Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How to Choo-Choose a Realtor and Avoid a Train Wreck!

As a successful Realtor working throughout Anoka County, Minnesota, I sit through many closings while clients sign documents selling their family homestead, buying their first home, and investing in that big deal. Though dual agency is an option in Minnesota, most buyers and sellers have individual representation. Therefore at the closing table the group assembled is eclectic. The buyers, their agent and closer are joined with the sellers, their agent and closer. Every once in a while, there is a loan officer or lawyer thrown in for fun!

Usually this is an exciting time! The buyers are ecstatic to be moving into their new home. The sellers are often ready to move on to their next adventure whether down the block or out-of-state. And the closers are happy once again to have completed and closed the file.

On occasion, the closing can be a very tense place. As agents we can anticipate some of the tension. If the buyers and sellers negotiation was particularly stressful, sellers can presign their documents and collect their check at a different time. Or there can be two rooms for the closing down the hall from each other.

Stress cannot be avoided if the other party in the transaction is upset with their agent. In these situations, while extremely rare, the closing can be a train wreck as it is the clients’ last opportunity to have their say prior to signing the documents. Usually the agent will arrive late to the closing, just in time to pick up his or her check. During this time, the client will make barely audible comments that hint of the stress of the situation. Though most closings go through, there is a moment or two where everyone in the room holds their breath in anticipation of what could happen.

I often wonder what research this person do to find their agent. Did they do any research at all? Did they select a top selling agent? Did they look at credentials? I think most clients DO all of these things but still end up in a personality clash with their agent.

Most of the lists of how to select an agent that I have seen omit the most important steps for a client…How to assess their own personality prior to agent interviewing and selection. Ask yourself what do you expect from an agent? As a client, you must examine what you want and need from an agent prior to signing that representation agreement to avoid the train wreck!
Here are Six Questions to Ask Yourself:
Who do you trust for advice?

Is it a parent or grandparent? Maybe a close friend or uncle? Or is it your sibling or boss? Think about the qualities that person possesses and why you look at them as an advisor. If your trusted advisor is your grandfather, you might prefer working with someone older. If you tend to bring your problems to your best friend, you might want a Realtor with similar characteristics to your friend.
How demanding are you?
If you are an impatient person who needs answers as soon as you think of a question, you will need a Realtor that is available to you. If you are more laid back, you might prefer a Realtor with a similar style.
Do you prefer to use email or the phone as your main source of information?
Some Realtors are very computer savvy and will answer an email within the hour. Others answer emails once a week or less. There are Realtors who return calls only one time a day or week. There are others that always answer their own phone and others that have an assistant to field calls and answer basic questions.

Are you into gadgets?

If you are listening to your Zune while you surf the net on your wireless laptop, you might prefer working with an agent who presents your market analysis in a Powerpoint presentation or emails it to you in a pdf file. If you prefer a paper document to refer back to an make notes on, a Realtor with more a more traditional style might be what you need.

Do you have expensive tastes and exclusive brands? Or are you more conservative?

If you like the finer things in life, you might prefer a Realtor who drives a BMW and signs your contract with a Mont Blanc pen. If you are more conservative, a Realtor in a Ford F250 that uses personalized ballpoints might be more your style.

So what is next? Read my posts:


Real Estate Agent Selection Primer—How to Choose the BEST Realtor for YOU! (Part One of Two)

Real Estate Agent Selection Primer—How to Choose the BEST Realtor for YOU! (Part Two of Two) .

If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a
FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.


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