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We Found the Perfect Agent(s)

August 14 2012

tech houseWhen I last posted about My Tech House Hunt, my husband and I had decided to temporarily put it on hold. However, with the stork circling above us and our new arrival due in less than two months, we're realizing that getting some extra space might just be a priority once again. Thankfully, we've finally found the right partners (yes, that's plural) for our journey. So, without further ado, I'm picking up this column with an ode to our perfect agents!

My last article about choosing an agent was more about questions than answers. This article is going to be the opposite. We have found the answer to the "How do I pick an agent?" question. And that answer actually comes in the form of two people: our wonderful husband-and-wife team, Eric and Carrie KimmellEric and Carrie Kimmell.

Meeting Eric and Carrie was strictly a matter of luck and coincidence. (Eric was the listing agent for an open house we stumbled into.) We'd met several agents and had several agents referred to us earlier in our hunt – but had never really "connected" with any of them and none of them had tried very effectively to build a relationship with us. Then, we met Eric and his wife. When we did, choosing them to help us in our house hunt was easy. Why? Let me count the ways:

1) They understand our priorities.

We're a young, married couple with a baby on the way. They are a young, married couple with a 2-year-old. They've leveraged this understanding to help us in our real estate journey. For instance, I wasn't sure about how kid-friendly a certain property was going to be; so, when we went to look at it, Carrie and Eric brought their adorable little boy along with them and let him cruise around to see how he interacted with the property.

My intuition was right – the house had too many stairs and too small a backyard (covered mostly in concrete) to be great for kids. Would I have realized this without watching their child explore the property? I'm not sure. As a first-time parent, I feel completely clueless 90% of the time. (I'm told this is normal.)

2) They're honest.

At the property I just mentioned, Eric and Carrie cared more about what was right for us than about the sale. I asked Carrie what she thought of the property and she said, "I've been worried about my little boy the entire time we've been here. As a mother, I can't imagine living here without feeling nervous. I believe we can find you something better."

3) They're flexible and accessible.

This is one of the greatest things about a husband-wife team. If Eric isn't available, Carrie is – and vice versa. It means there's never a delay in responding to our phone call or email – and scheduling showings is a breeze.

4) They exert ZERO pressure.

Eric and Carrie have showed us several properties now and, at each, they provided the relevant background information (complete with a buyer CMA), then stood back and let us explore. When each of these properties wasn't right, there was no pushback. Instead, they used what we liked and didn't like about each property to help them make better recommendations.

5) They understand the local market, right down to the neighborhood level.

After several showings and many conversations, Carrie and Eric totally dialed in to what we're looking for. They know which neighborhoods can deliver on our criteria and which cannot.

The "Brand" Factor

I had a nice chat with our CEO, Victor Lund, about finding an agent. One of the things that intrigued him most was that franchise and brand were not important in my choice of agent.

Would it be nice if my agents had a powerful national brand behind them (a Century 21 or Coldwell Banker, for example)? Sure it would. But what mattered most was the agent(s) themselves. I chose the person, not the company.

Wish Us Luck

We've got a showing scheduled for tomorrow. Wish us luck!