Hiring well - Clair and MaryHiring a Realtor? A common mistake happens when those hiring any professional use only easily measurable criteria for their hiring decision.

When buying a postage stamp, if it’s 55  cents at the post office and 60 cents at a grocery store, it’s pretty easy to decide that the reasonable choice is to buy it from USPS. Hiring a Realtor is far more complex – not all of it fits easily into a spreadsheet for side by side comparisons.

When hiring a Realtor, some things can be easily measured

  • Commission rates
  • Other fees (if any)
  • What costs the agent is covering, what costs you must cover
  • Years in the business
  • Online reviews (on trusted sites)
  • Recent references

Not so easily measured factors

With professionals that you’ll work with closely over time, there are many factors to consider, some of which don’t have easy data available for comparison.

  • How responsive is that agent in getting back to clients via text, email, and phone call?
  • Are the responses cursory? Are they detailed?
  • Is the communication clear? Are the marketing pieces good (including good language skills, photo choices)?
  • Is this person comfortable to be around?
  • Is he or she bossy, or a pushover?
  • What’s his or her experience in problem solving like generally? In your town? In your neighborhood?
  • How proactive is this person?
  • How discreet is this real estate agent?
  • How accurate is the agent’s pricing skills? Negotiation skills?

Video on hiring a Realtor



Silicon Valley home sellers are very savvy and go at their real estate transactions carefully. However, some may be tempted to try to line all the criteria up in side by side charts and attempt to make a hiring decision that way. Please beware the temptation of focusing on what is “easily measurable” as most important. Sometimes the most easily measurable factors may not be that important at all. Much of what is truly valuable in a Realtor’s suite of services and skills cannot be easily measured in a side-by-side comparison chart.


Related reading:

How to buy and sell homes at once without losing your mind (on this site)
Creating a cheerful, sunny, welcoming environment for selling a Silicon Valley home (this site)

Home selling FAQs (on popehandy.com)
Pre-sale inspections (on popehandy.com)
Pricing your Silicon Valley home competitively (on popehandy.com)


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