By Alain Pinel
We, human beings, like to be happy. The hazards of life sometimes get in the way but, more often than not, we have most of the controls at hand to feel good. One of the controls has a huge influence over our state of mind. It has to do with the people that we choose to surround ourselves with. It’s kind of a no-brainer: if the people we deliberately spend our time with are no good for our psyche, we may see life in grey. If we choose to surround ourselves with happy faces and optimistic brains, chances are we will catch the virus and see life in bright colors.
You may wonder: what does all this have to do with real estate? Well, let me explain. When you are ready to put your house on the market for sale, don’t you have to decide who, as an agent, you want to work with? Of course you do. It’s your call. The options are open, based on such criteria as agents’ experience, batting average, market knowledge, company’s affiliation, etc. Often, what may prove to be the most important ingredients of a good pick are overlooked: chemistry, enthusiasm and optimism. Is your agent happy? The road that eventually leads to finding a buyer or finding a home can be long and rocky; can you stand to walk that road with the agent you have in mind?
An agent can change the way he works, but he cannot change the way he thinks. From under the polish of experience, natural behavior will always re-surface. Some agents are just not the happy kind. They blame the market instead of focusing on the great opportunities it presents. They blame cooperating agents and sometimes kill a deal by criticizing the other side, instead of focusing on what they have to do to win. They unnecessarily complicate a deal to look like they are very smart, at the risk of losing it, instead of trying to simplify whatever they can and focus on the desired outcome.
Not only is it painful to endure the service of an unhappy agent but you also need to be aware that other agents probably feel the same way about the guy. They are not looking forward to working with him and may even go out of their way to avoid showing or bringing offers on his listings. Guess who suffers from it: you, as the seller. You want/need your agent to get along with everyone to multiply your opportunities to sell or buy.
Over the years, I gave a lot of different agents the listings on my own homes. Some experiences were great. Some were not. And I am not just talking here about the end result. No, at the end of the day, the best experiences I had about using an agent to sell my house, were not about the sale, they were mostly about the process. Did I enjoy the ride, the dedication, the honest care, the positive attitude, the relationship?
Let me share with you some pointers you would be well advised to keep in mind and address with the agents you interview in order to make a good pick:
- Show me (and tell me) that you like my house
- Tell me that you understand my needs and you are happy about the opportunity to satisfy them
- Show me that you are proud to have my listing
- Don’t suggest a listing price if you don’t believe you can sell it close to that price
- Show me that you are happy to share my listing with other Realtors to invite their cooperation
- Show me that you are excited about the prospect of showing the house to potential buyers
- Show me that you are anxious & prepared to promote it via the media channels we can agree on
- Do not hold my house open over the weekend because you have to; do it because you want to
- Do not take my listing if you don’t honestly believe you can sell it
- Don’t tell me, after you pocket the listing, that it’s my fault if the house does not sell. I don’t need a nagging mother, I need a business partner
You may want to make yours some of these qualifying remarks. Remember, if your agent is not upbeat about the market, or your house and its salability, do yourself a favor: do not list with him. Life is short, and the listing period may be long…
Don’t be sorry, be happy!