8 Must Have Realtor Traits
By Glen Grimditch, Ph.D.
For almost all of us, purchasing or selling a home is the largest and most important financial transaction of our lives. You need a Realtor that will make this process as enjoyable and profitable as possible. This is not something you want to try to do without the help of a Realtor. Therefore, as a buyer or seller of real estate, it’s important that you know the major characteristics of a great Realtor. As you search for a Realtor, ask them questions regarding the topics below so that you can make an informed decision as to the Realtor you want to represent you for either selling or buying a home.
1. Must Know the Local Housing Market
Knowledge of the local housing market is paramount for a great Realtor. They will know the current market conditions, i.e. whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market. If you’re interested in purchasing a home, this knowledge will assure that you don’t overpay while at the same time, you get the house you want. In this regard, a great Realtor could save you thousands of dollars. In addition, your agent can suggest up and coming neighborhoods that you may not have considered previously. For home sellers, your Realtor should do a market analysis on your home to determine the proper asking price. Don’t forget that ultimately the current marketplace determines the value of a home based on the ratio of supply to demand, not the Realtor or seller. Here’s more information on how real estate market values are determined.
2. Must Have Honesty & Integrity
Sometimes it’s easier to tell a little white lie than to tell the truth, but a great Realtor will always be honest with their client. This is true even if it’s not what the client wants to hear. Sometimes there is a setback during the real estate buying or selling process. It’s better that the agent brings this issue to your attention sooner rather than later. A great Realtor will think about the problem and determine possible solutions before speaking with their client. Don’t you really appreciate it when someone comes to you with a problem and at the same time offers several possible solutions.
“Honest is the best policy” should be your realtor’s mantra. Integrity is doing the “right thing” and doing what you say you will do. I like to think about integrity like this. Imagine you have a body camera with a microphone attached on your shoulder to record your actions. You meet with a client and afterwards you play it back for your children and/or parents to watch, i.e. people for whom you care deeply. You know you’ve done the “right thing” if you’re proud of yourself when the recording is played back. A Realtor that has both honesty and integrity will continue to earn your trust and should be someone with whom you enjoy working. Many people don't know the difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent. Realtors are a subset of real estate agents. All real estate agents must pass the real estate examination for their state to sell real estate. Realtors go one step farther by joining the National Association of Realtors. They must agree to abide by very high standards for both their operations and their code of ethics. So choosing to work with a Realtor can give you that extra bit of confidence.
3. Must Be Hard Working & Persistent
A great Realtor is self-motivated, hardworking and persistent. They need an entrepreneurial mind-set with a can-do attitude. Believing there is more than one way to solve a problem and having the desire to solve it are important traits for a successful Realtor.
4. Must Be an Excellent Communicator
This encompasses keeping you, the client, informed throughout the entire transaction process from the initial agreement through its completion. From a consumer point of view, there are few things more frustrating than not knowing what’s going on during a real estate transaction. Part of being a great communicator is keeping the client informed and promptly responding to client queries.
5. Must Be a Great Negotiator
A great negotiator is a person who gets the best deal possible for their clients. Implicit in this definition is that they get the deal done within their client constraints. This involves just the right amount of toughness to get you the best deal, while at the same time not leaving money on the table.
6. Must Know the Buying and Selling Processes
A great Realtor should have a thorough knowledge of the buying and selling processes, from inception to completion to assure you have a smooth transaction. Of course, there is no substitute for experience.
7. Must Be Client Motivated
Your Realtor should act on your best interests and desires. In fact, they have a fiduciary duty to do so. A great agent will always put their clients’ interests above their own. In addition, they should have a genuine desire to not only meet, but exceed their client’s expectations.
8. Must Be Organized
Being organized is a skill useful for all professions, but none more so than a Realtor. Along with great organizational skills, attention to detail also is required. Timing is critical in real estate to make sure everything happens on schedule. If some deadline is missed or falls through the cracks, the deal could be postponed or worse yet even cancelled. A great Realtor will have all these events on a checklist with a time line to avoid these problems and assure a smooth transaction. Many agents don’t feel like they need a checklist because they “know” what they’re doing. However, even though pilots know how to fly a plane, they still go through their checklists before takeoff. I for one, would not choose to be a passenger in the airplane of a pilot who doesn’t feel it’s necessary to review their checklist before takeoff. Although forgetting to do something in real estate, may not be lethal, it certainly could have dire consequences.
Choosing the right Realtor can make the difference between a profitable and enjoyable transaction, or a costly and awful one. So please get to know your potential Realtor and then choose wisely using the items listed in this article as a guide. If need buyer or seller tools, you can find them here.