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  • Writer's pictureDon Stocker

Why Working With the Right Buyer's Agent Makes All the Difference, Especially Now

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Let's be honest. We all know a real estate agent or two. They might be an acquaintance, a family friend or even a member of the family. Although I never recommend you use an agent who isn’t currently actively working with buyers, I really don’t recommend it now.

Over the past couple of months, the Sacramento real estate market has exploded. We have a huge demand for properties due to a large buying pool. At the same time, we have a very limited quantity of homes on the market. This has caused properties to garner multiple offers and buyers to start doing things that we haven’t seen done in the past 5 years. I know that most people feel that price is the main thing that wins your offer’s acceptance. With multiple offers driving up the prices faster than appraisers can justify them, there are other things you can do to make your offer stand out and ultimately get you a home.

Over the past 2 weeks, I have had two listings in two different areas of Sacramento. They are well maintained homes and we received multiple offers on both of them. It was very obvious going through the offers that some agents just aren’t up to speed on what is happening. Because of that, their buyers really didn't have a fighting chance. This post isn’t intended to bad mouth other agents. What I want to do more than anything, is encourage you to seek out and find agents who can best represent you and give you a fighting chance in this competitive market.

To be fair, our market has been pretty steady for the last few years. Agents have been complacent in writing very “traditional” offers. The market we are in now is anything but traditional. I don’t want to scare any you away from the market. I want you as a buyer to feel empowered as you seek out an agent, so that they can help you write a winning offer.

Like I said before, price isn’t always what is going to win. You have to have the tools to back up what you are offering. I know there is a perception out there that the only way to guarantee that you get an offer accepted currently is with cash. There are cash buyers in the market, but they aren’t as prevalent as you would think. There are tools an agent can use that can help a buyer win even if you are up against another offer that is cash.

Here are a few tips, to help you find the right agent to work with.

Sacramento is a very dynamic market. Identify the areas you want to start your search and look for an agent who is active in that area or is overall well versed in the market as a whole. The beauty of the internet is there are several tools to find those agents. I'll use Zillow as an example here because it is one of the most used websites to start a home search. When a person clicks on a listing on Zillow, there are local agents that come up as you scroll down. I would encourage you to scroll further down to find the agent that actually has the listing. I say this because any agent can be called a local agent simply by paying Zillow for leads. Agents pay a pretty substantial amount of money for those leads. That doesn’t guarantee that they are the best agent for you. This is true with most of the major real estate sites. When a site promises to find you a great agent, that sites only prerequisite to recommend an agent is that the agent pays them for any leads. Listing agents can be great buyers agents as well. They know first hand what is going on in the market.

Another great resource is friends who have purchased a home. Real estate is largely a referral based business. If you know anyone who lives in the area, ask them if they worked with a good agent. I have found that when someone had a good experience, they are more than happy to recommend an agent. Conversely, if someone had a bad experience, they are willing to share that as well. This can be one of the best ways to get a good agent.

After you identify agents you are considering working with, interview them. Ask them questions like, “Are you currently working with any buyers?” “Have you closed any transactions in the past month?”. The reason both of those questions are important is they will give you insight into how active the agent is and how up to date they are on the market. Agents have a lot of tools to help keep them up to date but the most important tool they have right now is working knowledge of what is going on.

Find an agent who wants to work with you, not just for you. I know that sounds like a play on words, but it is much more than that. Buying a home is a collaborative effort and also an emotional experience. Your agent needs to hear what your needs and wants are and you need to feel comfortable telling them how you honestly feel about any home. Communication and trust are key.

This whole post might sound like a shameless plug, but it really isn’t. Helping anyone find a home is an honor I don’t take for granted and I love working with buyers, but my main mission in writing this post is to really encourage you as a buyer to seek out the best agent possible for you. Working with agents who know what they are doing can make a world of difference, not just for you but for the agent and clients on the other side. This journey can be exciting and challenging at the same time. You want an agent who can give you honest feedback and one who will fight for you.

I hope you have found this post informative. I'm always available if you have any questions. I wish you the best as you embark on finding a house you can call home.



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