A good real estate agent—I mean a real estate agent you trust, who has your back and you know it—that’s important. It’s like having a good doctor or lawyer. Now, everyone knows not to represent themselves in court. Bad, bad idea. And although we all check Web M.D. and love to self-diagnose, when things get serious, we don’t try to remove an appendix ourselves. We don’t try to set a broken bone. We go to a doctor. A good one.
That’s how a real estate agent should be.
Think about how you much money you spend on health insurance or a court case. Now think how much you spend on a home.
A real estate agent should be someone you always have in your back pocket, who you know and trust and have an ongoing relationship with. You’re thinking about remodeling? You can call her for advice. You need a new roof? She’s got a referral. You want to sell? She knows how to do it right. A good real estate has information that you can’t get from the Internet. She has experience. She cares about you. Take this story, for example.
Last month, there was a listing on 75th Street. It wasn’t a great house—it needed some work, and there was a break in the sewer line. Not top-quality at all, although you wouldn’t know it by just glancing at it. It was listed at $560,000.
Eight parties were interested in this house. But once they studied the pre-inspection, noticed the broken sewer line, and found all the other problems, seven of them didn’t even make an offer. No way.
Whenever we check out a house, we read the inspection front-to-back. We make sure we know everything about the house and the neighborhood and the people who live there.
But some large real estate companies don’t. These companies have agents who are paid on salary, and you can usually find them cheaper than other agents. You might even save a few thousand dollars. But for these agents, real estate is a numbers game. Get a lot of agents and a lot of listings. Buy, buy, buy. They’re in it to move as many properties as possible, not to care about clients.
One of eight agents—we won’t name the big company he worked for—made an offer on that house, and it was obvious he hadn’t done his research. Because he not only convinced his clients to make an offer, but it was an offer at $600,000 ($40,000 above the listing price!) and with an escalation to $630,000 to boot. They even put down $10,000 in earnest money and waived the inspection, too.
They won the house. The only ones who even made an offer.
Great for the agent.
Terrible for the clients.
And that’s the thing—that instance would never have happened with an agent you have a relationship with. A good agent you trust would be watching out for you. No way she’d make an offer $40,000 over listing price right away. No way she’d ignore the pre-inspection.
We saw this happen last month, and it reminded us yet again that a good real estate agent matters. Not just any agent—a good one. One you trust, and one who will stick with you even two, three, ten, twenty years after the sale ends.
We aren’t in this to move properties. We’re in this for you. We’re in this to build community, one client at a time.