To Whom It May Concern. I always see articles for buyers and sellers regarding what questions you should ask an agent before hiring them. One question that is frequently overlooked is how the agent communicates. Technology is a great tool, however nothing beats a live conversation.
Recently, I wrote an offer on a home and I emailed it the agent asking that she confirm she received the offer. I left her a voicemail and sent a text asking her to confirm receipt of the offer. After my second voicemail to the agent she responded with a text and a smiley face saying that she had received it. I text her back that I would like to speak with her about the offer. This was a multiple offer situation, therefore I used an escalation clause which many agents aren’t familiar with – I wanted to make sure that she understood it because it would net her seller more money!! My buyer really wanted this house. Her text back to me said she had no questions for me.
As the day proceeded she would send me what I would call random texts messages inquiring if my buyers would do “X”. When I would try to call her instead of responding via text, she wouldn’t answer and it was like she had fallen off the earth…only until she sent another text. Finally as the deadline was approaching, she began texting her counter offers. I asked her if we could talk on the phone, it would be easier and more efficient. She would tell me she was busy with buyers. I just can’t understand how she was busy with buyers and texting back and forth between me and her sellers.
Buying and selling a home is the largest financial investment most people will make, therefore wouldn’t you want an agent who is willing to have more than a text conversation regarding that?
When I’m on the phone discussing a transaction, it’s many times a creative process, solving problems together and bringing the end goals of buyers and sellers to fruition. Also, so much is lost in the translation of an email or text.
For the record, I will communicate however my client prefers. But, whenever trying to negotiate with another agent, I prefer talking on the phone. I do not hide behind email or text and I always make sure that I respond within a reasonable time and it’s always the same day! Frankly, it’s sort of a badge of honor when another agent won’t negotiate “live”. I take that they are a little afraid or intimated.
So before you hire an agent, add to your list of questions how do they communicate and how do they negotiate. Make sure they are not afraid, otherwise it might cost you!