Whenever a buyer or seller is set to enter the market, they find themselves faced with the task of identifying the Napa real estate agent who will serve them best. There are many of us to choose from—and not a lot guidance on how to proceed.
Maybe there should be something like a Real Estate Agent Dowser. You remember dowsers—the folks who divine where to drill for ground water. Most do it by walking around, holding a dowsing rod (usually Y-shaped). When it shivers or points down, BINGO! That’s where the water is. Pay the fee and call the drilling company. Now, it’s said that there is absolutely no scientific evidence that dowsing works. Yet there are plenty of folks who live out in the country who will tell you that, of course it’s hard to believe, but still… That’s why dowsing is a real occupation. Just ask any one of the American Society of Dowsers’ 3,000 members…
Here in Napa, when you set out to find a real estate agent to help with buying or selling a home, there is no American Society of Real Estate Agent Dowsers to help. Fortunately, Napa’s real estate agents aren’t as hard to find as underground water pockets—but even so, detecting which of us is best suited to be your partner is no “gimme.”
One good solution is to interview the candidates with an eye toward finding out how they stack up against three practical benchmarks:
Selling Skill. A great real estate agent is a great salesperson—easy to talk to, sympathetic to your needs—genuinely likeable. When you are interviewing potential agents, offer an objection or two to test how seamlessly the conversation proceeds. The most valuable sales representatives are those who can adapt to resistance without batting an eye, or letting negativity prevail.
Current knowledge and experience. Being able to provide accurate and fact-based market information and analysis is an important indicator— as is having successfully performed in a variety of Napa real estate transactions.
Negotiation Skill. When all else points to a good fit, discuss the terms that candidate proposes between you. Your chosen real estate agent will be negotiating on your behalf—so your agent’s ability to present hard business matters in a relaxed and amenable way will serve you well.
When you become your own real estate agent dowser, you won’t need a witch hazel stick to point the way. A few thoughtful interviews will do the trick—and I hope you’ll be sure to give me a call as soon as you go dowsing!