Everyone has a role in real estate

After 40 years as a Realtor, I have been blessed with meeting thousands of buyers, sellers and agents.

I have been involved with many hundreds of transactions with a myriad of different types of people. No two home sales are the same, and much of that is because there are so many different personalities and emotions involved. Choosing your Realtor to help you buy or sell might seem easy, but in the end choosing a Realtor is a highly personal choice based on how well you are going to work together. So, if the roles are clearly defined, your choice might be a lot easier.

In a continuing education class recently, the roles that Realtors, buyers, and sellers have were so clearly defined that I wanted to give it to you too. If you want to find a Realtor who will work best with you, remember this simple rule: Buyers and sellers are in charge of decisions, Realtors are in charge of process.

Let’s talk process first. Marketing a home is more than filling out papers and putting information in a computer. A Realtor offering staging information, thorough knowledge of the market, negotiating skills, who know their fellow agents and work well with them, and agents who keep abreast of market conditions are important.

Equally important are how they communicate with you. Phone calls? Texts? Emails? Or all of them. Are you a paper and pen, face-to-face kind of person? Then maybe a tech intensive agent won’t be able to relate to snail mail or paper contracts, and their process of selling will be confusing or frustrating to you. Likewise, if you are a handheld, digital signature, Apple-Pay kind of person who never carries cash, then maybe you should choose an agent who can work at your speed.

Your Realtor should be able to offer you a process of exchanging information that matches not only you, but other agents too. When buying and selling agents are on the same page, communicate effectively, and speak the same language, the selling process is smoother. When they give you timely and accurate information, they make your job easier.

Your job is decision making. When your Realtor effectively and accurately gives you information about market conditions and pricing, you are the only one who should be making decisions. Those decisions should be what price to list your home at, when to allow showings, what price to offer a seller, and most importantly, what price to agree upon to buy or sell a home.

All of these decisions are based on the information given to you in the process, but you and you alone are in charge of the decision to buy or sell.

A great Realtor will never make decisions for you, but will always provide you as much information as is available so you can decide. Likewise, each agent has a method of operating — a process of presenting a home, writing an ad, choosing photographs and communicating with you and other agents.

These are the questions you should be asking each Realtor you interview. For a very short but intensive time, you and your Realtor will be working hand-in-hand to accomplish something big. Knowing who is in charge of what makes it go smoothly.

Darlene Mink-Crouse is the 2018 president of the Warren Area Board of Realtors.