In a Q&A I took part in, a homebuyer needed to know if his agent was a "great" agent or just there, like a lemon. My answer was abit roundabout because it can be subjective, but only up to a point. There is merit to the question.
Representing a seller for example, any licensee can list a home, but having real estate contract knowledge and thinking outside of the box when an offer comes though the fax or scan is one of several characteristics that mark a great agent. I tutor my agents in regards to the purchase agreement for a total almost 8 hours of lecture—line for line in a Quicktime presentation. Not that I have arrived by any means, but I want my new agents to know what I know about the contract. Knowing the buyer’s 3 day right of rescission for lead, natural hazard disclosures and transfer disclosures is important, but it is only a small part of the whole. Explaining reports, pointing out warnings like airplane flight paths are also very key when it comes to being a “great agent.” It takes motivation and skills, but the real skill needs to shine during the transaction. Another broker once told me, "at the end of the day, all you have is the contract.'
Take a look at the buyer. My point is that there is work involved in finding the home, but the real work begins for you, the buyer, after the home is located. Redfin comps are good, sometimes. But you need shoe leather too. That is where the great agent comes in as well. Similar or even the same subdivisions can repeat themselves along one or more areas after being separated by neighboring subdivisions. Only an experienced agent will know the floor plans are the same. In addition, presenting the offer takes great skill and professionalism too. The way we speak and handle ourselves over the phone or in person to the listing agent can go a long way in the buyer’s favor. I’m sure some agents here can attest to getting a contract signed buy the seller because the listing agent really liked the buyer agent and the listing agent then gave a good testimony to the seller. Moreover, the agents skill also comes into play by having a mediating personality to calm would be storms (stand offs) from happening over what may be a minor detail and not worth killing a home buying deal over.
In short, all agents have the same tools, MLS, websites, etc. But, because everyone is different, we get different results. Take a pen for example. I can take one and sign my name. Then someone else can take the same pen and sign my name. Same pen—very different results. That’s where skills come into play. We agents all have one or more tools, MLS, websites, etc. Hence, we all have the same starting point with a client whether buying or selling a home, the offer itself. But great agents get different results. Most of the “results” come after the home is found or the offer written.
By Jeff Pereyda
By Jeff Pereyda