Choosing a real estate agent

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Today, we have many more choices than we used to. Back in the day — as we say as we get older — there weren’t that many. If you wanted pictures taken in Hillsboro, you went to John Tom. He took my graduation and wedding pictures many years ago. He never said much, just kind of drifted around at the wedding almost unnoticed. Most events with a crowd, he was there with his camera. Looking back, there were others as well.

If you needed hardware items, you went to Sparky Siders or Fairley’s Hardware. My grandfather bought me my first ball glove from Sparky. Lumber, you went to Highland Enterprise. There just wasn’t that much to choose from. And we were all OK with that because those businesses of old served us well.

Now, we have several great photographers in our area. We can also take flawless pictures from our cell phones. If we need a hardware item, that can be done through Amazon today and be delivered to our door tomorrow.

The last time I checked, there were around 100 real estate agents in Highland County alone. Agents who are male, female, full-time, part-time, or ones that just have a license on the wall, but do not practice the art of helping buyers and sellers.

In our world today, we can not only choose who takes photos for us, but we have countless other choices we make every day.

Wouldn’t you agree, when you get down to it, we all tend to like people that are most like us? We all have those folks we just can’t connect with and that’s OK. And like any profession we need to hire from, there are folks that we connect with better than others. Whoever you choose for your Realtor, you will be spending a good bit of time together. Doesn’t simple logic tell you that it will make your life easier if you feel a connection with them?

There can be some other things to consider. Do they dress well, drive a decent car, have good grammar? Do they seem to be well informed about your needs and know the local market to be able to help you? Do they not only talk to you, but also listen when you speak? Did they show up to meet you on time? Are they prepared?

Almost any agent will gladly come to speak with you before you commit. It will be a very informative meeting if you listen and ask questions. If you’re selling your home, the agent will have a tailored presentation just for you. This will show you how they plan to market your home and what you can expect from them. I would even suggest having interviews with two to three agents. If you’re making a purchase, the same rules apply. Ask questions and listen. Take notes during each interview — things you liked, and things you didn’t.

Whatever is important to you, ask the questions needed. This will give you enough information to make your decision. Lastly, listen to your instincts. The bottom line is that of all the agents out there, you are doing the hiring. If you like and trust the person, this can be all you need to get the task accomplished. Each of us was blessed at birth with certain talents and abilities. It is possible to sell your home without a real estate agent. However, there are some things where it is best to hire a professional. This is one of them.

There’s a small voice inside us all that guides us well, if we only listen. We have all ignored that voice at times and paid dearly for it. Make the choice and go with it.

Highland County has changed since the days of John Tom. We now have many choices for many things. Speaking from an agent’s point of view, if we help you get what you want, we get what we want. too. We all win.

Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.

Randy Butler Contributing columnist Butler Contributing columnist