We were watching the NFL draft last week and during the broadcast were inundated with information about the prospects. NFL teams spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars researching everything about these players. They will talk to the equipment guys, lunch lady, elementary school teachers, neighbors, anyone who might have a nugget about the young man they are considering drafting. Honestly, who can blame them? Making the wrong decision could mean looking for a new job in less than a year.
So why do buyers select an agent without some sort of investigation into their credentials? Just because your sister’s husband’s cousin’s nephew is an agent doesn’t mean he knows what he’s doing. This person is going to be guiding you through the biggest financial transaction of your life. Wouldn’t it make sense to spend at least a little time gathering information to make and informed decision? Here are four things we think you need to know:
- Does the agent know the area where you want to make a purchase? This might seem like a no-brainer but you would be shocked to learn how many buyers don’t ask that question. The agent you select should be able to tell you about what it will be like to live there. Does the neighborhood have a block party? Where is a good Mexican restaurant? Is traffic going to be bad on the weekend? Does the karate studio we like pick up at our child’s school?
- Ask for references. Have you ever been hired for a job that didn’t ask for references? Ask for names and phone numbers of people they have helped. Taking two minutes to talk to a past client can be very informative. Also, a quick Google search should provide some on-line reviews. We have a past client list ready to go and would be happy to share it you.
- Ask what the agent is going to do for you. What does the agent offer that sets them apart from their competitor? We have an outstanding search function on our website backed up with blog content about neighborhoods and towns. Regular communications about what to expect are key to making the process as smooth as possible. It’s stressful enough negotiating an offer, getting financials in order, and preparing to move. The last thing you need are unnecessary surprises!
- Are you comfortable with them? We all have some level of intuition and it’s important to make sure you feel good about the agent you choose. The process can take anywhere from a month to a year. During that time we could communicate many times per week. Are you going to look forward to that interaction or will you avoid it?
There are exceptions to everything, maybe that nephew actually does know what he’s doing. Whatever you decide, make sure you do your homework. While it’s true you do not pay a buyer’s agent (our commission is paid by the sellers) you can certainly pay for having the wrong buyer’s agent.
We would love to have the opportunity to talk with you about how we can help find your next home. Give Mike a call/text at 571-233-5495 or reach out to us by email at Team@LoCoMusings.com. Happy house hunting!