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Should You Get a Second Opinion?

Buying and/or financing a home are major decisions for anyone. We all look for referrals from friends, family and co-workers who have gone through the process successfully. But we wonder…

“Are there geographical differences?”

“Has the market changed since they did their transaction?”

“How has the ever-changing technology impacted real estate since their closing?”

“Are my personal circumstances (income, assets, and credit) the same as the person who is giving the referral?”

So, how do you know if the agent and/or loan officer you are working with (regardless of how you found them) is a “keeper”? It’s got to be more than a personality match in the current environment. It’s about effectiveness and leadership. I believe that you need to judge them by three criteria:

1. Are they an EXPERT?

Do they know everything about the home, the neighborhood, the other available homes, the pricing trends, the loan product and qualification thresholds, etc.? Are they able to target a likely buyer, if you are selling? Are they certified or have specific designations? What formal training have they had (say, in the art of negotiating, as an example). Do they know anything about quality of construction or when you are likely to need to replace a roof or boiler?

2. Are they looking to serve?

Unfortunately, many sales people operate in their personal best interests. Today, more than ever, you need someone who puts your needs ahead of their own. Whether you are looking to sell quickly or for the most money, you need an agent who acts in the best ways to help you achieve those objectives. Likewise, when looking to buy, is your agent asking you the right questions and listening, so that they can streamline your search?

3. Do they have creative solutions to your challenges?

Are their presentations to you basically the same as every other agent? Do their print ads, postcards, open house plans, and promises of fifty websites sing as monotonous? You need an agent with unique approaches though marketing plans that are comprehensive with online and offline components that speaks to a targeted buyer pool (Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomers, certain employment groups, particular cultural components, and so on).

If you believe you are working with a great agent and/or loan officer, thank your lucky stars and be loyal to them because they are worth their weight in gold. On the other hand, if you’re concerned that you have a run-of-the-mill person, don’t settle! Go on a search for excellence. It’s too important not to.


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