Being a real estate broker and owning my own company, leads to many people asking me for real estate advice. One of the questions I love to answer is, how to find or choose a “great” agent. Now that I have been involved in over 300 transactions and I’ve met with brand new agents, seasoned 30-year veterans that have plenty of experience, and everything in between, this is what I would look for in an agent –
To be part time in this business is very difficult. Real estate isn’t rocket science, but there are a lot of little things and small details. Only the professional and full time agents really identify who the other agent is or what their negotiation style is, and what techniques they are utilizing – are they bluffing or are they being real? Also, full time agents are more likely to meet deadlines and be available when you need them.
I’ve seen agents that have been in the business for a long time who don’t do a whole lot of transactions and just don’t really take it as a professional career. I’ve also seen other agents that exude professionalism who don’t have that much experience as far as the years go, but are doing quite a few deals and are just really awesome agents.
#3 Emotional Intelligence
You might be surprised that I put emotional intelligence in my top three, but let me explain. A good agent listens well, knows who they are dealing with, is easy to communicate with and can keep a level head in stressful situations.
A good agent will tell you the honest truth, not just what you want to hear. That takes inner strength and courage. Unless you are unusual, most home owners think their property is worth more than it actually is. It’s human nature, this is your home and your livelihood. Having an agent willing to tell you the cold truth of what the market value is, how long it will take to sell and what you need to be willing to do to sell it is important. Don’t be tempted to just choose the agent that agrees to your price – because the house probably won’t sell.
The other reason why communication is so important is that everything an agent does correlates to how well they can communicate with you and with the other side. I’ve seen newer agents work deals that have fallen apart because they weren’t able to communicate effectively, because they weren’t able to control emotional level when things are on the line.
For most people, real estate is the biggest purchase of their life so emotions can get incredibly high. Have you ever had buyers’ remorse over maybe buying a flat screen TV or something like that? Now imagine how much more magnified that will be when you are buying a 100, 200, 300, or 500 plus thousand dollar house !
Your agent needs to keep it together even when things are falling apart. They should have the ability to be an emotional rock that you can count on through thick and thin.
Why So Many People Choose To Work With Agents
It is so important to be able to have someone that has bought several houses before and has helped clients buy several houses before because, let’s face it, you are not an expert in real estate. You have your day job and you have other things that you know, but real estate may not be one of them. That’s why so many people choose to work with real estate agents in the first place.
Article Written By: Jim Manning
Jim Manning is the broker-owner of STL Real Estate. After being involved in over 300 transactions since 2008, Jim gives solid advice to both real estate agents and home owners in St. Louis, MO.