If hiring one agent is good, hiring two must be better, right? I don’t think so. George Tallabas in Idaho wrote a post on ActiveRain about gaining new clients by “showering them with kindness and information.” He had a great point, and I agree with him 100%. Sadly, much of the general public has come to expect sub-par customer service from real estate agents, so I work hard every day to discredit that stereotype. But what would you do if a prospective home buyer were to tell you that she is not interested in committing to one Realtor? One recent home buyer did just that, and I’ll tell you what I told her.
While I can appreciate the tough position home buyers are in right now, attempting to buy a home in a transitioning market, trying to make sense of the ever-changing inventory of bank owned homes and short sales, hiring two different agents from two different companies in the same part of town will not give you the edge you need. Please allow me to explain why.
We invest a lot of time, talent, and money into our clients, and stay loyal to them for as long as it takes them to either purchase a home or decide against purchasing a home altogether. In return, we ask our clients to stay loyal to us, by not working with other agents. But don’t stay loyal to one agent just because I said so, stay loyal to him (or her, of course) because you have interviewed several agents and feel confident that you chosen the best one for your needs. Choosing a Realtor is a business decision, in the same way that choosing a mortgage lender or an insurance provider is a business decision. So, the way we recommend you make such an important business decision is to meet with your prospective service providers, listen to their presentations, then choose one to work with, because you feel that person or team will serve you best. When choosing an insurance provider, you should probably ask for each company’s history, the type of plans they offer, and at what prices. When choosing a Realtor, we recommend you ask for the agent’s resume, the number of homes he has sold, why he feels he represents home buyers better, and how he does business by asking questions like, “How easy are you to reach if I am ready to see a home or write an offer?” and “What will you do to help me get my offer accepted, and then close escrow on time?” and “Will you recommend to me other service providers I will need like home inspectors and termite inspectors?”
You will notice that I did not mention our access to the MLS as a competitive advantage against one another. The fact is that each of the 30,000 licensed real estate agents in the Phoenix area has access to the same MLS. So, if you were to tell two agents the same exact criteria you are looking for in a home in the same MLS region, they will inevitably present you with the same exact list of homes (excluding the occassional scenario where one agent knows about an upcoming listing he is about to take). The MLS is not our competitive advantage, nor is it any agent’s. I say this, because often times I have heard of home buyers expecting to see a new, fresh list of homes just by switching to another buyer’s agent, and I believe that is a mistake. If you were to interview me, I would tell you my competitive advantage is the numbers of homes I have listed and sold to buyers, my depth of experience with short sales, foreclosures, estate sales, and other more complicated transactions in which you may end up, our team structure which gives you access to four Realtors at the same time, our unending dedication to customer service, and the fact that our team’s home buyer clients have paid an average of 1.6% less than the average Phoenix home buyer year-to-date (we keep records to show this).
We would be honored to interview as your buyer’s agent, and delighted if you chose us to represent you. However, if you cannot commit to work with one agent, you should call someone else who is willing to spend hours, days, weeks, or months working with you, risking the possibility that you will see a house while driving home from work one day, call the listing agent directly, and make an offer on it without ever consulting your buyer’s agent. Hiring a Realtor to represent you in the purchase of a home, whether it is your first, second, or fifth investment property, is an important decision, and one that you should take some time to make.