What does a real estate agent actually do anymore? Before 1996 real estate agents controlled most of the market data. This meant that when someone wanted to buy or sell a home, they needed to work with an agent to get the most out of their transaction. Information regarding sold homes, homes for sale, and other components were protected. Consumers had few opportunities to do their own research.
Things have changed since then. The Internet has made information more available than ever before. Buyers have access to homes for sale and are doing most of their own research; sellers can determine a range of value for their home with only an hour of research. The Internet continues to have a profound impact on the home buying and selling process as it shifts control of information out of an agent’s hand and into the consumer’s hand.
So, what is the value of an agent? Simply stated, information doesn’t always relate to wisdom.
While some agents still operate as if things haven’t changed, savvy agents are finding new ways to create value for their clients. They have become more like consultants, rather than just clerks. They know providing a list of homes for sale, or homes sold, is not enough. These agents understand the importance of helping their client discover the depth of the process, working with them to find the right answer, giving guidance, developing a path for their dream, and watching them make wise decisions.
A great agent is someone who takes the time to fully understand their client’s current situation and comprehends the reason for their move. They are no longer just facilitating a transaction.
When selecting an agent, find someone who cares more about you than themselves. This agent’s primary concern should be to gain a full understanding of your goals and values. They ought to know how to ask the right questions without being pushy, and then listen to your answers. They are able to comprehend why you want to do what you want to do. Helping you find greater clarity is the goal.
The ability to listen and communicate effectively is directly related to an agent’s empathy for you and your situation. Their ability to relate to who you are enables them to better understand what’s best for you in the short and long term. Looking out for your best interest at all times.
During your decision-making process, take the time to examine an agent’s skill, knowledge, and access to tools needed to help deliver a better outcome.
It’s also important to know what makes a great client. The best results begin by developing a team mentality, to be knowledgeable of the data, and to be proactive with communication; working together with a focus of maximizing dollars, saving valuable time, and creating a happier experience.
We invite you to call 605.359.4100
Tony Ratchford, Broker for KW Realty Sioux Falls, CRS, ABR, SRES, Luxury Homes Institute Member