Competence: You expect this because the State of Colorado issues a license to a real estate broker that assumes they “know” what they need to. And they may know the law, but in reality the business is so much more complex today. True competence comes from experience plus training. Every real estate broker is required to complete continuing education courses each year to renew their license. In my mind just doing the required continuing education courses is not enough as there is additional course work which is beneficial both myself and you, my client. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies issues and monitors the real estate broker’s licenses and their CE credits before they allow a renewal.
Experience: It may take years and years to acquire yet it can be accelerated with designations, advanced training as well as transaction volume. However, every deal has it’s own twists and turns that require the knowledge that can only be obtained by being going through that situation. Just as the “experience of life” teaches you that fire is hot, sometimes the only way to recognize a pitfall is to have seen it before. Experience plus advanced education and “personal” transaction volume is what to look for. Some designations you want to look for are GRI, CRS, CNE. There are many more.
TRUST: It should be a foregone conclusion that you trust your real estate professional, but is that a matter of salesmanship or one of confirmation? Trust is built upon statements that are verifiable, so the answers you get need to line up with what you already know. One of the benefits of dealing with a Realtor® who is a member of the National Association of Realtors® is that you already know they subscribe to the Code of Ethics and re-affirm that every year as they re-new their membership. A real estate broker who is not a member of the National Association of Realtors® cannot display the logo:
BUYERS Agent or SELLERS Agent or BOTH?
YES, I can represent you as both the agent to sell your home in Littleton and as your representative to Buy your new place in Denver. As the broker/owner, as well as the managing broker of my own company, I can choose who to work with and in what capacity. There is no conflict of interest unlike what may occur in a larger firm. Therefore I can assist you in making decisions that will help you make the most economic sense out of the transaction. I will often say that “in this way you will always know what side of the fence I am on…yours!”
KNOWLEDGE of the neighborhood: The words “neighborhood specialist” is an advertising effort by a local real estate agent …they are farming for your business. When I first started in the business I “farmed” Cherry Creek Vista in Englewood. An experienced Realtor® will present you with the facts of today’s market, not just in your neighborhood but also in the surrounding area, and assist you in identifying those critical features of your home that help make it more valuable to the buyers. And while reviewing the market facts will help you develop a strategy that will maximize your homes exposure while reducing the inconvenience of having a home on the market. Often it is the places and people who make up your community plus an un-teachable sense of where the real estate market is going that makes the job of Realtor® seem easy.
Representing a Seller is in large part helping the Seller set a price for the market. It is interesting that homes can be priced per the appraisal, which looks back in history, or by a Realtor® who is obligated to not just look at history but to know the current trends to help you price your home. If more foreclosures are coming on the market that may push prices down while more Buyers tend to push prices up. Some folks use the “my house is worth more than theirs was, because…” pricing approach, which often cause longer time on the market. A real estate broker who accepts that pricing premise needs to be vetted further on his pricing matrix.
The BUYER’s Agent uses similar skills to determine what may be a good offer price for a home or even where somebody might like to live. While much of that decision is based upon the Buyer’s financial abilities and desires, some of it might be decided upon leisure activities or on a work location for the Buyer. Knowing there is mountain biking on Green Mountain in Lakewood is one thing, but folks Relocating to Denver might not know about Dinosaur Ridge or even the old ghost towns above Idaho Springs and Georgetown making the location decision easier. Yet “screwing down” into a neighborhood’s current listings, recent sales and properties under contracts can make for a much clearer pricing picture for the buyer.
I WANT A REALTOR WHO IS HUNGRY! I used to describe myself that way until I realized it made me sound 1. Desperate: and 2. Like a rookie. Neither one is good for the client because the desperate agent may inadvertently negotiate away some of the client’s benefits while the rookie was just being “helpful”. A Realtor® who can disassociate themselves from the outcome of the negotiations can be a much more effective advocate for their client than someone who is relying on this closing for a house payment.
Why did I take the time to write this? Well, sometimes there is a little kernel of doubt as to whether the person you are currently interviewing or thinking about hiring to represent you in your next Denver real estate transaction is in fact the right person for the job. I often find folks want a 2nd opinion as to pricing or marketing style. It would be my pleasure to sit and visit with you to show you how I work.