A conversation about Beacon Hill condos:
Yesterday morning I was at a Beacon Hill coffee shop reviewing new Boston condo listings on may laptop. I noticed that the lady next to me was looking at my laptop watching what I was doing. After not too long, she asked me if I was a Beacon Hill real estate agent. I said that I was and then she unloaded with a recent experience she had in buying a condo. The woman, told me she had such a frustrating experience with the agent she had used. To make matters even worse, this agent also happened to be an agent that was referred to her by a friend of hers. As the conversation continued I found out how this agent was referred, it turns out the friend referred her because she was a very honest and polite person. Now I have been in this business for 20 years and the one thing I can say is there are believe it or not, honest and polite people in the Boston real estate business. But, I can also say that many of these polite and honest people are not real estate agents that I would hire. The woman, who will remain anonymous told me that it was very frustrating during the searching period because this agent knew very little about the Boston condo market. She said she spent so much time walking around at on Sundays going to open houses that didn’t meet her needs or wants, this was her first clue that she did not deal with Boston condominiums very often. The second thing that she said was frustrating was that whenever she asked her about the pricing of a condo they looked at, the standard answer was “I think its a fair price”
This is a very typical situation that I see all of the time in the Beacon Hill area. Many buyers may get referred to an agent that a friend suggests maybe an agent they had used or heard about out in the suburbs searching for single-family homes. The Boston Beacon Hill condo market is very different than dealing with homes out in Lexington, MA. I have often written on the importance of working with a specialist in the area you want to buy in. If I were selling a home in Winchester, you can bet that I would want to use an agent that sells there often and knows the pricing and other aspects of selling in that area or at the very least, someone that is good with marketing. Likewise the same applies with Beacon Hill condos and townhomes. I have often said to sellers that a typical agent cannot just flip on a switch and be great at marketing to condo buyers when 99.5% of their time they are marketing to buyers of suburban homes.
One of the reasons you hire a Beacon Hill real estate broker is for their expertise and knowledge, an agent can be nice, but they also need to have knowledge in the area of where you want to buy a Boston condo. Being nice is fine but when it comes to negotiating, that agent needs to be tough and always put their client’s best interest first. When the time comes for a person to sell their condo, a condo specialist is even more important. Having an agent that is constantly marketing to condo buyers is important. Hiring an agent that spends most of their time marketing to buyers looking in Winchester or Lexington, may not be the best way to go even if that agent is a very nice person.
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