When I get a referral, depending on what the client’s needs are, I get prepared for the appointment. I have a process that I go through to prepare for a listing, but I also have a buyer listing appointment.
This just got me to wonder, why does it seem that Seller does more research when choosing their agent than a buyer?
Sellers will read the advise columns in the papers, telling them to interview at least 3 agents who work in their area. Sellers are told to check the experience and volume information about the agent that they are interviewing. Agents will bring their dog and pony show to make their case as to why they should be the seller’s agent. After speaking to each agent, they will make a decision on which agent will best fit their needs.
When I meet with buyers it is a different story? I will ask them if they have spoken to other agents and, and typically they will give me a quizzical look and say no, you are the only one? Some have said that they met someone at a house to see the inside and that was it. I will ask if they did a buyer listing appointment, they just shake their heads, no. If I talk to people that have just bought a home, I will ask them how they met or chose their agent.
The answers surprise me. Some will tell me that they just met their agent at an open house, or it is their mother’s friend, their aunt, the Internet and the list goes on. That is not the part that surprises me because I have used all of these ways to meet new clients.
The part that surprises me is that there is no interview process to find out what kind of experience the agent has, what their knowledge of the market is and so on. It seems like a more random process. Being your mother’s friend doesn’t really say a lot about experience and negotiating know how.
Buyers will call an agent off of a for sale sign, meet the agent at a house and viola they have an agent? No interview process, references or anything?
Questions you should ask of your agent whether you are a buyer or a seller;
What areas do the agents specialize in. Make sure they are up on market conditions.
- How long has the agent been in real estate? Have they sold homes in a similar market, are they familiar with financial options?
- What kind of volume does the agent do? Are they part time or will you have a commitment from a full time professional?
As consumers, no matter if you are the buyer or the seller, you need to make sure you have the most qualified agent to handle your largest financial transaction.