February 15, 2021
The pandemic has been raging in Bergen County for almost a year. And so, for far too long (okay, any length of time is too long for a pandemic), I have heard these things repeatedly from prospective home buyers:
- “I can’t find a house.”
- “We keep losing bidding wars.”
- “I’m just going to wait.”
- “I’ll wait until prices drop.”
- “I just have terrible luck.”
To which I respectfully say, “Nonsense.”
It’s not about you – you are not doing anything wrong. You’re just working with an inexperienced real estate agent. Or, at least, an inexperienced agent who isn’t being properly mentored, assisted or coached, by an experienced agent. In this supercharged, low-inventory real estate market that has been fueled by the pandemic, you need to work with a Realtor who has been around the block a few times.
To put things in perspective, the number of licensed Realtors has increased by 50% over the last eight years. Our membership is at an all-time high, but, as always, these numbers ebb and flow with the market. On average, 80% will leave the business within two years (the license renewal cycle) and 88% will ultimately fail out. The average income for a Realtor is about $41,000, and you can’t live on that in Bergen County. This is a low-barrier industry; it is easy to get in and easy to drop out.
Working with an agent who knows the market and has a solid track record of success is more important now than it’s ever been. And here are just 5 reasons why:
- Your home is probably your largest single asset.
- You will live in your home for years, so you want to make absolutely certain that the agent you choose will be able to guide you as to its suitability for you. If you have sold hundreds or thousands of homes, you are more likely to have honed this skill set.
- It is not ONLY about the offering price. An experienced listing agent knows this and is the one calling the shots here. First and foremost, she (or he) wants to see that your buyer is absolutely in love with the house, so they will hang in there, whatever obstacles get thrown in their path. You need to give her (or him) whatever she feels is in HER client’s best interest. It’s about the seller, NOT your buyer.
- When it comes to buying a home, it really IS about who you know. Especially today, when homes sell as soon as they are listed. An experienced agent has built relationships for years, if not decades, that they can tap into on your behalf.
- You will hear what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. In today’s hyper-competitive real estate market, you can’t afford to waste time or make hasty decisions you’ll regret later because you didn’t do your due diligence. Working with someone whose advice and council you can trust is absolutely critical.
If you’re in the market for a new home, it’s easy to get caught up in the current craziness and rush the process. But just as it’s wise to not settle for the first house you see, it pays to take your time when choosing a Realtor.