No doubt the San Francisco real estate prices can be daunting, but if you’re looking to break into the San Francisco housing market, an experienced real estate agent is the best way to help you navigate the terrain. Not only will you benefit from an insider’s edge on new listings, you can be helped exponentially from their experience for what works and what may not. As you start considering your options, here are five signs of a good San Francisco real estate agent — and three red flags that you’re dealing with someone who may not be able to truly deliver.
Five Signs of a Great San Francisco Real Estate Agent
As the saying goes, there is a lid for every pot. And true to the idea that there are all kinds of real estate agents- so many, in fact, that it can feel overwhelming trying to decide who is going to represent your interests best. But start with the basics — ask friends and family who have recently bought or sold for recommendations. Spend some time looking online. Use these five guidelines to compile a short list, and then schedule interviews so you can meet face to face.
- Years of Experience — Seniority speaks for itself in many industries, and real estate is no different. Those who have been in the business have more connections to the people and information that matter, from final sale prices and still-undisclosed listings to the best renovators, stagers, and movers. When you partner with an experienced agent, you benefit from those connections.
- A Successful Track Record that Includes Recent Sales — In a volatile market like San Francisco, an agent should be able to show you a successful track record of home sales. Ask specifically about the last home an agent sold — it should be recent!
- An Active Web Presence — The internet changed the way the world works, and these days, everyone has a web presence. That’s especially true for real estate agents. Look for current information outlining their work history, lists of properties they’ve sold, current listings, and useful insight.
- Glowing References — Look for third-party reviews when you’re considering agents. You’ll likely find happy testimonials on an agent’s website, which is a good starting point, but take it a little further to get an idea of unsolicited feedback too. If you find anything notably contradictory, it’s worth bringing it up to gauge the agent’s reaction and perspective.
- The X Factor — Think about the qualities that matter to you. Are you looking for someone who’s exceptionally intuitive, engaging, and professional? Do experience and a pleasant demeanor trump all for you? When you meet a prospective agent, what is your overall impression? Do they appear knowledgeable about the local market, or prepared to discuss strategies for marketing and selling your home?
Three Red Flags When You’re Looking for a San Francisco Real Estate Agent
You may have been charmed at first, but not every agent turns out to be the best choice for every client. If you begin to notice these three red flags, pay attention — it could be a sign that you need someone new.
- Poor Listening Skills — Your agent’s job is to represent you, and that can only begin by listening carefully to your needs, your wants, and your concerns. Proceed with caution if you’re dealing with an agent who needs regular reminders about what you need.
- Overpromising — Big promises that seem too good to be true should give you pause. Your agent serves you best by giving you realistic expectations, so wild promises and declarations should be supported with facts and evidence.
- Underserving — This is often the flip side of overpromising. Don’t settle for an agent who promises you the world yet fails to make decisions that serve your best interests. Most importantly if you don’t hear back from your agent on a regular and timely basis, consider whether if it’s a sign that they may either be too busy to make you a priority or they simply don’t have a stellar work ethic.
Buying and selling a home can be an emotionally charged experience, and it’s helpful to have a trusted, experienced agent helping you through it. If you’re ready to buy or sell in San Francisco, I’d love to answer your questions. Contact me today.