Here is Part 2 of our 2 Part series. You can catch Part 1 here:
Top 5 Ways to Lose Your Money & Your Hair in Real Estate
Part 2 – Use the Wrong Agent
Just as there are all kinds of doctors, there are all kinds of realtors and they each specialize in different things. They might tell you they can help you, but it’s up to you to determine whether they are qualified for your particular situation. Using the wrong agent is just as risky as selling it yourself and sometimes worse. Here are some examples of the wrong agent:
Discount Dan. Discount Dan will sell your home for a greatly reduced commission only you’ll have to do the showings, the paperwork, the photos, and even the pricing. The only thing Discount Dan is offering is to put your home on the MLS. Everything that could happen if you FSBO your home can happen with Discount Dan only the damage could be worse because your mistakes will be more public and harder to correct in the long run. You get what you pay for with Discount Dan.
City Sally Sort of Sells the Country! If your agent doesn’t live in your town, she has a pretty severe handicap. Local agents help sell your town, your neighborhood and your home to prospective buyers. They know about the schools, the special events, the new developments, and the unique quirks of their town. Local agents know pricing and the competition in depth which will help your home sell quickly for top dollar. Local agents have connections in the community and with other local agents, all of which help them sell your home faster and for a better price. Finally local agents live close by so a last minute showing is rarely a problem.
Out of Town Oscar, Buyer’s Agent. Similarly if you’re buying a property an out of town agent is often out of touch. Local agents know the inventory and they know what’s a good deal and what is overpriced. They inspire confidence in their buyers because they know the market from experience, not just from searching the MLS. Local agents also know what’s coming on the market from their connections so they can often get you into a new listing before anyone else. Finally, a local agent can help you determine what neighborhoods are most suited to you. Make sure your agent lives in your town. If you can’t find one get a referral.
Holly Hobbie’s Real Estate Hobby! Similar to an out of town agent,a real estate agent who dabbles in real estate isn’t typically the best fit. This agent may lack market knowledge or may not make you and your property her priority. A hobby agent often won’t be able to differentiate between a good deal, and overpriced beast or stomething that you may love but won’t re-sell down the line. She also won’t be able to price your property for sale with the same level of expertise as a full time agent who has seen your competition in person and studied the market. Even if, or maybe especially if, Holly Hobbie is a friend or relative avoid using her unless she recently went partim time after a full time career or you know she has an expert agent helping her.
Nick the Newb Everyone has to start somewhere, but a brand new agent won’t have the market knowledge, expertise or negotiating experience to help you effectively navigate the real estate market. If your agent is new, but part of an experienced team, that can work in your favor. You get an agent who is likely hungry and will try hard, who has time to dedicate and who has experts behind the scenes guiding him.
When you interview your agent make sure he has experience in the industry, extensive local market knowledge, works full time, specializes in residential real estate (or commercial, when applicable), has a track record of success and is a good fit for you personally. You need to like and respect your agent in order to have a strong working relationship. This will be a lot easier if you choose the right one!