The art of choosing a broker

| Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 | No Comments »

I teach a homebuyer class and one of the topics we discuss is how to choose a broker (remember this is the new term for real estate agent). I think this is my favorite part of the class because I love to hear people’s answers. I realize this may fascinate me way more than anyone else reading this blog so bear with me. I’ll try to make it interesting and funny and hide the fact that I may have a slight hidden agenda which of course is to hear how (and who) you would pick as your broker.

Most people pick their brokers because they are friends, relatives or by referral. It always surprises me how many people don’t use the same broker they’ve used in the past. In fact, most don’t even remember who their broker was. (Don’t worry Adrian and Geoff, I totally remember your names! And I’m sorry I never called again but obviously I do this stuff myself now!) And the common thread with being a friend, relative or referral is the built in trust. Ok, so not quite groundbreaking news but if you stop to think about who your broker was (or will be) I imagine you have a great deal of trust in them. If you used your broker through some other means, that is one lucky broker who was probably in the right place at the right time.

Anyway, during the class we narrow down some more important qualities of a broker because after the trust piece, there is still room for that broker to mess up. For example, many people want a broker to return phone calls and emails (and texts and tweets and facebook messages) promptly. They also want someone who is skilled at negotiating, smart, organized, a hardworker and knows a lot about the real estate market. They also want someone who seems to have a lot of clients yet will treat them like they are their only client. Wow, I am still definitely not breaking the ground with this information am I? But putting it all out there does help people realize what’s important in a broker which is crucial since there are lot of them out there to choose from!

The other day I was in a Windermere seminar and they were talking about this very topic. The person giving the seminar put up a quote on the screen written by Dave Ramsey, financial guru. It went something like this (sorry my handwriting is so bad that I can barely make out what I wrote so it won’t be an exact quote…but close). “When looking to make a large financial decision or investing in real estate, choose someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.” Holy smokes, so that’s why they say teachers make great real estate agents! Plus as quite possibly the only former teacher in the room, I was pretty certain he was talking about me. Ok probably not but I loved this quote and of course stand behind it 110%.

If you are looking to invest in real estate and want someone with the heart of a teacher plus all those other great qualities above, I am now hiring buyers and sellers! If you want to share a fun fact about how you chose your broker, please consider leaving a comment below!

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