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If You are Hiring a Neighborhood Specialist to Sell Your Home, there are Some Things You Absolutely

My husband and I were eating breakfast at the Good Egg the other morning and couldn't help but over hear a fellow talking to his elderly parents about their home. It was fairly obvious that his father had a hard time hearing and the louder he talked the more I was tuning in to what he was saying.

"Dad, the real estate market in Arizona is going crazy right now!" He said.

"Huh?" His father grunted


"HOURS?" His father yelled almost in half a question, half disbelief.

"Yes," He continued, "What you need to do is look for the signs in your neighborhood with the same real estate agent's name on them. These agents are the neighborhood specialists. They sell all the homes in the neighborhood and they know what is going on in that particular neighborhood. That is what you should do. That is how you find the best agents."

I nearly choked on my toast! I sort of heavy sighed and my ears were getting hot by this time. It was all I could do to compose myself. I continued listening, all the time in disagreement with much of what the well intentioned son said to his parents.

My husband leaned over and said, "Yeah right. Just because someone gets a bunch of listings in a neighborhood makes them a specialist. That poor guy is giving his parents the worst advice I have ever heard!"

"I know but it is probably what a lot of people think." I said.

"I think it is a hit and miss method of finding the best agent. Those attorneys that are ambulance chasers have their signs all over the TV and on bus benches, just because they have a sign out doesn't mean they are a specialist! Those guys are snakes?just like some real estate agents! You know, you have seen it. One crummy agent gets a listing and the next thing you know bam?they are listing homes all over the neighborhood. Doesn't mean they are good?a lot of them hang a sign and walk away. Anyone can call themselves a neighborhood specialist. What he is telling his father is ridiculous!" He sneered at me.

I couldn't believe this had hit a nerve with my quiet and well mannered husband. He was mad!

"Why are you so upset by this?" I asked.

"Its not a good way to select a professional. People should spend more time finding out what the agent does after the sale. I see you making deals happen. A lot of them would never close if you weren't on the phone naggin lenders, title companies and other agents!" He nearly shouted at me.

"Nag? I don't nag!" I said as I smiled at him.

"Well, you know what I mean." He said in a calmer voice.

He continued. "With the market the way it is, you know there are more agents going through real estate school now than ever before. Think about it. What if the agent can't negotiate strongly or they don't get the paperwork in and follow timelines? Not everyone is as obsessive / compulsive as you are! A lot of them are discount agents because they have nothing else to offer a client. The homeowner wants to save money and they think all agents are the same so they go with the discount agents. You know some of those agents are either not the sharpest tool in the shed or they are simply greedy and list a bunch of homes and have no marketing skills at all. Some of them lie and are crummy at life, how could they specialize in anything?" He snorted in disgust.

"You are right, you don't have to convince me." I agreed. "But you know there are a lot of professionals out there too. I work with them every day. Our office is filled with them." I repeated. "Filled with them."

"Yeah, yeah, but your office gives extensive training and you fully train the agents you bring in under your wing. I don't see a lot of brokerages doing that. Most of them show you the phone and say good luck. That is why so many people fail in the first 6 months." He said. "You know most companies aren't like that at all. Most of the agents I have seen don't have a clue."

"I know, I know. You are right. There ARE a lot of unprofessional agents that really don't care how they treat their clients, they are just in it to collect a check. More people should shop around and find the right agent to sell their home. I agree with you so lighten up." I said to him.

Of course I slipped over discreetly and passed this fellow and his parents my business card and introduced myself.

His mother quickly asked, "What neighborhoods do you work?"

I just smiled and said, "A lot of different neighborhoods, all in the East Valley."

"Oh." She responded coolly.

After what her son had just told her, suspected they wouldn't call. The unfortunate thing is they have about a 50/50 chance of getting someone skillful. And in my opinion, skill is only a small piece of the pie. I think it really takes five key ingredients to find a truly successful person in any industry, especially real estate because it is most people's largest asset and they are paying you a lot of money to use great care and skill in selling their home.

Skill is only the first key ingredient.

Skill is completing all the necessary documents in a timely manner and providing the sellers with an education on the process of selling their home. Also, skill is very important in pricing a home correctly and marketing is huge. Getting maximum exposure is honestly what most of it is about. Are you wondering what the other four are?

Number two is character. Character is a person's internal compass that guides their decisions. It is a guide to treating people honestly, respectfully and fairly.

Number three is philosophy. Philosophy is how deeply they ponder character, situations and people. Philosophy is sort of the purpose behind the character. How they see life in general I guess. My favorite philosophy is a simple one that most of us learned as a child. It is called the ant philosophy and defines the character qualities of work ethic, purpose and diligence.

Number four would be attitude. Attitude is how they respond to people and situations. When something goes wrong, are they negative or do they have an attitude of getting things done without anger, procrastination, and pettiness. Do they know how to motivate others to work with them or do they tick people off wherever they go?

Lastly, number five is goals. Goals are important because you have to have a plan in selling your home. How quickly do you need to sell? How much will you make on the sell of your home, what fees are you looking at? Without a goal or target, how do you know where to aim? Goals stem from both needs and wants. Strong goals push you toward results.

To make the picture a little clearer in your mind, let me ask you, have you ever worked with someone that had a high level of skill, character, goals, and philosophy about their job, yet displayed a crummy, negative attitude? Or perhaps their attitude was good, yet they just didn't have any direction or goals in life and you suspected they would never get very far in their career, let alone their life. Or worse still is maybe they had a great attitude, strong skills, strong philosophies, and they achieved their goals but they stole, lied and cheated to get what they wanted.

When selecting an agent to help you with buying or selling a home, it is in your best interest to find someone that works on all five key ingredients that will make them a success, isn't it? Of course it is! When they are truly a success in every sense of the definition, you will enjoy success too, right?

Michelle Shelton lives in Gilbert, Arizona on horse property with her husband Paul and their five children. Michelle is an author, educator, recruiter and licensed Arizona REALTORŅ. If you would like Michelle to assist you in purchasing or listing a property in Arizona, please visit her website: or contact her directly at

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