We all know that in every field there is a vast difference between hiring an ‘okay’ employee versus a standout talent -- a real rockstar go-getter. It’s the same with your real estate agent. If you’re planning to buy or sell a Santa Barbara home any time soon, you’ll certainly want more of a superstar on your side…yet how do you find the right local real estate agent? You want to sign up someone who has both the game plan and the skills to sell your home (or find you your new one). But with every real estate agent advertising their positive points, how will you find one who will turn in a performance to match?
The most agreed-upon way to find a real estate agent who fits the bill is to ask for a personal recommendation from family or good friends. That’s the route most often cited, and it’s nearly foolproof. I say ‘nearly’ because -- let’s face it -- we’re not always on the same page with every family member (not you, of course, Mom!). In practice, the agent who worked for your nearest and dearest may not always be the best fit for you.
Another way to identify real estate agents in Santa Barbara with whom you might work well is by visiting local open houses. If he or she makes a good impression, be sure to take the agent's name and contact details. When you get home, do an Internet check. Does she or he have a well done and current website and blog? The type of listings you seek? Fleshed-out testimonials? Great real estate agents tend to have specialties and niches and it’s valuable for you to work with someone whose profile fits your needs.
After you’ve narrowed the field, as with any vendor, even though this step takes a little more time and effort than you might wish, it’s still the best practice to interview two or three potential candidates before making your choice. And no matter what method you settle on to find your Santa Barbara real estate agent, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask detailed questions. The two of you will be having many in-depth conversations from now on, -- so taking a few extra minutes should certainly be no imposition at this juncture. (If it is, he or she is the wrong one!)
Ask about specific recent transactions, and keep the conversation going by delving into details. Ask what designations the agent has, what additional training he or she has undergone, what memberships or advance positions he or she has held. By asking in-depth questions, not only will you gain more market understanding, but you’ll get a sense of how that candidate will perform for you.
In case you have been thinking of buying or selling a Santa Barbara property, give us a call.
Year after year one of Santa Barbara’s top realtors, our office is here in Santa Barbara & Montecito to help with your Santa Barbara home search and Montecito home search.