It’s not easy to quantify the metrics that add up to a “good realtor” or a “good real estate experience.” Aside from qualities like professionalism, experience, honesty, etc, there are many other small details that shape what we would define as a “good realtor.” The ability to establish positive rapport with the agents who work on the other side of the real estate transaction is an extremely important skill. Staying on top of the current real estate trends and news in order to give relevant advice to clients, is another important aspect of being a top realtor. Effectively negotiating in competitive, multiple offer situations in order to give your clients the edge to win is another skill which is difficult to quantify. And sometimes all it takes is a simple phone call – we’ve had several situations where a nice chat with the agent on the other side of the transaction helped us gain the vital insight needed to win. In this extremely competitive and hectic market, though, agents can use every tool in the box and still fall short…but that’s no excuse for agents to not do their best each and every time we put pen to paper for our clients.
We’re are often asked what kind of crazy stories we have to share in this market. Aside from a high-priced ~15 year-old townhouse in Ballard getting 27 offers and selling for $100K more than the listed price? Yah, that’s not news, it happens all of the time! How about the time when a buyer’s agent in a competitive offer situation abandoned her buyers on the day of the pre-inspection and left us with no choice but to show up to help the poor buyers complete the process? A little conflict of interest, no? No surprise that she not only lost in the multiple offer situation, but lost her clients shortly thereafter. We’ve heard stories of buyers giving sellers and their agents gift baskets in a multiple offer situation as a token of appreciation/bribe – not sure how helpful that would be but we wouldn’t turn away a few good bottles of wine or a box of chocolates! 😉
Sometimes small mistakes can be quite costly. Checking the wrong box on the contract can mean the unintended party pays for an expensive assessment or repair. Glossing over the agreed-upon appliances for a property may mean the sellers end up buying a new washing machine or microwave for the buyers. Not following offer instructions can lead to a “sorry, you’re too late” response from the seller. Not confirming receipt with the listing agent after submitting an offer may mean your offer gets missed or misplaced.
In this day and age, technological advances have brought about more efficiency and convenience, but it’s also had the unintended effect of depersonalizing communications – something which is vital in negotiations. Emails are fine and all, but you can’t effectively negotiate without being able to read the nuanced tones, gestures and language-choice of the person in front of you or on the other end of the line.
The bottom line is… be picky with your choice of Realtor. There really IS a big difference from one to the next. Don’t let your choice cost you money, or the house of your dreams.