Live and Work Local

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Today’s question: Why do Sellers occasionally choose out of town Agents to list their homes? It always surprises me when unusual signs pop-up or new listings come on the MLS offered by Agents who don’t live or work here. There are almost 1200 Realtors in Santa Cruz County. You’d think Sellers would have plenty of options right here in their own backyard. I guess I can think of a few reasons why Sellers might hire non-local Agents.  I just can’t think of any good ones.

Here are a few:

  • Sometimes people hire an out of town Agent because he/she is their friend and they don’t want to risk their friendship.
  • Sometimes they know too many local Realtors. They are afraid of offending them all so they pick an out of town Realtor thinking it will go over better.
  • Sometimes they have a sister or aunt who is a Realtor elsewhere that promises to take care of them.
  • Sometimes they look for a Discount Broker who’ll stick their home on the MLS for a nominal fee. They don’t want any other services. So they don’t care whether the Broker lives here.
  • Sometimes they feel compelled to use the same Agent that helped them buy the property ten years ago when they moved here, figuring they worked locally in the past at least once.
  • Sometimes they think Silicon Valley Agents have special access to wealthy Silicon Valley Buyers. (There are always rumors about secret CEO email lists floating around.)
  • Sometimes they think 408 or 605 or 415 agents know how to speak the secret language of tech or money. Sometimes they think they are more sophisticated or experienced because the median price in their zip codes is higher.

Now back to the reality of realty… all real estate is local. Every market has its own unique dynamic. No two are the same. Over the years, quite a few clients have asked me to represent them in the hottest spots around Silicon Valley, but I’ve never agreed to take on any of those lucrative listings.  

Why? Because even under the best of circumstances, I know I can’t generate the same results a qualified and truly local Realtor can. Being a good fiduciary is more important than being a good friend or family member.

Success in the multiple-offer marketplace depends on knowing local agents, local lenders, local ordinances and the lay of the local landscape. You have to know all the nuances and intimate details. That’s something you only get from living in a place for a long time.  

 

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