the offer price for your home by analyzing the recent sales prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood. While this is a smart idea, these numbers can sometimes be outdated – especially in fast-growing cities like Seattle and Tacoma.
To get a more accurate idea of how much to price your home for, look at the current pending sales. Finding these are easier than you think. All you have to do is download Redfin or Zillow to your phone and run a search. You’ll get up-to-date information about pending sales as opposed to having to rely on transactions that are a year or two old.
5. The Process is Streamlined If You Prepare
Early on, we let our clients know what to expect and when. We also try to prepare them for the bizarre and unusual, just so that there’s less of a chance for surprises later on. In return, there are several steps that buyers and sellers can take to help speed up of the process.
We outline these steps in our first-time home buyer’s guide. One way you can help us is by figuring out your finances, budget, and wants and needs ahead of time. We can narrow the scope of your search together as we build a rapport, but having a clear starting point is extremely helpful.
Also, get a lender. A good one – preferably from an agile bank that is quick to run numbers and is as dedicated to helping you get the keys to the next chapter of your life as we are. If you want help finding a lender, we can make a few suggestions.
6. You Can Check an Agent’s Record
Don’t ever hire a real estate agent without doing your research first. Agents have to undergo a process to become licensed and must disclose their license number to a client if asked. With this information in hand, you should check with the state to see if the agent has been disciplined for any wrongdoing, or if there have a history of any fishy behavior. Most won’t, but buying real estate is a huge decision, so you should never take your chances.
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a couple of agents, ask them some of these questions.
7. Smaller Agencies Can be as Competent as Their Larger Competitors
Actually, we’d argue that smaller agencies are usually more competent! Building a relationship is one of the most pivotal aspects of a real estate transaction. Smaller agencies will work with one or two agents from start to finish.
Larger agencies often represent many more clients as once. As a result, many buyers will meet one agent at the start of their transaction, be handed off to another who joins them at open houses, someone totally different when putting in an offer, a new face when it’s time to negotiate, and a total stranger when signing the closing paperwork.
Instead of spending the time to catch the nuisances that personalize a transaction, large real estate companies can often feel like a manufacturing plant and you are their end-product. We celebrate your close because we’ve been by your side during the entire transaction. Also, we then give you heartfelt gifts based on the relationships we’ve fostered with you. This is difficult for larger agencies to accomplish.
Real estate agents have many tricks of their sleeves. If you’re interested in learning more, send us a message! We love what we do, and we’re always happy to help!
By Anthony Greer
Anthony Greer is a content writer and brand messaging developer for service-based business. His website is: www.anthony-greer.com