Do consumers really think that the logo on any Realtor’s jacket has anything to do the the quality of a real estate transaction? Frankly, the logo has zilch to do with the buyer or seller’s forthcoming experience.
Branding may influence consumer choices when it comes time to selecting an agent to represent them in a residential home transaction. But as the quality of the consumer experience goes, it really boils down to the competency of the Realtor they have working for them. The agency has very little to do with the ability of the Realtor.
An agent may have a nationwide or regional brokerage behind him, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the consumer gets a quality agent for the transaction. This is the principal reason Errors and Omissions Insurance was created for the real estate industry.
Consumers rarely know anything about the agent they hire, unless it’s on a personal level. Realtors are some of the most personable people you will meet. But what does that tell you about their experience, savvy, due diligence, organization, attentiveness, or other traits that set good agents apart from poor ones? What tells the consumer they are getting a good agent?
Nearly all potential home buyers or sellers are at a distinct disadvantage when dealing with any Realtor. You are on their turf because of the complexity of any real estate transaction. They are still clueless when it comes to asking the right questions to find out about the experience and ability of the Realtor they have working for them.
So what should consumers do to make sure the agent working for them is any good? Answer: Ask the right questions.
Questions for a listing agent:
How many homes have you sold in the last 12 months? Where did you sell them? How many listings are you servicing now? What is your average days-on-market? What is your average list to sales price? Ideally, it is great when consumers can get the listing agents statistical data. This info is generally not available to the public so you have to ask for it.
Questions for a buyer’s agent:
How many buyers do you represent at a time? How many buyer transactions have you closed? How often are you available to your buyers? Do you list properties and if so, how many? (Listings take time and servicing them can put constraints on the availability of the agent)
There are other good questions to ask, but the point is for consumers to ask questions!