Ever since coming into real estate (1985 for me), my colleagues have always warned me, “buyers are liars and sellers are yellers.” Some still believe it to this day. My take is completely different “buyer are buyers and sellers are sellers”. Pretty simple.
BUYERS ARE LIARS?
“Buyers never tell you exactly want they want. They do not want a townhouse and they buy a townhouse from another agent.” “Buyers tell you they are qualified to purchase at a certain price point when suddenly after making an offer, they do not exactly qualify for their purchase.” “They want just a certain town or neighborhood and would never live in that area and yet they end up buying in that area”
Those statements have been said by agents for years and years and yet it is not the buyer that is the liar, it is just because the buyer just does not always know where they want to live, how they want to live, or may have a misperception of where they can afford to live. It really takes a Realtor working closely with their client and cares enough about their client to go through a discovery period to decipher all the parameters of that client. A Realtor must ask the right questions, and show a smattering of houses and areas. It also takes the buyers to be honest with themselves and their Realtor, to understand what they can buy at the time. A buyer cannot expect the perfect house nor the perfect location, but they should not feel they have to settle for a house either.
A good Buyers Agent realizes that buyers can be a fickled bunch when they begin but in the end, with a Realtor that listens, really listens, the buyer will find the home that they want, not what the Realtor assumes what they want.
SELLERS ARE YELLERS?
“My agent is doing nothing!” “My agent does not bring anyone to my house!” My agent doesn’t advertise enough.” “My agent over (or under or mis-)priced my house!” “My agent never calls me!”
Valid thoughts from the seller? More perception than realty in most cases some and totally correct in a much smaller percentage. One statistic has held true – 70% of sellers whose home listing expires, do not re-list that same agent, instead vies for another agent and agency. The main reason why has nothing to do with the home not selling, but rather how the agent approached the entire process. A bad agent will love a seller to get the listing and leave that seller after they have secured it; otherwise the majority of the agents do what is necessary to get a house sold. However, in most cases the seller has no idea what the heck their agent is doing unless they happen to stumble upon an ad in the paper or a posting on a website.
The majority of home sellers’ biggest complaint is that the agent never communicated with them. The key to a great listing agent as well as their obligation to the seller, is that they keep in constant contact with the seller at least once per week and stick to it. That weekly call should include market updates, showing follow-ups, what actions the agent has taken to promote the property, and a frank discussion of where all of it relates to the subject property. And that communication should happen even if nothing happens that week. If an agent can keep to that discipline, the yelling very rarely happens. If you can find an agency that guarantees it or they will be fired, even better. (ask about the Coccia Performance Guarantee). Accountability is the key to success.
REALTOR OF YOUR CHOICE
In either case buyer and seller, choose your Realtor wisely. Interview several Realtors, even if you know someone in the business. Your relationship with a Realtor first and foremost should be a business decision. Make sure they understand your needs and conversely, listen to what they are saying to you. They are the experts and they represent your best interest. Together you should be able to accomplish your real estate goals.