There must be other, better reasons.
I will be the first to raise my hand and admit, as a real estate professional, that I have benefited from close family and friends. They have bet on me as I have started a new business. They too have benefited from from my services. We have sold a lot of real estate together. I want to begin this important post with gratitude to them.
It seems counterintuitive that I would suggest that I may not be the best fit for my closest allies. I certainly believe that I am great to do business with. My challenge is to the reasons why. Why should one choose a real estate professional?
Below are some salient points to choosing the right agent. Not listed on that list is “because she is my niece” or “we went to college together’ or worst of all “he could use the commission”
Anyone can do this job successfully
There is a common belief of agents. It goes something like, “I could do this myself but I don’t have affordable access to the MLS, so I will choose a family member.” I had similar views since starting in this business in 2016. If there is one thing I have come to understand. This is a tough job if done successfully. I have never worked harder or had longer hours. I find myself advocating for my clients late at night only to wake an inspection to attend or a marketing piece to write. This is an amazing business which takes personal self discipline and focus.
As a business owner, I have to say though, this is also an easy business to do poorly. One can easily be an unsuccessful real estate agent.
Full time agents
When I encounter other successful agents in my market, I tend to encounter them time and again at various listings and in my own. These full time agents are better at what they do. They have better internal systems and are more conscientious. Because of this, I believe the contracts I steward with them are more successful. I prefer working with the most successful agents because it is best for my clients. The part time agents tend to still be learning. There is just not enough experience under their belts to see what is best for their client. If your friend or family member is full time and experiencing success chances are you will be pleased with their work. If not, you probably will not enjoy your experience.
Experience working on homes
It is astounding how many agents understand interior design and style but have little experience with how something is built. This is a real issue when representing a buyers interests. Seeing structural issues or problems with the fundamentals of a home saves a tremendous amount of time. There is a slew of houses on the market that have fine interior finishes but poor fundamentals. The old adage “putting lipstick on pig” happens often and for the buyers an agent with the right experience can save a buyer from years of frustration or even worse, costly repairs when they themselves prepare to sell the home. Nothing in my real estate training taught the fundamentals of home construction or the complex systems there in.
My cousin’s sister in law needs the money
There is so much opportunity in real estate for the person with the necessary business acumen, the aptitude and desire to master all the pitfalls of the real estate contract, the marketing expertise to bring a home to the market and the character to operate in integrity. The interesting thing about those agents who are struggling in the real estate market place, they most often have something internal to them which is blocking their success. I believe those items for sure can be overcome with hard work, persistence, and some help. Yet should that learning be done on your listing?
This is the single largest transaction most Americans make
The average American purchases four to five homes in their lifetime. This means between buying and selling homes, they most likely will experience less than ten transactions. Since there is tremendous money being carried through each transaction it pays to hire a professional who is demonstrating successful representation of your interests.
If you have a friend or a relative that represents a working knowledge of homes, the business acumen to do contract negotiations, the ability to market your home and is experiencing great success, then by all means hire them! But if indeed you have part time struggling friends or relatives it may be a charitable move to hire them. This is a difficult task to market a home or to effectively represent a buyer. Those who do it well work very hard. Choose that one. The hard working, skilled one.