I am a freelance copywriter who works with many real estate agents. This is my experience selling and purchasing my third home.
The hardest part of the selling and buying process this go-round was figuring out how to select a buyer’s agent. So what did I say when Alan asked what we should do to find our real estate agent?
The role of a buyer’s agent
In my mind, a buyer’s agent serves a radically different function from a listing agent. I see a listing agent as tactical: take the data, create a plan, execute the plan. Keep gathering data. Adjust as necessary. A personal relationship is fine and dandy, but you don’t really need one with your listing agent. You work together a ton up front and then your touches are sporadic until you have an offer.
A buyer’s agent is people-forward. They’re trying to figuring out your tastes, your styles, what’s going to make you fall in love with a home. When you’re married, that’s two people’s considerations. You could be working together for months to find the right place
And, I’m sorry to say real estate professionals, but you really are a dime a dozen. Most brands offer the same basic services. I know; I’ve written about the topics and plenty about why someone needs the “right representation” and what a particular agent “brings to the table.” Personality and ambition is really what separates agents.
Picking our buyer’s agent
Back to my answer. All I said is we needed someone with at least a few years’ experience, who worked inside our price point, and focused on our target areas. And didn’t talk over you, like the bad open house agent.
We considered using one agent, someone we met at an open house who gave the impression of being honest and followed up with us. He had around one year of experience. I didn’t mind working with someone newer to the industry. The general thinking behind using new agents is they’d be ambitious and have more time to show us properties. He was part of a team and had a mentor to back him up.
I wish we could say we researched, interviewed, and selected someone from a defined process like our seller’s agent. We didn’t. While searching for our lender, my husband came across an internal program with one of our banks that matched buyers with their approved real estate agents. All the agents went through a vetting process and had to be highly rated. In exchange for using the service, we’d get $1,000 back at closing.
We decided to utilize that program (at the time) and found our buyer’s agent that way. So far, he’s done everything we wanted from a buyer’s agent. He’s educated us about things specific to the area (radon issues, solid neighborhoods where investments hold their value), communicated frequently, and been patient with our craziness. For us, the matching program worked.
Lesson: Consider partnering with lenders who offer real estate referrals. They’re probably solid leads for your growing your real estate business.