Interviewing Your Phoenix Real Estate Agent

Jonathan Dalton, Phoenix Real Estate AgentA couple of weeks ago I had a client ask me for my opinion on a property, hedging the question with “I know the customer’s always right, but what do you think about what we’re doing?”

Ardell at Rain City Guide wrote about this some time ago … you, Mr. Client, are not my customer. You’re my client. And with the distinction goes a decided difference in responsibility on my part.

The customer may always be right but a client is not. I would not be working in the best interest of my clients if I did nothing more than nod in agreement with everything they choose to do.

And this leads to the headline today, what to listen for when you are interviewing a real estate agent here in the Phoenix market or anywhere else for that matter. Honesty ought to be the goal, not blind fealty.

Put as succinctly as possible, you almost certainly will be better off hiring the agent who tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Whether it deals with an unreasonable list price, an ineffective offer price or general advice on a given property, a contrary opinion should be valued.

This isn’t to say you find the most ornery agent you can, one who is more interested in the fight than the subject. But you do need to find someone who will treat you honestly.

Listing appointments are a perfect example. It’s my belief that even those sellers who list their homes well above market value know full well that they’re doing so. The evidence is all around them. But they’re reaching for a dream and the dream’s better than the reality.

Enablers – agents who will list a home at any price – abound. It takes little to no effort to someone who will plant a sign in your front yard as a vehicle for their personal marketing campaign.

It’s more difficult to find someone who is honest enough to say “the home’s just not going to sell at this price.” It’s not what the sellers want to hear but it’s what they need to hear.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve spent time talking buyers out of buying the most expensive possible house. Read that one again. I make more money on a higher-priced sale but I’m saying not to buy the more expensive house.

Why? Because it didn’t fit their budgetary needs. I knew it. They were losing sight of it. It’s my job to make sure that they didn’t.

When you’re interviewing and hiring a real estate agent, steer clear of the enablers. They’re all around and they have next to no interest in what’s best for you. Look for those who’ll give you the honest opinion, even if it’s the last thing you want to hear.

You’ll be far better off in the end.

[tags]Phoenix real estate, real estate marketing[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at