Have you ever thought about real estate agent personalities? I write periodically about how important it is that you have a great real estate agent, but rarely do I discuss personalities or behaviors. First, you want an agent who is knowledgeable and competent. That’s a given. Then you certainly want an agent who is trustworthy, someone you can trust to represent your best interests. That’s a given. But you also want someone you feel you can work with, right?
That’s where personality comes into the picture. Real estate agent personalities run the gamut from quiet to boisterous, from reserved to giddy, humble to arrogant, serious to humorous, and so on. One could say that what I’m describing are really reflections of a person’s personality or personality traits, and that there is much more to a person’s total personality than learned behaviors. That’s probably true, but we often identify a person’s personality by how they relate to us in a given situation.
A real estate agent’s personality is often reflected in what they did in an earlier career. So a Realtor who was an accountant or an engineer will typically be a detail person who pays great attention to trivia, which is good, but which also can drive some people crazy because of how that directs conversations. My own prior career as a lawyer would normally suggest, I think, that I would tend to be confident and arrogant. Those who know me best tell me I am confident but not arrogant. Thank God for that, but it’s a process and I continue to strive for humility and wisdom. Lawyers are rarely good salesmen and are known for being deal killers in the real estate business, but fortunately I started as a Realtor and later became a lawyer. My heartbeat even as a lawyer was to facilitate real estate transactions and not kill them.
Of the five major personality traits recognized by psychologists (see Big Five Personality Traits), “agreeableness” includes aspects that have a direct impact on how you and your real estate agent will relate while you are shopping for your next home, or listing your home for sale. Here is the range of “agreeableness.”
- I am interested in people.
- I feel others’ emotions.
- I have a soft heart.
- I make people feel at ease.
- I sympathize with others’ feelings.
- I take time out for others.
- I am not interested in other people’s problems. (reversed)
- I am not really interested in others. (reversed)
- I feel little concern for others. (reversed)
- I insult people. (reversed)
- I like being isolated. (reversed)
Where your agent is on this scale of agreeableness is no small matter. You definitely don’t want an agent who is near the bottom of this list. I live in Sequim, and I would say that many of my Realtor friends in Sequim are agreeable and very pleasant to work with. We are lucky in Sequim that way. As has been said by many of my clients, “Sequim has so many genuinely kind people.” And I think that is true of our Realtors, too, but you still want to choose the best Realtor for you, right? You want a Realtor who is agreeable, but not milk toast either, and you want someone who is willing to serve you faithfully, not out of his own self-interests.
Agreeableness is a tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others. . . . Agreeable individuals value getting along with others. They are generally considerate, friendly, generous, helpful, and willing to compromise their interests with others.
Disagreeable individuals place self-interest above getting along with others. They are generally unconcerned with others’ well-being, and are less likely to extend themselves for other people. Sometimes their skepticism about others’ motives causes them to be suspicious, unfriendly, and uncooperative. (Quote from Wikipedia)
What do you look for in a real estate agent? I’ve written elsewhere that it is important to do your due diligence on the Internet to find out if it appears your agent is competent, knowledgeable, and comes off as honest and trustworthy, but then I also recommend that you interview your agent (or several) and see if your personality meshes with your agent’s personality. You’ll know the answer to that question almost immediately.
Last Updated on July 27, 2012 by Chuck Marunde