Real estate agents. They are a dime a dozen, aren't they? Everyone and his brother has a real estate license now days. Anyone can sell real estate, right?
Well... sort of right. Yes, anyone with a license CAN sell real estate. But NOT everyone with a license can sell real estate RIGHT.
You see, experience matters. Commitment matters. Passion matters.
When I began selling real estate in 1974, our purchase contract, if we used the "official" form, was one page. So was the listing agreement. Times were simple. Joe told Ned he'd give him X amount of dollars for the little house on Arizona Ave. They would agree on a price and when to close, and, most often, Joe would assume Ned's mortgage and take over the payments and life would go on. We didn't have cell phones, we didn't have fax machines, and we sure as heck didn't have the internet. We had weekly MLS meetings to spread the word to other agents of any new listings we had, or what our buyers were looking for. And we agents all KNEW each other. We had MLS books, too. Looking back, they were a little like using encyclopedias instead of Google and Wikipedia to do your homework. Yes, times were simple then, and people trusted each other for the most part. We all worked together to sell homes. Oh, and don't let me forget to tell you that we didn't represent buyers back then. We only represented sellers, because they were the ones paying our fees.
As the years passed, things changed. Real estate got more complicated, and lawsuits increased. Buyers wanted an agent to represent their interests, too. The number of pages on our purchase contracts and listing agreements increased. And successful agents, like myself, got "mobile" phones. Sure, they came in a small suitcase and were not exactly reliable, but we thought they were great. Other technology started to come about in the eighties as well... computers with dial up service, fax machines, again with dial up service, and the all important pagers.
Is today's real estate market much different from years gone by? Surprisingly, not really. It's cyclical. Those of us who have been around for the past 3 or 4 decades can tell you that. Today's real estate business, however, is a different story. It is much different in some ways, but the same in others.
First of all, people are people. This business is a belly-to-belly business. Yes, you can get a plethora of information now that wasn't readily available to you 10 years ago. However, people still want a human being to guide them through the process and advise them wisely. Unfortunately, many agents don't realize this. Many agents just want to "make a sale". It's a one shot deal for them, and they'll worry about making another sale when their money from today's sale is gone. These agents often scar the reputation of our industry, but I'm here to tell you that all agents are NOT alike and here's what makes the truly committed ones different.
A real estate purchase or sale is typically the largest financial investment the average person makes. Agents who are experienced, committed and passionate about their profession will guide their clients and always tell them the truth. We want YOU to benefit from the transaction. If it means telling you that you should not sell your home right now because we think by waiting you have more to gain (IF that is an option for you), that's what we do. If we think the home you love is priced too high, we're going to tell you that as well. My team and I are committed to always being honest with our clients and everyone we deal with. That's how we've built this fantastic machine that has continued to grow every day for the past 39 years. My daughter and son and daughter-in-law and son-in-law are now in the business and part of this organization. It is my hope that their children will come aboard if they so desire at some future point. I guess what I am trying to say is that we are here for the long haul, not the short one. I've had the great pleasure of working with the children and grandchildren of some of my earliest clients.
I think I've answered the second part of my title, so now let me offer you some tips for the first part. How to choose a real estate agent.
- Choose an agent who is committed to this business full time. Choose an agent who treats their real estate business as a business. I recommend an agent with a staff or team because to properly serve clients, I truly believe that one person cannot do everything and do everything well. I have a listing coordinator who specializes in making our listings shine with great photos and consistent feedback from other agents. I have a contract coordinator who specializes in dotting the i's and crossing the t's to make sure everything is done in a timely manner and as risk-free for our clients as possible. I have a marketing manager that is making sure our listings are exposed in the best possible light and in as many places as possible, and oversees our client care programs to continue to serve our clients long after a deal is closed. I have two ladies who run our property management division as a service to our investor clients with rental properties. My team of 6 agents is always available to back one another up so that our clients are served quickly and expertly. There is no way I could do all of that alone. No way.
- Choose an agent who is knowledgeable. The market changes daily, and your agent needs to know at all times what is happening in the market. How many listings are available, how fast are they selling, what are appraisers looking for, what's the competition doing? Great agents are always learning, too. They are attending seminars, they are reading books, they are listening to CD's in their cars, they are networking with other great agents.
- Choose an agent with a reputable company. A company with an excellent reputation that is well known is important. I love being part of RE/MAX because everyone has heard of RE/MAX. Everyone, around the world, knows the balloon. RE/MAX agents are outstanding. Period.
- Choose an agent with skills. Negotiation is a huge part of my job. Sadly, it's not something they teach you in real estate school. It takes practice and commitment, and you've got to keep your mind sharp to keep your skills sharp. If an agent is willing to reduce his commission lickety split, is he also going to encourage you to reduce your price lickety split? Think about it.
- Most importantly, choose an agent that just feels right. If you have any little doubts, move on. Trust is essential. Go with the gut.
Don't miss "How To Interview An Agent" on my website. I give you a complete list of questions to ask to help you make the right decision as well. And -- as always -- don't hesitate to call me with any questions.
By Bill Ryan, The Ryan Whyte Team, RE/MAX Infinity
Selling Homes in Chandler Since 1974!
The Ryan Whyte Team at RE/MAX Infinity 480-726-7000
Bill Ryan is a native of Chandler, AZ and has been a full time, active real estate agent and broker since 1974. Bill and his son-in-law, Cory Whyte, have a team of 13 full time agents and administrative staff. Bill is also the owner/broker of RE/MAX Infinity, located at 2450 S Arizona Ave #1, Chandler AZ 85286. Please visit our website at http://www.chandlerocotillo.com where you can search the MLS, find out what your home is worth, and read more about our team and our beautiful towns in the Southeast Phoenix Valley. When it comes to Chandler Real Estate and homes for sale in Chandler, we are the experts! The Ryan Whyte Team is the #1 RE/MAX Team in the Southeast Valley.
The Ryan-Whyte Real Estate Team
Infinity & Associates