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28 Jan 2014
We’ve heard it all our lives, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” but is that really true? While there are certainly applications that are fitting for this cliche, I am going to challenge conventional wisdom and suggest that when it comes to hiring a professional (doctor, lawyer, priest, dentist, insurance agent, or a real estate agent), it is actually false. You can judge a book by its cover when you meet a professional you are thinking about hiring.
In 37 years as a professional, I have seen one disturbing pattern repeat itself over and over again: people who hired a professional who later admitted they made a mistake, although their first clue was a bad first impression. Had they stopped to think that maybe they can judge a book by its cover, they might have avoided hiring the wrong person. For most of these folks, it wasn’t just a matter of hiring the wrong person, it meant hiring someone who was either incompetent or dishonest or unethical. In so many cases that clients have shared with me in almost four decades, had they paid attention to their discernment, had they realized they could judge a book by its cover, they would not have made the mistake of hiring the wrong person.
Here’s a rule you can live by. When you talk to a professional the first time, including real estate agents, listen to your first impression. In this narrow context, your first impression is usually dead on. Listen to it. In this case, you can judge a book by its cover.
Having said all of that, the next obvious lesson from life is that just because a person looks good, smells good, and has a sweet voice and smile, and says all the right things does not mean you shouldn’t do some due diligence. Check everyone out. You have to. You’re about to entrust someone (a Realtor) with a lot of your money. But don’t disregard your first impression, because maybe you can judge a book by its cover.
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Buying a house is always a stressful time in life. Advice to Buyers: choose an agent who is competent, communicates well, and has exceptional follow-up and follow-through! You will spend a lot of time with your agent during the process. Choose someone likable. Go with your gut. I got to know Chuck during the process, and he's a great guy!
You need an agent who is competent to handle and help you negotiate the issues that come up during disclosure, home inspection, appraisal, etc. Chuck's competence is superb! I got truly professional, sound, straightforward advice.
Chuck's communication skills are exceptional: phone, email, fax. He has a wonderful ability to stay "on-point" with what is actually important and doesn't lead you astray on issues that aren't so important.
Chuck's turn-around time on questions, issue resolution, etc. was virtually always within 24 hours. He follows-up, follows-through. He does what he says he will do timely. This relieves a lot of Buyer stress!
Having a difficult time finding the right agent? Simplify your life! Choose Chuck Marunde. I did. [Name withheld by request]
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