Home Buying in Tucson>Question Details

16paws, Other/Just Looking in Tucson, AZ

Specializing in...

Asked by 16paws, Tucson, AZ Mon Jul 12, 2010

What can an agent who specializes in one area over another do for me? All agents have access to the same information, don't they? I can certainly understand if someone is looking for a very specific type of home- say, on a golf course- but otherwise why is this important? Thanks for any and all answers.

Help the community by answering this question:


I specialize in the University area, Oro Valley, NW, NE, and N Tucson. I know what has been sold and for how much, the condition of the homes, and on and on.
You are correct that the information is out there for all agents, but it is more than that . I can tell you the heart of a neighborhood, like Thur. is take your dog to the park day in The Bluffs and a good time to meet your neighbors. Walking days, bike clubs, etc., the things that define the quality of a neighborhood.
Some of that takes time and experience.
Todd Wolff
Tierra Antigua Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 13, 2010
Dear 16:

I agree with what you are saying. However, if an agent is familiar with a area he/she may know about community developments, schools, train schedules, truck routes, flood areas/water supply, builder issues, prisons, shopping centers, traffic patterns, festivals to name a few that may be unique to a particular neighborhood that a general agent may not be aware of. In many situations, these things that I mentioned will not apply and will be of no consequence. However, if some do apply they would be goud to know.

If you need a top Tucson agent with years of local knowledge from my company, just ask.

Regards, Jeff

Jeff Masich, Realtor
Arizona Homes and Land
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
Hi 16paws

Certainly all agents have the same information available in the MLS. Some agents may be more familiar with a particular area because of previous experience in that location. Having said that, here is my advice. When choosing an agent, look for someone who connects with you, listens to you, and understands what you want. Someone you can trust.

Consider interviewing multiple agents before selecting the one you want to represent your interests. Buying a home is the largest investment most people make. Selecting and buying the home should be an experience that offers you peace of mind knowing you have made the right decision. You should be confident that your agent is putting your interests above his own.

If you would like to discuss an agency relationship, please give me a call.

Marilyn Stark
Century 21 Heritage
(520) 579-9625
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 15, 2010
Although agents may have access to the same information it really depends on how the agent best utilizes it for your benefit. Agents who are generalists will not have many of the details you may need to make an informed desision. The best analogy to give you would be one of a Dr. You wouldn't go to family practioner for a heart transplant. Professional career agents are practitioners that specialize with certification and experience to back it up. Interview several to find the best agent that fits your criteria.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 13, 2010
I think you are getting good advice below. As someone with a different perspective, I wanted to address your question. Most agents should have access to the same information, but I have seen that how they utilize it to serve you will vary. During selection and negotiation, the more familiar an agent is with an area the more they can help you make the best offer. See Jeff Masich's post below for some great examples.

The general concept "knowledge is power" rigns true here. Find an agent with knowledge in the type and area of home you are interested and you will have a strong advisor on your side.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
This is a good question. The types of transactions in a geographic area may be different. Consider raw land, a large number of distressed homes in an area, horse, or golf properties. These types of transactions require different skills, that would be developed by working in the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
As buying a home is often the biggest financial transaction in a person's life, choosing who to work with is very important and very personal. True, some agents say they specialize in certain areas, but the basic specialization is listing agents versus buyers agents. As a buyer finding someone who is a buyer's agent seems most prudent. Second, having been in sales most of my life the old 80-20 theory (90-10 theory?) kicks in and this is where it gets difficult: how do you find a truly professional member of the 10-20%? You have to "interview" them and ask trusted friends to refer you to one to interview. We all have access to the same info but how we use it depends on how committed we are to our profession. Geographic specialization helps if you know you want to be only in that limited piece of geography, which requires some homework on your part. If you are local, drive around and decide where you want to live. If you are not, go on-line and research neighborhoods, schools, crime statistics, amenities you might like, et cetera, and get a feel for the area. Then plan a trip if you can and look before interviewing an agent, or, call several before coming and, without committing too much, look around a bit before meeting them. Be comfortable with every aspect of this process. There is no hurry (unless external forces cause one); be as thorough as you can tolerate. Decide which "areas" of expertise are important to you. And, though many find it intimidating, try to relax and enjoy it; find something you really like. Remember, you have to live in/with your decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
Sometimes, an agent lives in an area, and can be more familiar with neighborhoods, resources, and the like.
Additionally, An agent may know about % of short sales & REO's in a given community, and may give insight towards neighborhoods whose prices have collapsed., Not all neighborhood values remain the same, understanding the economic health of your community - should be a consideration. In Tucson, mostly the new builds from '03 to '06 Have been hit hard especially in the Northwest.
Which simply means you can buy 3000 SQ FT for about 220.K about half of the original purchase price.
Take advantage of the depressed prices if you can so you will maximize your purchase dollars, and if you are a first time buyer you may qualify for community loans that pay your down payment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
Being able to work with an agent maybe the most important thing. You want an agent who will tell you as it is. Doesn't matter if you are buying or selling. I think that is why you must talk with at least two different agents and ask questions. Working together is a partnership.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
Agents that specialize in a certain town/city know about neighborhoods, schools, builders, unpublicized neighborhood issues, HOA's and crime for their area. They have personal experience with this information and usually live in the area they specialize in. They have personally visited many of the homes on the market and can save you time by showing you homes they know that will meet your specific criteria. They often know about homes that are about to go on the market, though their local network. These are things that an agent that doesn't know the area as well, will not be able to provide.
Web Reference: http://www.RealAZ.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
There are agents who specialize in certain geographical areas, neighborhoods, communities and subdivisions who are able to lend their expertise and knowlege of these areas. There are agents who may primarily work with investors or specialize in foreclosure, REO (bank owned), or short sale properties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
All agents are not the same, meet with them. I have seen a lot of unprofessionalism go unchecked in the industry. A good realtor should listen to you, be available, and provide you with information. Get referrals, as many people will TELL you what they can/will do, I would rather SHOW my clients. Also, be leery of any agent that requires you to sign a buyer broker agreement before they even take you out, you should meet with them; get a sense of how they are. Most agents have access to the same tools but have a wide range of personalities and work ethic(s).

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
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