I don’t plan on buying or selling any real estate anytime soon. The good folks at TJC Real Estate helped me find my home in Stapleton last year. If I were in need of a real estate agent, of course I’d use TJC. Besides them being the best, they pay me to write on their blog. The least I can do is support them (deservedly so) and make apologies to every third friend of mine, every second cousin, every fourth new person I meet, every other stay at home mom getting back into the workforce and the seemingly endless number of acquaintances that decided to get their real estate licenses.
Does it seem like everyone and their brother is an agent? When I used TJC last year to buy my Stapleton home, I found myself apologizing to numerous friends and associates for not using their services. It was like breaking up with someone and trying to just be friends.
“I’m sorry Jack, but I’m using TJC Real Estate.”
“I knew you were with someone else! How long has this been going on?”
“Well Jack, I’ve known Tom and Kari for over ten years but I’ve been looking for a new home only for the past two weeks.”
“Did you sign anything?”
“Like a pre-nup?”
“This is ridiculous. I’ve been with you through thick and thin.”
“You just got your real estate license last month, Jack.”
“I helped you move into your last house!”
“That is because you are my friend. Plus I bought you beer. And it was five years ago!”
“What are you two talking about?”
“Oh, hi Jane. I was telling Jack about my new house hunt.”
“That is wonderful Brett! Congratulations! What are you looking for? I can set up showings for you for tomorrow.”
“Jane, it’s not you. It’s me. I have to do this without you.”
“You aren’t with Jack are you? His diaper is wet!”
“No Jane, I’m using TJC Real Estate to buy a place in Stapleton.”
“Oh, well they are very good and certainly know the Stapleton neighborhood better than most, but what about me? I am family!”
“Jane, you are the ex-wife of my estranged uncle I haven’t seen in five years. I didn’t even know you lived in Denver.”
“I moved back a year ago.”
“And I haven’t heard from you until today? Wait, did you know I’m buying a house? Stupid Facebook updates!”
“Um, gee, look at the time. I really need to go to my yoga class, then pick up the kids from school and head to my night job at the restaurant.”
“When do you even have time for real estate?”
“Oh I do it on the side.”
I really do have a ton of friends and associates that are agents. One of my buddies in another state just announced he is quitting his business to change careers and get into real estate. I wouldn’t be surprised if my 80 year old mom does it next.
Be careful whom you choose to help you buy or sell a house. This is a big deal and shouldn’t be taken lightly. You don’t know what you don’t know and a reputable firm that has been around for years is a safe and smart way to go. Don’t do your friend a favor and put them in charge of your future unless they are qualified, know what they are doing, work hard and add value.
In my humble opinion, for every ten Jack and Janes there is really only one legitimately strong and effective real estate agent. Considering how many people have licenses, that still gives you a large pool to choose from. But then narrow down to agents that specialize in the neighborhood you are targeting or the house style you desire. Narrow down more by finding out where they live and if they are in a similar life cycle situation. Narrow down more by their qualifications – homes bought and sold in the last couple years, expertise, knowledge, etc. Narrow down more by deciding if you actually like spending time with them.
You are going to have to let down your neighbor’s hair stylist’s hot sister or brother in favor of someone that lives for the passion and excitement of placing you in your dream home. And they must have the experience and expertise to pull it off for you too. Choose wisely. It’s not a magic trick. Not just any card will do.