3 Signs Your Agent Deserves to be Trusted

WRITTEN BY 3 Signs Your Agent Deserves to be Trusted

Risk aversion stops many good things from happening when it is supposed to stop bad things.

Natural fear in taking action or making a decision is meant to preserve our health, property, and way of life, but it can do the opposite. For some real estate buyers and sellers, any change or decision is seen as risk to be avoided. Even those less afraid of risk or more confident about decision making usually rely on relevant information and expertise they can trust before they act or make a choice.

Since it is the person delivering information who usually imparts “trust-ability” to facts and choices, your ability to read the “trust-worthiness” of real estate professionals you intend to rely on when selling or buying will affect the decisions you make and don’t make.

In this column, we’re not discussing cheats or crooks who are out to deliberately commit fraud or worse. That’s a discussion I’ve had with you many times before including this earlier column: “Silent Crime Against Homeowners: Mortgage Fraud.” That said, remember that professionals with the best of intentions but without up-to-date knowledge or skills can pose risks for sellers and buyers.

Without trusted input, individuals and couples can second guess themselves when buying or selling, vacillating on whether to stick with their decision or not. For instance, “buyer’s remorse” is a risk-averse response attached to purchases of anything linked to dramatic or expensive change like real estate. Trust grounded in the value of the purchase and the soundness of the buying decision reduces risk aversion, and lessens or eliminates second guessing. This trust usually arises out of the relationship with the real estate professional, not the real estate itself.

How can I be sure my real estate professional deserves to be trusted? Here are three signs to look for:

#1. Encouragement: The correct answer to the question above is, “you can’t always be sure about others.” Instead, it’s yourself who you must trust. A real estate professional who is intent on increasing your knowledge of how the sales process influences outcomes is also determined to build your confidence in your decision making. At the same time, your skepticism will be encouraged by welcoming your questions and contributions. As you gain confidence in your understanding of buying or selling real estate, you’ll realize how and when to trust yourself and the real estate professional and brokerage you’ve chosen to rely on.

#2. Clarification: Trust in the face of certainty is an achievement, however, trust in the face of uncertainty is an art. When a knowledgeable real estate professional delivers services, or explains properties or advice, they also clarify what they expect to receive from buyers or sellers who give their trust to the professional. In other words, during the uncertainty of the adventure into real estate, buyers and sellers are told how they can act in their own best interest to facilitate good outcomes from their real estate transaction. Trust takes the form of clarifying wants and needs, confirming budget limitations, and finalizing key decision criteria like location and price range. When a real estate professional is unclear or unspecific about what buyers and sellers can expect during the transaction, trust can be replaced by confusion and frustration. If you find these are common reactions when dealing with your real estate professional, why would they deserve to be trusted? Search out that real estate professional who is clear how to make real estate’s inherent uncertainty manageable from your point of view.

#3. Reliablity: What is said, written, texted, posted…matters, but how professionals act on what they communicate matters more. When a professional’s interest in you is genuine, this concern is visible in every facet of the work carried out for and with you. Your interests should always be transparently and prominently placed above the professional’s according to the Agency Law and fiduciary agreements that rule real estate. This commitment materializes as services that are relevant to your needs and delivery methods that match your daily patterns. If you live through your smartphone, you’ll benefit from working with a professional who is equally connected. If you prefer emails, phone calls, and face-to-face contact, you’d like that preference respected. How does the professional’s commitment to you materialize? Does the professional deliver on promises and responsibilities without prompting or excuses? If it’s not clear to you how connected you are, perhaps the professional does not deserve your trust.

Perception is the reality in earning trust and loyalty. Your definition of trust, and the professional’s, need to be aligned.

  • Should trusting include you questioning the professional, or is unquestioning acceptance demanded by the professional?
  • Is their reaction defensive or offensive if their knowledge or skill is challenged?
  • Do you understand exactly what the professional expects from you and from themselves as your relationship progresses?

From the start, you deserve to understand what “trust” will mean to both of you, and to your real estate outcome. Trust yourself to be sure about this.



Single Family Home Activity in the Antelope Valley

In the last 24 hours

New Listings …  28
Sold …  07
Pending …  18
Expd/Wthd/Cancld …  11
Price Increases …  03
Price Reductions …  08
Number of listings* …  1452
Average Days on Market …  100
Short sale/pay listings …  12
Equity listings …  1300
Bank owned listings …  24
HUD, Corp, Probate and Auction listings …  64
Days of inventory (at the average rate**) …  35.93
Days of inventory (at yesterdays rate**) …  80.67
Actual Number of days of inventory***  …  ∞

View the last 8+ years of data HERE!


* Count includes all ACTIVE and CONTINGENT MLS listings
** Assuming no future growth or reduction
*** At yesterdays depletion rate (∞ indicates negative depletion,
inventory would not be depleted at this sales rate)

What You Don’t Know About Real Estate Could Cost You

WRITTEN BY What You Don’t Know About Real Estate Could Cost You

What you don’t know about real estate, real estate professionals do. PJ Wade identifies significant knowledge gaps for buyers and sellers and reveals how professionals fill those gaps—when asked.

It’s what you don’t know about real estate that could cost you when buying or selling.

• First-time buyers usually haven’t seen enough houses or condominium units to fully understand where real estate value lies.

They may not have been caretaker of a house and, therefore, don’t notice subtle signs of damage, sloppy construction, poor maintenance, or worn-out elements. Those who have visited friends’ houses will rarely have toured the properties with an eye to determining value. First-time-buyer naivety is often preyed on with the latest buzz words, staging, hot shiny appliances, and a coat of fresh paint.

• First-time-in-a-longtime buyers may not realize that they are out of touch with advances in materials, modern design approaches, or evolving lifestyle essentials.

This can lead them to under- or over-value new houses or condominium units. For example, quartz kitchen counters have gained popularity over marble and granite for several reasons. Open-concept design is preferred by those with small children or those who live to entertain, but not by those who are untidy, relish quiet spaces, or are energy conscious. Residential elevators are increasingly common features in multi-story and age-in-place homes, but they may seem out of place to those not in touch with housing trends. Misevaluation of factors like these may mean missed real estate opportunity.

• First-time sellers who base resale value on their total cost of acquiring and maintaining real estate ownership, plus expected profit, have missed the point.

Emotions, including pride of ownership, can get in the way and prove expensive. Sellers may believe that their cost of buying and transforming the property into their home, plus money spent on maintenance and upgrades, plus profit and the cost of selling, including commission, add up to their actual “bottom line” for resale value. Problems arise for sellers when this must-have sale price is not in line with market value, which is value determined by the real estate market – current buyers and previous sales. When the seller expects more than market value, this “over-priced listing” may take longer to sell, may eventually sell for less, or may fail to find a buyer. First-time sellers may lack experience evaluating how their property compares with local property values and appraising their property from the perspective of current active buyers.

Value determination and marketing – or communicating action-enticing value to potential buyers – represent two different professional real estate selling-skill sets, neither of which are usually possessed by sellers.

• Empty-nester and downsizing sellers may decide, in theory, that smaller and cheaper are the characteristics they desire in their next property, but some discover it’s a different story in practice.

When faced with the actual move to a smaller house in a cheaper location, they may find the mental leap too great. Downsizing is often wrongly considered merely moving into a smaller property. In reality, this less-space move usually involves adopting a different lifestyle, living in a different neighborhood, adjusting to different status, dealing with different interior finishes, and the list can go on.

Many faced with wanting a change find they lack the real estate knowledge and planning expertise to make the shift gracefully acceptable and financially successfully.

• Newbie real estate investors may believe that crunching numbers to determine how much profit they want and what it will cost to achieve this profit is all it takes.

Creating an offer to purchase, which entices a property owner to sell for the buyer’s desired price, requires special professional expertise. Then, offering the property for profit-generating rent that will attract qualified prospective renters involves a different set of professional skills. Many new investors possess neither skill set, which are both common in real estate professionals.

The emotional element regarding what sellers will sell for and what renters will pay to live in the resulting investment property can influence financial gain and bottom-line projections. Skill and experience is essential to investors taking all this into account to create profit.

What you don’t know about property ownership and real estate transactions can cost you when buying or selling, wherever you fit in on the list of buyers and sellers above. Do you have experience with contracts, financing, interior design, renovation, conflict resolution…? Then, there’s marketing – both using it to persuade others and personally fending off its effects when you’re making decisions.

What you don’t know about real estate, real estate professionals do. They are committed to studying and keeping up to date on what matters. Most have spent years on the job perfecting their expertise and learning local markets.

Would you surgically operate on yourself or drill your own teeth? It’s that extreme an issue when you don’t engage available professional skill and knowledge to work for and with you.

Concentrate on learning what the right real estate professional can help you achieve.

Not the least of which is discovering what you don’t know about buying and selling. When you think, my goal is “buy my dream home” or “sell at my dream price,” understand what will have to happen and what you must do to achieve the desired outcome.

If you don’t know where to start, no problem.

Real estate professionals are trained to know what needs to be done for prospects and clients every day, every offer, every transaction…. Do you know what you’ll gain with professional help? How determined are you to achieve real estate goals and exceed your expectations, as quickly and hassle-free as possible?

To continue learning about buying and selling real estate, checkout more Realty Times articles by PJ Wade The Catalyst:

• 4 “Big Regrets” to Avoid When Buying a Home
• Trends Cost Sellers Money
• Ready to Talk About Real Estate?