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George Jamieson's Blog

By George Jamieson | Broker in Norwell, MA

When Hiring a Realtor, Use The American Idol Process

As a seasoned Realtor®, I’ve always been intrigued why some home buyers and sellers work with the first real estate agent they meet or get shuffled to. I realize some people might expect that all real estate agents are created equal but this is not the case.  Let’s face it, real estate agents in general don’t have a great reputation in consumer’s eyes. But in any industry, whether it is real estate, automotive, legal, or any profession where you provide a service or a product for a fee, there is good and bad.

As a consumer you have thousands of choices when it comes to working with a real estate agent. For some, asking a friend or a family member for the name of a good real estate agent is common and recommended. But for others, many are at the mercy of the person who answers the phone or returns an internet inquiry. Some meet agents at open houses or respond to direct mail. There are literally dozens of ways to meet a real estate agent because there are so many of us.
There are many components to being considered a highly qualified real estate agent, especially in today’s market.  First off, there is a difference between being just a real estate agent and a Realtor®. A Realtor® is a real estate professional that is a member of the National Association of Realtors who pledges to serve their community well, to be honorable and honest in all dealings, to build their knowledge and competence, and to act fairly towards all in the spirit of the Golden Rule.

So as a real estate buyer or seller, why not consider using the American Idol selection process? Buying or selling a home may be one of the largest financial decisions of your life so choosing the right real estate agent is just as important. American Idol starts out with about 100,000 would-be performers, but I suggest you interview a minimum of three to five Realtors® in your quest for the best.  Treat each interview as if you were hiring a professional to fill a key position at your company. On American Idol, singers get one shot to impress or they get voted off, a process home buyers and sellers should consider using.
In addition to a comprehensive Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and appraisal of your property, here is a checklist of topics that you should expect your Realtor® to cover with you.  You should also have a more in-depth discussion as to their qualifications and professional commitments throughout the real estate transaction:

  • A strategic marketing plan outlining a week-by-week action plan.
  • Their commitment to communicate on all activities so you are always up to date.
  • A written commitment of featured internet advertising.
  • The type of real estate representation they provide and their fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Type of listing contract they propose, their commission, and length of agreement.
  • Real estate resume outlining their education and training.
  • Client testimonials & success record.
  • Their technological skills and daily availability to respond to all inquiries.

Choosing the right real estate agent who has the professional training and experience to appropriately guide you through the process is not only strategic financially, but essential to ensure a successful transaction. In addition to the above topics, buyers and sellers should take careful
note of these three other very important components:

  • The Realtor's listening skills.
  • Your comfort level with the Realtor, their personality and their passion to help you achieve your real estate goals.
  • The Realtor's negotiation skills.

Remember that good listeners tend to be the ones who understand what you expect and ultimately get the results you want. And all too often, people forget that negotiation is a major part of the buying and selling process. You don’t want just a good negotiator, you want a skilled and savvy negotiator who will never compromise your position and will get you the best deal possible. Trust me, you should be able to identify a solid negotiator during the interview process. If you do your homework and interviewing properly, you should be able to flush out the mediocrity using the American Idol selection process.  Then it will be clear to you which Realtor® you should hire and entrust this very important transaction with.


By Maryrose,  Mon Dec 12 2011, 09:35
Just saying Hello to and old "American Idol" co-worker :)

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