Dog Eat Dog

Last week I had a friend of mine tell me about his plan to both sell his house and buy another one. They live on the Peninsula and naturally have decided to use an agent from their local community to sell the place. OK, so far, so good. After they sell it they have an interest in a couple of other communities, also on the Peninsula, which they would be interested in living in going forward. My friends plan is to work with a different real estate agent in each one of those communities.

“Why would you do that” I asked.

“Because we want to have somebody with experience in each local market area” he said. ” Someone who really knows the ins and outs”

I’ve actually heard this strategy before, not often, but I’ve heard it. You know what? It really doesn’t work out the way my friend thinks it’s going to. Here’s my opinion…a buyer needs an advocate when looking for a house. More than an agent or a sales person, an advocate who’s concerned with what’s best for them. An advocate will tell you the truth when you’re about to make a mistake. An advocate will help you to make the right decision because that person is on your side. When you choose the method mentioned above you’re going to get competitive sales people who will likely fall on the side of their own self interest when push comes to shove. Let’s say my friend likes a particular house in Foster City and his wife actually prefers a house in Belmont. If you have two different agents working with you (and against each other) they’re going to fall on the side of their house/town/neighborhood being the best…whether it is or not! An adovcate is going to point out the strengths and weaknesses with each house so that you can make the best decision regardless of it’s location. Having an agent in each community basically pits one sales person against the other to see who’s going to get your business. You as a buyer have chosen a transaction over a relationship…and that doesn’t really serve you.

The truth of the matter is, an experienced agent can certainly handle showing you property in several Peninsula communities. I’ve  sold homes representing buyers in every town in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. I can handle it. So can lots and lots of other good agents out there. Honestly, it really is a bit different when your listing a home. That’s actually a different sales process and it doesn’t hurt to get a little more local…and certainly it makes sense to have a different agent if you’re torn between Foster City and Pleasanton. You need a local representative then, but not if you’re deciding between Foster City and Redwood City, or Burlingame and San Carlos. Pick one good agent and be loyal to that person…it’ll pay off for you!

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