Finding the right fit in regards to hiring a real estate agent is of the utmost importance. The experience itself can be just as significant as the house you are selling or buying. So back to the question- what does make a valuable real estate agent?
TRUST A couple years ago my designated broker introduced me to the HOT principle. Honest, open, and transparent. Sometimes in real estate we are powerless over the way the transaction is unfolding and there can be some hard conversations to have. But if we always fall back on that principle - your ethics will never be compromised. Real estate transactions can feel shaky just by nature, do you have that rapport with your agent that they ALWAYS have your best interest in mind? For me personally, I look at my clients as clients for LIFE.
As a former flight attendant we were taught a valuable life skill that people always want to be informed. During mechanicals and other flight difficulties our passengers felt much more empowered if we got on the PA regularlyand gave them updates (even if there were no updates). They felt in control, they felt empowered - no matter what the result became. We cannot over communicate or over service our clients. In addition, listening is just as important. A good listener is attentive and is gathering information as the person is speaking, not waiting to interrupt. Experientially, you will find out quickly if your agent is listening to your real estate wants/needs and concerns.
Is your agent available for you when you find your dream house? An available agent won’t have set work hours. We work when our phone rings or the opportunity to help our client presents itself. To balance that out a little bit, do not forget that your Realtor does have a life too, and perhaps a family.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE
Real estate is not a one size fits all. Does your real estate agent know how to navigate you through the current market? Is your agent local? Up to date with the current trends? We are currently embracing a market change here in Thurston County where our process of putting in an offer and receiving offers are different than last year. Is your agent preparing you for the current market experience at hand?
SOCIAL SKILLS The real estate industry is a relational business. Being able to get the job done effectively on a duties level is essential, but also being able to connect effectively. One might say it takes a bit of an extrovert to thrive in this business.
ADAPTABILITY Making a connection with your real estate agent is a successful experience. That is the foundation of your relationship. A valuable real estate agent is one that can adjust to anyone’s personality while keeping their eye on the prize - creating an invaluable real estate experience and result for their client.
It is important, as a real estate consumer, to have a baseline of qualities on what to expect from a Realtor. I tell my new clients right out of the gate: I don’t have you sign anything from me stating you will continue to work with me. Essentially, I do not hold my clients hostage- if you feel I am not doing my job I lose the opportunity to work with you. This is a great motivator on my end.
Some of the above mentioned attributes may not be important to you, or perhaps some I did not include. What IS important- is to know what is valuable to you, and if your agent is fulfilling on that. Thurston County is full of amazing real estate agents, I cross paths with them everyday. Ask around, interview Realtors, do your diligence as a consumer. If you have established a good fit, hang onto it. And if you are still hunting, or new to the area, may the force be with you.