The numbers don’t lie. According the National Association of Realtors, there are 50,000+ new members per year nationwide. 80% of new agents leave industry after two years or less. The world of real estate has a massive revolving door of incoming and outgoing realtors. It goes without saying that partnering with the right brokerage and realtor is extremely important!
So what exactly should you be looking for in an agent? While this list isn’t exhaustive, it’s a great place to start:
A great agent sets your expectations.
The process of buying or selling a home is not always easy. It can require more emotional energy than you expect, cost more money than you budgeted, and demand more time than you planned. Due to the ever changing state of the real estate market, realtors have a responsibility to set client expectations for the process from the very beginning of the relationship. In today’s “hot market” in Indianapolis, the key to a sustainable home search is to be patient but willing to move quickly when the right opportunity arrives. Homes in Indianapolis can be sold in three hours or three months. Expect to be patient but move quickly!
Indianapolis homes can be a few month old or 130 years old. There’s a completely different set of expectations an agent should navigate with their buyer if a home was built during Benjamin Harrison’s presidency vs. Donald Trump’s. While newer construction methods are more efficient, 130-year-old lumber (if properly maintained) has a structural integrity that far surpasses the fast-growing species of today’s pine lumber.
Far too often, the wheels of phenomenal deals fall off the transaction vehicle when buyers enter the inspection phase (I’m a little too proud of that metaphor...). With 100 year old homes, agents are responsible to set the expectations for their clients before the home inspector even steps foot in the house. Termite damage, knob and tube wiring, lead based paint - the list of “surprise” defects that old homes include should be communicated to buyers; as well as solutions for navigating those items.
A great agent tells you the truth.
Although licensed agents throughout Indianapolis have the same access to comparable properties, market statics, and data - how this information is communicated to clients may vary. Data can be easily exaggerated to lead buyers into less than ideal acquisitions. Partner with an agent who will tell the truth of the data, as well as guide you through the alternate interpretations of the data. Market corrections are cyclical. And while we don’t have a crystal ball into Indianapolis’ future, we do have data and market information to guide buyers to make confident, informed decisions.
This spring, while I was rehabbing a duplex in Bates Hendricks, I met an investor who was flipping the single family home next door. He told me he was going to list his 1500 square foot property (3 bed; 2 bath) for $375,000 and receive multiple offers within a week. For a moment, I bit my tongue - knowing that 20+ other investors were doing the exact same thing within 0.1 miles of his property. After hearing him rant and rave about the greatness of his property as well as his market expertise, I decided to tell him the truth: He would not be able to sell the property for more than $275,000 because of the neighborhood’s over-saturation of flips, the low square footage of his property, the lack of a garage, and the low-grade of finishes he chose. He told me I was an idiot. His property is still active on the market today - now listed for $225,000.
A great agent knows your city.
Indianapolis is a unique city. Each neighborhood has different sets of values, identities, and dreams. Sometimes these identities vary street by street. A great agent will help you navigate the nuances of the city. Did you know that some neighborhoods provide rehab assistance? Did you know that some lenders provide specialty products for owner-occupant homes in qualifying areas? One size does not fit all in Indianapolis. Partner with an agent who knows not just your city or neighborhood but your exact street - to properly equip you with the resources to maximize the execution of your purchase.
A great agent maintains your emotional capacity.
Everyday, great deals fall apart because of a lack of maintaining a healthy emotional capacity. The home buying and home selling process is EMOTIONAL. “But I’m not an emotional person.” Me neither, but the process of buying or selling can cost more emotional energy than you are budgeting. Our team works to execute the deals in a way that preserves emotional energy. We come equipped with a team of transaction managers, listing specialists, showing coordinators, and inspection repair teams. For first time home buyers, the process can feel overwhelming because there are so many “unknowns”. We’ve build out our team structure to maintain everyone’s capacity and set appropriate expectations with clients to make overwhelming processes manageable. There are no transaction, inspection, or listing scenarios we haven’t walked through as team.