Myths Of Real Estate: #6 Calling the Realtor with the most listings is a good idea
You’ve seen these guys. Lots of bus benches around town, ads all over the place often touting themselves as #1. They have a lot of listings and will often have all sorts of bells and whistles on their signs and websites. I call that good marketing. It is in some cases good business. I have never been convinced, however, that any of this indicates that they offer better service than the average Realtor.
Think about this for a moment. Do you think that a Realtor who deals in a higher volume will be able to devote the time, attention and above all, care that you want during such a major purchase? Us Realtors all have the same access to 99.9% of the same information after all so it’s unlikely that they will have some superior insights into the market that will make a noticeable difference to a home Buyer or Seller. You want someone who has the time to take and return calls for your needs and in some cases have a long chat with you, other professionals on your behalf or would be Buyers (if you have a listing). Such conversations are often fast paced but they must not be rushed either as longer conversations often yield valuable info that no one thought to share at first.
Like any business, Realtors can make more money by increasing their volume. That is not the same thing as having the best service. Having lots of listings means that in addition to having lots of places that may potentially sell, means that they have their signs on many lawns. This also means that their contact info in more spots on various websites (like realtor.ca) advertising their services. All of this gives more would be buyers a reason to contact them. That Buyer may end up buying that house or another one. Either way they get a lead on a client and it is easier for the Realtor to make more money with less effort spent on things like getting to know their clients and communicating with them fully.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that such a business plan is immoral. I’m saying that it’s incorrect to assume that a bigger business has a better product. Here’s the self test: Think of a topic that you really know a lot about. Now think of the biggest company/player in that field. Now ask yourself if that company or person has the best skills or product. In almost every case the answer is simply “No.” (In my head, I think of cooking first and the answer to the question is McDonald’s. A great business plan for making money but not exactly a champion of quality.)
In short, hire the person and not a list of properties. This transaction is a big deal and you want it thoroughly handled, not rapidly processed.