p.s. Call Your Agent

by Osman Parvez

Why don't people call their agent?

It goes something like this. The phone rings and it's somebody asking about a certain property they've found on our website. I'll answer initial questions, and when the conversation goes deeper or they request to see the property, I'll ask if they have an agent.

The majority haven't committed to an agent and we'll continue from there, perhaps setting a meeting or a showing appointment. But sometimes people will say they are definitely working with another agent.

Ok, I respect that. And I enjoy talking with people about real estate. But why are we having a lengthy discussion about the property? Should you be talking to your agent? I just don't get it.

Look, I strongly believe in the value of working with an experienced and skilled agent. I also believe the same standards used to choose a CPA or attorney should also apply to choosing a real estate agent. Most of my clients are loyal and I work hard for them.

But when you've gone through that process and you've selected an agent, shouldn't they be working for you, saving you time and hassle? If there are questions you need answered, shouldn't they be calling me?

Choose an agent carefully and then leverage their expertise, knowledge, and skills. They have the best available resources for finding properties at their fingertips and often know of many homes that are not officially on the market. A skilled agent knows the community like the back of their hand (neighborhoods, parks, schools, traffic patterns, and more) and using the MLS and other tools, can quickly find properties that match your needs, saving you vast amounts of time.

If you're an investor or looking for a great deal, ask your agent to scout for homes that meet your criteria and have been on the market for long periods of time. That's right, be a contrarian. Don't follow the herd chasing "just listed" properties. As I pointed out in my post about desperate sellers, the owners of properties that have been on the market for long periods of time will often be much more open to negotiating and you can find great deals.

Your agent will be paid a commission at closing for their services. If you have one, tell them to send you properties that match what you want. Develop a list of specifics that are absolutely required (bedrooms, bathrooms, price, location...) and a list that are pluses (fireplaces, sunrooms, pools, etc...). Ask them for recommendations for lenders, inspectors, and others. This is how they can best help you and you'll get the most value.

As a recent buyer noted, sorting the "wheat from the chaff" can take alot of time and be a big hassle. Your agent should be doing this for you.

Once you've committed to working with an agent, if you happen to see something that you like, don't call the listing agent. Call YOUR Broker. Get the highest possible value from your agent.

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The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend conducting rigorous due diligence and obtaining professional advice before buying or selling real estate. 

Please Note

This document contains forward-looking statements. You are strongly cautioned that investment results are subject to business, economic and other uncertainties. There are no guarantees associated with any forecast and the opinions stated here are subject to change at any time. Always consult your financial advisor before making an investment decision.