3 Core Values Your Real Estate Agent Must Possess…or move on
It seems like in today’s society it seems as if core values just simply do not exist and sometimes feels like its all about the “me” and not the “you”. With the invention of social media and cellphones, it’s as if we have gravitated away from personal one on one communication. I’m mean did you ever live to see the day (for us old people) in which a person can be fired with a text?
The real estate industry is made up of salespeople who themselves are extremely diverse. I mean within this community you have both the exceptionally professional upright model businessmen and businesswomen, who by-the-way, also share the same title as the creepiest version of used a car salesman (no disrespect to used car salesmen) that you can envision. In both cases, it’s still the money and chasing the elusive dream of top producer or wealth beyond imagination that drives them both and pushes core values to the back. But rare is the individual who performs their daily tasks for the sole purpose of better serving the public.
Openness, Honesty & Integrity in Real Estate Agents (Oxymoron?)
Being honest does not always mean telling people exactly what they want to hear. “No way, that dress makes you look short” or “Wow… your house is sooo clean. I mean really… where do you find the time?“. Same goes with some buyer’s agents out there who take their clients to some pretty serious POS houses and try to pass them off as some opulent mansion. In my days as an agent, I’ve been at the proverbial office cooler and have overheard countless conversations many times throughout my career of my fellow agents bragging about getting their buyers a place that “needs a little work” and we all know what that means. Its really just a nice way of calling the house a POS.
To my Los Angeles home buyers, no matter what age or how many times you’ve purchased a house keep your BS radar tuned and agents, be honest with your client. If the house is a complete pile of crap… tell them its a pile of crap and keep moving. If you know your client has a limited budget of say, $5000 for improvements but the place requires $105,000 in repair, be honest and tell them this. Don’t wait unit the client has spent $1,000 in inspections to find this out. If you know that the inspection discovered issues that “YOU” know will be a burden to the client don’t pass it off as normal wear for the age and never tell them that “we got you a Home Warrantee, and they will take care of “EVERYTHING” that goes wrong in the first year”. Honesty and Integrity means doing the right thing, all the time.
Your The Buyer
Working with the public requires that the individuals providing the service understands the individual who they represent intimately. I’m not talking about hooking up with the client, please… I’m talking about knowing and understanding their needs, wants, must-haves as well as their pains and financial limitations. Being an empathetic sales person means not placing a buyer in a position which may cause them to financially destitute solely for the benefit of making a lousy commission.
Buyers, make sure your agent works for you as if you were a family member. Settling on “just any” house, for the sake of settling is not an excuse to buy. Or better yet, settling because the agent is getting tired of looking at your face or driving you around for months, is also not an excuse to push a buyer to buy. A truly empathetic agent will show you houses for as long as it takes to make you feel comfortable and houses which you are capable of maintaining both physically and financially.
A big red flag that your agent is not empathetic to your needs is when the agent fails to recognize your financial limitations, or desires where it comes to any seconds thoughts about proceeding with a purchase and attempts to drive the deal in the direction (of the closing) which benefits them.
Its not every day you purchase a house. Let’s face it… it really is the biggest purchase that many of us including me, will ever make. One wrong decision and it can put you in the red pretty fast. There are so many agents that I know who would just as soon put you in just any house simply to close a deal as easy as they would their own family members… and have. Trust is one of the most important core values a real estate agent must possess (because you are most likely no expert in real estate, thus and obviously the need to hire such an expert). Always understand and keep somewhere in the back of your mind the fact that real estate agents have bills to pay too, and where does their money derive? (from selling you a house).
Buyers, be cautious…the best and most successful sales people are great at control, influence and manipulation. And once they have befriended you, it makes it all the more difficult to detect. Verify your trust with recourses such as Yelp, Google, Facebook and the like. Get real people’s opinions of the agent you wish to work with. And lastly, never relinquish 100% of your trust to any real estate agent. Not with the houses location, condition, their choice of inspectors or any other recommendation they may offer. Im not saying don’t accept them, I’m just saying trust and verify everything each and every step of the transaction.