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August 27, 2017 Blog

Do You Know How to Separate the Good from the Great Realtors?

Posted on August 27, 2017


They met at a cooking class and started talking. They had things in common—dogs and kids and lost loves. They started dating (and cooking together, of course). They fell in love and got married and bought a home together.


But like others who fall in love later in life, there were still some remnants of the past to put to rest. That was when we got involved.


Claudia called to ask if I would help her sell a home she had been renting out for several years, ever since her late husband’s death. “When Bill got sick, I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. In fact, I haven’t been over there in quite some time. I’m not sure what we’ll find.”


I did some research and discovered that the home was in a desirable location, and near one of the top elementary schools in Portland. I assumed with a little paint and some power washing, it would be a quick sale.


When we drove up to the 1970s ranch-style home, I wasn’t so sure.


The front yard was a desert of dead grass and weeds. The stench of cat urine greeted us when we opened the front door. Grease stains and beer bottles littered the carpet. Holes in the doors led us into the kitchen where cabinet drawers were missing and countertops were covered in dirt and grease.


I watched as Claudia visibly shrunk at the enormity of the task ahead.


“If it would help,” I said, “I can manage the clean up and remodel of the property for a minimum increase in our fees.”


She agreed, visibly relieved.


Over the next few months, Claudia and I worked together, planning the remodel she and her late husband had envisioned for their “dream home.” Using a contractor I had worked with in the past, we implemented her ideas.


At times, Claudia was emotional. But thanks to our help, she was able to keep an arm’s length from the nitty-gritty of the remodel and focus on herself. I cannot help but think that something in Claudia healed as a result of the entire process.


This experience is one example of what a great agent will do—go above and beyond generally-accepted real estate services.


A good agent would have told Claudia what she needed to do to get the house ready for sale “as is.” He or she would have provided Claudia with the statistics, market values, and deadlines, and made sure all the paperwork was signed and in order.


A great agent will also pay attention to the needs of her client—emotional, physical, financial, and more—and stand by ready to meet them. Indeed, he or she will provide concierge services, real estate style.


We have made and delivered garage sale signs. We have provided moving boxes and contractor boxes. We have orchestrated contractors and repairs. We have brought in interior designers, landscapers, and lighting experts. In one unique situation, we even located a buyer for a baby grand piano and had the piano moved.


To separate the good from the great realtors, ask a few simple questions:

  • “I have a [insert your current challenge]. How can you help with that?”
  • What is the most outlandish thing you’ve done to get a home sold?
  • What services do you provide other than strictly real estate services?
  • How accessible will you be, that is, how often will I hear from you and will you be available to answer my questions when I call?

Why settle for a good agent when, with a little research, you can have a great one?


To protect our clients’ privacy, anecdotes shared are based on true stories; however, names and specifics have been changed and/or combined into composites.


Photo Credit: A Moment of Calm by MATT@Pek is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


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