If you’re not sure what a real estate agent’s job is you’re probably not alone. You would be surprised to know that most agents don’t even know what their job is either. Shocking-I Know!
Believe it or not, it’s NOT to show “buyers” every single home for sale. Yes, it’s true most people think that a real estate agent’s sole purpose is to setup showings indefinitely and show one house after the next to “potential” buyers. And in some cases it’s true. The reason I say “potential” is because just as agents work with multiple buyers simultaneously don’t think for a second that some buyer are not “working” with multiple agents. If an agent has more than one customer, how many agents does the average buyer have? Ironically, we agents are seen as “potential” as well.
Buyer’s MO is usually to start looking on the web for a home. In fact, according to NAR 87% of buyers start their home search on the web first. Buyers then email or call agents randomly hoping to find the “inside scoop” on every listing. Most buyers believe that dealing with the listing agent will ultimately garnish them a better deal. Read my post on picking the right agent. To me this sounds counter-intuitive to work with the listing agent since she works for the seller and the seller’s best interest. Instead, why not hire a knowledgeable and experienced professional who will protect their best interest throughout the process no matter the home. Make the home interchangeable, not the agent. Unfortunately, finding the right agent sometimes is, if not, more difficult than finding the right home. Did you know that there are approximately 7,000 registered real estate agents in Westchester County and approximately 7,100 homes (condos, co-ops, SF, MF) for sale? Daunting task indeed!
Select the agent first, then everything else will fall into place. Selecting the right agent does not have to be overwhelming. Ask friends and family members for recommendations then interview them. Interview because who might have been perfect for your aunt, may not be right for you. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind. (only my opinion, add or remove as necessary)
An agent’s job, is to:
- provide the customer with the necessary and available information
- find the home that best meets “most” of their criteria
- guide the customer through the transaction
- provide resources as necessary
- anticipate potential problems and plan accordingly
- answer any questions the customer may have-honestly
- help customers achieve their goals–home related
What it is not:
- tour guide–”this is the living room”, “this is the kitchen”. Doesn’t the customer already know.
- drive around endlessly showing house after house
- give opinions–which areas or schools are better than others, or determine that the foundation is “solid”
- give legal advice
- “yes” you to death