You are now at the top of the cliff, by the edge, looking far into the horizon, then down into the ocean, and you peer deeper into the water and see all manners of fish, some are small and some are large, you see some with scars of past encounters and others with pristine scales, and even those that look similar behave differently, you see one, passive just floating with the ins and outs of the waves and another, aggressively nipping at other fish but seemingly confident. It can sometimes be difficult finding the right fish for your needs.
Of course I’m really talking about finding an agent but most people seem to treat finding their agents like fishing, casting into the sea and hoping for a good catch. You may be lucky and find the right agent for your particular situation and needs but in truth almost no one catches a keeper on their first cast.
What makes choosing an agent difficult is finding out what qualifications matter in determining how an agent performs, if he or she under-performs a deal can be lost leaving you at a loss in time and money.
What determines a good performer?
- Will a history of performance suffice?
- Will testimonial letters comfort you?
- Will a list of phone numbers of satisfied customers add to their armament?
- Is the size of their real estate company directly responsible for the amount of their success?
- Or is the agent successful independently of her company because of her vast knowledge, experience, tenure, unsurpassed leadership?
These are all things you need to analyze yourself to determine if they are qualified to help you. Agents are not one size fits all, but there is specific quality I believe you should look for in every agent and that is:
- Does she communicate? Does she communicate effectively with all parties involved?
- Is she on time when you have meetings?
- Is she structured/organized?
- Does she talk honestly, directly, and openly about the details in a deal?
In my opinion, the ability to communicate is the defining quality to look for in an agent, because agents are salesmen and either as a seller or a buyer, a good salesman will make a deal go through and that only happens if she communicates well with everyone involved.
There are three types of agents and you are looking for one that is a perfect match to your own personality. The three types are whales, barracuda, and dolphins.
(Dolphins and whales aren’t fish I know but if this analogy got too literal, agents may just end up as dinner) Whales are agents that are part of large successful companies with lots of business. They may have the most qualifications but their weakness is having many clients and may end up treating you as a number and just another sale.
Barracudas are fast and aggressive producing results quickly, but they produce results by tearing pieces off others, and it can be you.
Dolphins are smooth sailors, they are like barracudas in that they produce results, but will protect and guide you throughout the whole process and may even become a friend down the road. In the end, if you are a follower, you need an agent that can lead you. If you are an executive type, you need a follower who can focus what is needed from you.
In both cases, you hired an agent for a good reason; she is the director and producer of this endeavor, selling your house for a lot of money, with fun, grace and velocity.
This dolphin can perform both roles and guide you in buying your next home. Buying a home in this tight market is a long journey, but swim along but I don’t know how in these murky waters! You may get tired, but your agent will not. Happiness comes to her when you receive the key to your new home. This agent will be there for you for life. Closing an escrow is opening a new relationship that will stay strong, forever.