What Makes a Good Real Estate Agent?

In  our experience with real estate agents, the difference between a terrible agent and a good one is sometimes hard to determine.  Each agent has their own distinctive ‘sales’ strategy in order to get their listing agreement signed.  Sometimes promises are kept, sometimes not.  More often than not though, it is the more subtle things that are done after the property is listed.  In this article, we’ll discuss some of the subtle differences that you won’t hear in your listing presentation.

The common selling points in a listing presentation are as follows:

  • I will hold open houses every week until the property is sold.
  • I have a large and impressive network of agents in our office and our other branches.
  • I will send fliers, e-blasts, and/or publish ads in the newspaper.
  • I have sold X number of homes and X dollar amount this year and have a lot of experience to make sure I sell your home for the highest price.

All of this sounds good and by doing/having some or all of the above, it will contribute to the sale of your property; however, a willingness to hold open houses doesn’t mean the agent is good at what he/she does.  Working for a large brokerage with hundreds of agents doesn’t mean that the property will get more exposure.  Fliers, e-blasts, and newspaper ads don’t really do that much.  Having sold a lot of properties can actually be a bad things at times because high volume agents don’t have the time to devote to the sale of your property and they rely on underlings and just wait for phone calls from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).

This brings us to the next point.  The MLS and the aggregation to websites around the internet is what sells properties.  Many times it is pure luck on the agents part.  We have heard sellers say, “My agent is really good.  She sold my house in a week.”  When that happens, it is pure luck, not the skill of the real estate agent.

There are other things that can be done to sell a property faster.  Easy access is a big one.  Presenting the property well is another one (e.g. staging).  Regardless of what sells the property, none of these items really differentiate between a good real estate agent and an average real estate agent which brings us to our conclusion.

Good communication is the key differentiation between a good real estate agent and a bad one.

That is it really.  Doing some of the things mentioned above are needed of course, but a bad agent can sell a lot of properties, work for a big brokerage, hold weekly open houses, and send fliers out.

Communication is important to explain issues and help navigate some of the complexities of selling a property.  Communication is important to provide regular, thorough updates and recommendations.  In today’s day and age, many people rely on text messages and emails too much as well.  A text message or email can be useful, but they can also send the wrong signals.  Over-explaining can also contribute to bad communication by a real estate agent.

For any buyers/sellers out there, the items listed above are important, but judging your real estate by how he/she communicates should be the primary concern when deciding who you should work with.

For agents out there, keep this in mind for your next listing presentation.  It could help you secure the deal.

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