A seller was interviewing agents and picked an agent who rides horses. There was a strong personal connection through horse riding and that connection seemingly won the day for that agent.
At times – and maybe it’s often – real estate consumers base their agent choice on emotion or on personal connection. I benefit from that too. Sometimes consumers initially contact me because they know me. They know where I went to school or where my kids play sports or they know me through church, etc. Here’s the thing, though – if all I have is a personal connection my clients could be making a bad choice in hiring me. We have an adage in our company: “Don’t hire us because you know us, hire us because we are excellent at what we do”.
There is a lot at stake. Home values in the DC market are some of the highest in the country. It’s ultra competitive and the opportunity for consumers to lose $1,000’s of dollars in the middle of a transaction is big.
Having a personal connection with your agent is great but it can’t be the only thing. You would rather not have a personal connection with a high performing agent than have only a personal connection with an agent who dabbles in real estate on the side. At the end of the day, this is a large business transaction with hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars – maybe millions – on the line.
So, with all this in mind, how should you determine who to work with when you sell your next house? Here are three areas that you should explore when hiring your next agent:
- Professional competency: uncover the agent’s processes, systems, as well as marketing, negotiation and pricing skills.
- Ethical competency: uncover how the agent conducts business from an ethical standpoint.
- Legal/contractual competency: uncover how well the agent can help you win on his or her knowledge of the contract and whether the agent has a bench of legal experts to help should something go awry.
And, well, I guess you can throw in a fourth area to consider:
4. Find out if the agent rides horses!