Whether you’re planning to buy or
sell your home or investment property,
hiring the right agent can be one of the
most important decisions you make. A
good agent will manage the process in an
effective, efficient manner; communicate
clearly the information that matters
most; and, above all, ensure that you
get the best price possible.
Making the right hire is important
because the stakes are high. Almost no
one is ever hired without a job interview.
Finding your “best fit” is no different.
I recommend you consider several
factors when deciding which agent is
“your” agent, including: Expertise;
Professionalism; Proposed Strategy;
Capabilities; and, Reputation.
While there is price transparency in
the New York City real estate market,
closed sale prices lag the market by
one to three months, generally. Deals
that close today had gone into contract
several weeks earlier. Market conditions
fluctuate, but an agent with expertise in
the local market should have the most
current read of conditions. Knowledge
is power, and an agent’s understanding
of what’s really going on is one of their
greatest assets. Ask your prospective
agent about their track record working
with buyers or sellers. Pick their brain
and make sure you feel comfortable that
they have the skill and experience you
want on your side.
Your agent shoul d conduct
themselves in a professional manner.
This includes clear, courteous, and
accurate communication, punctuality,
preparedness, and maintaining an
appropriate appearance. If an agent
falls short on these basic elements of
professionalism, how can you trust them
to serve your interests with the care and
attention you deserve?
Whether you’re buying or selling, ask
your prospective agent to share some
of their strategic thinking. If you are
interviewing a listing agent, he or she
should present a clear and thorough
marketing plan with a proposed
listing price that is well-supported by
recently closed transactions and active
comparable listings. They should be
able to give you an overview of the
process they use to get great results.
If you’re a buyer, ask your agent how
they would submit and negotiate
your offer. One of the most important
distinctions between “an agent” and
“a good agent” is their knowledge and
creativity – the gray stuff that resides
between their ears.
When considering an agent’s
capabilities, you’ll want to ask about
their workload to make sure they have
the capacity to dedicate sufficient time,
energy, and focus to your search or sale.
When you are considering an agent to
sell your property, ask about their
marketing capabilities and what tools
and materials they will use to promote
your property to the broadest pool of
qualified buyers. Some of this will be
covered in your marketing and strategy
discussion, but you’ll also want to know
how many properties they are currently
marketing. Again, it is a question of
capacity to ensure you are being served
with diligence and care.
Last but not least, an agent’s reputation
in the business and in the local market is
important. Ask the agent for references.
Ask the agent whether they have taken
any specialized training that will benefit
your search or sale. Ask about their ties
to the community they live and work in.
Remember, an agent exists to serve
your interests and meet your needs.
Don’t be shy asking the agent why you
should place your confidence and
trust in their hands. The right agent
will tell you. Connect with Robert at
with Robert Whalen
HOW TO HIRE
EVP, Managing Director
Real Estate Broker
Brown Harris Stevens
47-12 Vernon Blvd., Long
Island City, NY 11101