There are all kinds of specialists in real estate….luxury home specialist, first time home buyer specialist, down-sizing specialist, affordable housing specialist, military specialist, etc….
Are you confused, yet? If I wasn’t a Realtor, I would be. There’s nothing wrong with agents who specialize and, in some cases, it could be a benefit to the client. I’m not going to address every specialization because we could be here forever. If you can think of it, I’m sure there’s a specialist for it.
There are two types of specializations that I do want to address. They are the buyer specialist and the listing specialist. A title like that might look impressive on a business card but these are two specializations that aren’t necessary and could even put you, as the client, at a disadvantage.
Top-notch real estate agents need outstanding negotiation skills. That is how we get our clients the best and strongest deal possible. An essential part of negotiation is being able to understand the psychology of the person on the other side of the negotiations so that we can predict as accurately as possible what they will agree to versus what they are asking for. This helps us get the best deal for your, our clients, and get it quickly.
Listing specialists only work with sellers and so are well versed in seller psychology. However, to effectively market and sell a home, it’s buyer psychology that’s important to know. An excellent agent knows exactly what buyers are looking for at that moment in your market. They know where to find those buyers and how to communicate with them so they see YOUR home and want it before they notice any of the other homes yours might be competing with. They know how to advise you to make your house the most attractive one to buyers of all the houses on the market so you get strong offers from the start and don’t have go back and forth before striking a deal. The best way to know and be current on all this buyer psychology is to be working with buyers as well. An agent only working with sellers is not nearly as familiar or up-to-date on what buyers are looking for in a home.
Let’s face it. Most of the U.S. is a seller’s market when it comes to real estate, right now. Buyers can expect to be in multiple-offer situations more than once when searching for a home. Buyer’s specialists are knowledgable about buyer psychology but that’s not going to help you when you’ve found your dream home and want to win against all the other competing offers. You want someone who can get into a seller mindset to help you craft an offer a seller is more likely to accept right away. If your agent also works with sellers, they know the terms that are most attractive to them (highest price isn’t always the winning offer). They’ve advised sellers while having to choose from multiple offers and have seen first hand what they want and what they absolutely will not accept in an offer. That’s the person you want on your side of the negotiating table.
It’s true that in many areas a specialist is a good thing. Home buying and selling ISN’T one of them. One of the keys to effective negotiation is being able to get into the mindset of the other side. That’s significantly more difficult to do if you’re never on the other side of a real estate deal. Don’t you want the best negotiator possible working for your best interests?
Agents who are as close to possible to a 50/50 split between buyers and sellers are the agents that will be able to negotiate best for you. That’s because they can easily put themselves and you in the shoes of the other side. It’s easy for them because they already are in those shoes on a regular basis. By doing that, you will come to an agreement that will get you into contract quickly and with the price and terms that make you happy.