The biggest mistake a homeowner can make when interviewing agents

There’s a lot of questionable advice out there, from “personal finance experts” on TV or from friends, family. They tell you: interview 3 or 4 or 5 agents, then pick one. When somebody tells me that’s what they’re going to do, I ask: “What criteria are you going to use, to compare them, judge them, and pick one?” Many admit: they don’t know.

They are going to spend 3, 4, 5 evenings interviewing different real estate agents with no pre-determined way to pick the one they will ultimately trust to handle one of the biggest and most important financial events of their life! Let me give you a comparison, you may or may not know. When a company decides to hire somebody for an important job, let’s say one that costs the company $100,000.00 or $200,000.00 a year, they have a pre-determined set of questions – a set criteria – they will use to judge the people they interview.

They know in advance what they are looking for. To do otherwise is to play ‘Blind Archery’, and that’s dangerous! They NEVER interview a bunch of people and go with the one they “like”. Or rely on “He or she seemed nice?”. No. They use reason and logic. Well, you are hiring somebody to do a very important job for you. You should NOT play ‘Blind Archery’.

You need to know in advance the kind of agent you want. The things that are most important to you. The smart questions to ask. For example, is the agent’s track record at getting top dollar more or less important to you than the commission s/he quotes you? Is the fact that s/he is a lone wolf and may be constantly and immediately accessible to you more important than his/her ‘success percentage’, that is, the percentage of homes s/he lists s/he ever sells? And on and on. On the following pages, you will find a list of 9 different “Selection Factors” to consider and weigh against each other. From this list, you can make your own “Short List” in the space provided of the five most important things you are looking for, from the agent you will hire. You will also find my Facts and Answers to all of these Selection Factors, in abbreviated form, of course.

You will also find a list of the Top 4 Mistakes Most Commonly Made, in choosing an agent. The most frequent results of these mistakes are: the home never sells, is tied up for months, and eventually the agent is fired. The home is sold for much less than it should have sold for, because the owner is stuck with an under-performing agent, is worn out, and just wants to get it over with.