by John E. Baer, SRES, SRS
It turns out that not everyone loves real estate agents. A recent Googling of “bad real estate agents” returned 22,800,000 titles like Why You Can’t Trust Real Estate Agents and 22 Secrets Your Real Estate Agent Isn’t Telling You.
Ouch. Sometimes public perception can really sting.
It is true, there are too many real estate agents who are unprofessional as demonstrated by the fact that they don’t show up for appointments on time or are sloppy with respect to doing due diligence on properties clients are interested in buying. Or, they may simply be lazy, not wishing to put any work into earning their commissions beyond opening doors and walking through houses.
There are others who are unethical as demonstrated by deliberately knowing about a discrepancy regarding the square footage of the home or that a home is in a flood zone and purposely not disclosing the issue to the buyer.
Still others are unresponsive. Too many neglect answering the phone or getting back to a client on a timely basis. Perhaps one of the most frequent complaints one hears about real estate agents is that too many of them just don’t listen to their clients. They neglect to ask open ended questions that begin with who, what, why, where, or how.
But don’t let the perception of these rotten apples determine or influence your impression of real estate agents in general.
The fact is, in Westchester the vast majority of real estate agents are professional and work hard to represent their clients’ interests. And yes, there are a number who perform truly extraordinary excellent real estate customer service.
Another quality real estate agents who provide extraordinary customer service have is the ability to effectively communicate. These agents take time to construct a thoughtful, well written email. They know that calling instead of texting more important discussions will give their clients greater comfort that they are in good hands.
Needless to say, professional real estate agents are competent in performing the fundamentals of their profession, but what distinguishes the real estate agent who performs extraordinary customer service includes offering the homebuyer concierge services prior to making the offer, prior to the closing, and even after their clients have moved into their new homes.
During the search process prior to closing, real estate agents who perform extraordinary customer service are prepared to provide their clients with the names of professionals and services their clients will or may need including highly rated real estate attorneys, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, property tax consultants, moving companies, and architects.
Once their clients have moved into the new home, these real estate agents are prepared to provide the new homeowner with the names and contact information of dependable and highly rated electricians, plumbers, handymen, painters and gardeners.
With respect to home sellers, agents who perform extraordinary customer service generally discuss with the seller cost-effective repairs or updates they can make in order to attract buyers, make sure that all certificates of occupancy and permits are in good order, determine with the seller a price that will attract multiple offers and result in a sale in a reasonable time period, help stage the house if necessary, provide property management if the sellers are no longer living in the home, and undertake extensive marketing.
So, yes, there are real estate agents who have muddied the perception of the residential real estate industry, but I am pleased to say that here in Westchester there are many others who are performing extraordinary real estate customer service.
John E. Baer, SRES, SRS is a NYS licensed real estate salesperson associated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Westchester Properties of Scarsdale and Larchmont. He can be reached for questions at 914/600-6086 or at 914/844-2059. His website is www.WestchesterHomes.info.