In an industry where honesty and transparency are rare, it is refreshing to come across a Realtor who tells it like it is. Regrettably I may never be able to use Gary Lucido because he operates in Chicago and I live in Texas (and I am not likely to move to Chicago anytime soon). But I still feel compelled to highlight him and his ideas.
In an article Gary wrote seven years ago (I just stumbled upon it now), he gives some brutally honest advice on how to choose, and more importantly, how not to choose a real estate agent. It is the kind of advice you are not likely to hear from one in a thousand agents. What are some of the tips he shares?
• Do not hire a friend or relative
• Do not go with a referral from another agent
• Do not go with a referral from a friend
• Do not go with a high volume agent
• Do not go with a highly visible agent
• Do not go with a big, highly visible brokerage
All of these are the complete opposite of the advice offered by most realtors and the mainstream media, but they are also sage advice. Unfortunately, these tips only work for home sellers who are informed and courageous, and there are just not that many of them.
Most home sellers, who know next to nothing about selling their home, tend to choose the path of least resistance when choosing an agent: they choose someone they know or someone a friend knows. It gives them a vague feeling of comfort to select such an agent.
What Gary, who is a discount Realtor, is saying in his article is that there are better criteria to use when choosing an agent and one of the most important factors is money…yes money. You see Gary offers the same full service as every other agent in town, only he offers it at a lower commission.
When people shop for anything in their life, they almost always consider money as one of the factors, but not a real estate agent. Why is that? It seems to me that with a transaction this big and this important, choosing the best agent at the lowest price is better than choosing an agent who is the most familiar. There are, however, two challenges to picking the best agent at the lowest price.
First, most home sellers do not know how to tell a good agent from a bad one. And second, the real estate industry has convinced home sellers that there must be something wrong with any agent who charges less than the customary amount.
I know most home sellers will continue to choose lousy, over-priced real estate agents they know rather than learn to identify a good one offering a discount. As for me, if I were living in Chicago, I would give Gary Lucido a call. I know how to tell a good agent from a bad one and I sure as hell like keeping more of my hard-earned equity. If you would like to be like me, check out my new book The Intelligent Home Seller.