Choosing Your Real Estate Agent
“Would You Choose A Part-Time Surgeon?”

Some serious change is coming to the World of Real Estate on 10/03/2015. Dodd-Frank Act & TILA changes to the contractual process will leave many Real Estate Agents struggling to understand who, what, why, where and when… There’s absolutely NO room for last minute changes, lack of communication, or not being completely informed. Your agent’s skill set and availability can make your Real Estate Deal or completely kill it. So who do you want working for your transaction, a Full-Time Realtor or a Part-Time one?

Part-Time Realtor:

1. Knowledge of the Real Estate Market: For a realtor, knowing the market is an important part of being able to give a client the best real estate advice possible. If a realtor spends the majority of their time at a job where they can’t focus on market trends, values, and inventory of current and sold listings, then can he really provide the in depth knowledge that the client seeks and needs? Of course it is possible, but it is more than likely that you will learn the part time realtor does not have the in depth knowledge of a real estate market that you demand as the client.

2. Delays in Communication, Accessibility and Availability of Schedule: When the market is hot and properties are selling like its Wall Street, time is definitely of the essence. You should be on point and so should your realtor! Someone who is working a different job or has another obligation is almost certainly not going to be available to talk to you if you are having doubts or to show you a property when you really need them. Of course, you will probably get a call back eventually or end up setting up a time to see the homes you wish to visit, but by that time will it be too late? Sometimes hours, even minutes can make the difference of getting an offer accepted or seeing that home you thought was perfect with a “Sold” sign in the front yard! As a seller, do you want your realtor to have the time to follow up on showings for important feedback, have the time that is necessary to negotiate an important offer or to have the time for a simple phone call with an update on your listing? Of course you do! This may not always be the case if your listing is in the hands of someone who is tied up with their other job!

3. Lack of Experience can be Frustrating: A realtor who sells 3-4 homes a year is sure to lack the experience that can be necessary when it comes to working your way through the difficulties of a deal! Every deal is different, and lack of experience can be the difference between selling your home to that first buyer who wrote an offer on your home and waiting another 3 months to receive a low-ball offer from a buyer who knows you are getting antsy after seeing your home for sale for longer than it should have been! As a buyer, the entire process can be grueling. Do you want your all-important investment to be in the hands of someone who has not sold enough homes regularly to recognize the subtle loopholes that can exist when it looks like a deal is hanging on by a thread? Is it safe to say that you want that value of hard work and experience in your corner when it comes to your next home?

Full Time Agent:

1. Johnny on the Spot: The full time agent usually lives, eats, and sleeps Real Estate. This is a full-time job and the full-timer is all-in and ready to help! Real Estate is what he thinks about from morning till bed and he is in it for the long haul. His children’s college education is riding on him getting up in the morning, dressing like a professional and hitting the marketplace with a full head of steam! When it comes to buying or selling, don’t you want the agent who makes it his full-time job on your team?

2. Connections: Part of the full-time Realtor’s job is to be connected, not just to the pipeline clients, but also to those who can best help when its crunch time. A real estate professional has likely built connections with local contractors, lenders, other industry professionals that he can call on for you. Your agent’s connections can be the difference between just selling your home or pulling in top dollar. Your agent’s relationships and access to industry professional when needed in a pinch can literally make or break a deal.

3. Database of Past, Current and Future Clients: A full-time Realtor should have a solid database of past, current and future clients. To compliment this pipeline of business, many full time agents are involved with a variety of advertising methods to build future business and thus their database. This is undoubtedly helpful when it comes to marketing and selling your home and when the market’s current inventory looks bleak and it appears as though your dream home is just not possible. When this is the situation, out comes the database, several phone calls and voila, your Realtor has come through like the professional that he or she is!

4. Experience (I can’t stress this enough!): Again, experience is the name of the game and your full time realtor is calling the shots! Whether it’s negotiations, working a way through a sticky deal or finding the right home for you, someone who is selling homes on a daily or weekly basis has acquired the experience that will get you to your end goal! Every deal is different. Just like every contract negotiation, and whatever the situation, chances are that Johnny on the Spot has been there done that and knows just what to do when all the chips are on the table! Experience is on your full time realtor’s side and he wears experience like a badge of honor! Don’t you want him on your side?

5. Education: A full-time agent works 45-70 hours a week. He or she has committed there selves to keeping current on industry change. Sales contracts are revised dozens of times throughout the year. Lender’s financing products are always evolving. Federal regulatory laws pertaining to Real Estate are updated constantly. Full-time Realtors are committed to understanding these changes before they go into effect. They educate themselves on how this change will impact their clients and are prepared to inform all parties so they better understand obstacles prior to a problem occurring.

So that brings me back to the very first question. Would you hire a part-time surgeon? Probably Not! The same question would apply to choosing your Real Estate Agent. Will you hire a part-time or full-time agent? The outcome of their performance could be just as important…

David Howard - Realtor