Thursday, April 16, 2009

Interviewing and Selecting an agent

I don't want you to get the wrong impression here - we're not opposed to competition.  In fact, we encourage you to interview multiple agents.

That being said, once you select a Realtor, it's important to work with that agent as much as you want that agent to dedicate himself/herself to you.  Finding the perfect home when there are almost 50,000 to choose from takes a lot of effort and communication, and the process will suffer if you're being pulled in different directions or have fragmented conversations.

We had a miscommunication this month with a buyer-client who was flying in from out of town to buy a 2nd home here in Phoenix.  The short story is he was working with three different agents/teams, and ended up not finding the house he was looking for.

Each of the agents he had found and interviewed were qualified, and I'm sure would have done an excellent job in helping him find the perfect house (ourselves included).  Unfortunately, by working with multiple people, he spent far too much time expressing his needs in triplicate, and not enough time answering more detailed follow-up questions.  Each agent (team) struggled to gather more information and to find time to go see the available homes which might be a good match for the buyer.

Our colleague Steve wrote a few pieces last year on the topic of how to interview a Realtor:
How to interview your Realtor

What some agents will tell you to get your business

Flat-fee listing brokers

Some other ideas you might want to try:
Call, email, and text message your Realtor(s) several times over the course of a couple/few weeks.  See how quickly and consistently they respond to you, or whether the communication level drops off over time.  If they aren't responsive when trying to get your business, imagine what will happen once they have your business...

Ask for referrals/testimonials, and then take a few minutes to actually talk to a couple of past clients.  Understand that these are most likely to be the happiest of all their clients, but you might be able to uncover some flaws by asking questions to these unbiased former clients.

The bottom line is we treat our clients the right way, and we work very hard for them, so the interview process can actually help our clients see the difference.  We've even had referrals from clients who did not end up moving - they were so pleased with our honest approach they felt comfortable referring their friends or family members.

But we struggle to help you when we can't keep up with your thought process - when you've had three conversations and changed directions twice while we're still working on the original plan...

Your committed to your success Realtor,

Chris Butterworth