What Exactly Is Experience?

This seems like a real basic question, huh? I’ve been on record here before that I think it’s real, real important for folks to work with an experienced agent when buying or selling a home. An experienced agent will 1) save you money, 2) sell your home for more money, 3) keep you out of trouble…and these are just to name a few. Here’s a couple of examples of inexperience:

* An agent who just got their license.  OK, I know that lots of these folks have boundless energy and enthusiasm that can help you get an edge. The fact is that most of these folks don’t have a clue. I once had a guy I know who just got his license tell me his plan was to offer deep discounts to folks to work with him. Now there’s a unique marketing approach…”I don’t know what I’m doing, so to compensate for that I’ll either charge you less or give you a big kickback”. Imagine that in another profession…your Dentist for example. Beleive me…I was once there too…it’s hard.

* An agent who’s been around forever but only does a transaction or 2 a year. I think this is more worrisome than the new agent because so many changes happen so fast in this business that it’s very hard to keep up with what works or what’s legal unless you’re doing it everyday. Having a license for along time doesn’t mean your experienced. I’ve asked agents like this questions like “Do you have the disclosures available?” and they haven’t gotten around to doing them yet. In Foster City alone, there must be a dozen changes in individual condo/townhouse projects every year that effect their value  and unless you’re out there you couldn’t possibly know anything about these changes.

Here’s a few other things an experienced agent gives you:

* Access to reliable inspectors, contractors, cleaning people, movers, painters, lenders, Title people and stagers.

* Relationships with other agents that can help you either get the best offer or buy the home.

I guess I write this because I always seem to meet people who tell me about some horrible experience that had working with someone. About 80% of the time that person lacked experience. There are lots of wonderful experienced real estate agents around. Choose wisely.


  1. Patrick says:

    Great post…always enjoy reading your insight. May I suggest a weekly posting on the FC real estate market…hot or not?

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