Will Webber, a Newark based Realtor, Broker and Partner in Keller Williams Realty, offers some important insights and advice to home buyers and sellers as the market begins to rebound. Webber suggests that, “You make sure you listen to more than the Realtor’s sales pitch. Make sure you apply some discernment in selecting a person whose character and reputation are evidence of their commitment to work for you.”
Signs of improvement are becoming evident. There are fewer houses for sale today than in 2009. When the housing bubble burst, so did the businesses of many independent Realtors.
“There’s been a nearly 40% drop in the number of Realtors in New Castle County over the past few years,” said Webber, “because it’s expensive to stay in this business. There are costs for classes, State and City licensing fees, multi-listing fees, and the routine costs of doing business, all of which become very expensive when no houses are selling.”
While the reduction in the number of real estate agents might not seem like an important matter, in fact it is. This means that the consumer, who is seeking a reliable, trustworthy partner in this important transaction, has a potentially limited – and more competitive – pool from which to select. Therefore, making a careful selection is important.
“The buyer wants to buy and the seller wants to sell,” said Webber, “However, real estate transactions are more than financial deals. There are tremendous emotional pressures associated with this process.” The increased use of the “do-it-yourself” approach in this tight economy is evidence of that. Sellers and buyers often think they will be more assured of getting their needs met if they don’t have to rely on someone else or have to share the financial gains.
“But,” as Webber reminds us, “the Realtor is the expert, the one who understands the market, the financing process and the many potential obstacles that must be navigated during this venture.” So, how does a seller or a buyer select the best possible Realtor?
“The credibility and legitimacy of a Realtor is evidenced by patience, sensitivity, empathy, and communication,” said Will. “I guess this boils down to trustworthiness.” These character traits, however, are not usually evident until one has had the opportunity to actually work with someone. Will suggests a couple of steps sellers and buyers can take as they go through the selection process:
Use the information that can be gained from referrals. All Realtors will give referrals, and the information from these sources is helpful, but no Realtor is going to give the name of someone who would be a bad referral. So, ask your neighbors, your friends, co-workers and family for their referrals. Testimonials are invaluable.
Ask questions during the interview process that help you discern ahead of time what a Realtor’s behavior is going to be. You want to see evidence of patience, sensitivity, empathy, and effective communications, skilled negotiations, so ask about situations that would illustrate these behaviors.
* Tell me about a time when you were working with a buyer who had looked at several properties that were very close to the exact match that they had described they were looking for in terms of price, location, style and features, but they still could not make a choice
* Tell me about the worst communications experience you’ve ever had with a client (buyer and/or seller)
* Tell me about a client you’ve work with who had such a difficult and challenging financial situation that it required all the sensitivity and understanding you could muster
Questions like these might not seem like the ones you’d typically ask, but they require the Realtor, who’s being considered, to “draw back the curtain a bit and expose real behaviors in real situations,” says Webber. “It requires the Realtor to do more than reciting the usual sales pitch and promises to deliver such results as effective marketing, net proceeds for sellers, meeting the unique priorities of buyers, and meeting expectations regarding timing, even though every transaction is unique.”
To learn more about Will Webber, visit: http://willwebberhomes.com/.