Navigating the real estate market is a daunting task, particularly for members of the LGBTQ community. Hiring a gay REALTOR® who is not only experienced and credible, but also understands the unique needs of LGBTQ individuals, will make everything much easier for you. This article will guide you through the process of finding a REALTOR® that meets these criteria, ensuring a smooth and successful real estate transaction.
The Value of Experience in Real Estate
Understanding the importance of hiring an experienced real estate agent. An experienced REALTOR® will have a profound understanding of the market trends, pricing, and proven negotiation strategies. They’ve likely encountered a variety of scenarios, markets, and challenges over the years, equipping them with the unsurpassed knowledge to handle any situation that arises during the buying or selling process. So, what determines experience?
Mastering Real Estate: The 10,000-Hour Rule
The 10,000-hour rule: to be considered a master, you must work in your chosen field for a minimum of 40 hours a week for no less than 10 years. Let’s take a closer look at this so that you can fully grasp its importance. A real estate agent usually only works part-time for the first two or three years. They are building their business, learning new skills, and trying to find clients. Many of them have to work another job or side hustle during this period. Sadly, like all small businesses, over 80 percent of all these agents leave the business by year 3. But there is good news. Statistics show that agents who make it past the 5th year are most likely to stay in the career.
Between years 5 and 10, the REALTORS© who did not quit, tend to hit their stride. They work more consistently, selling at least one home per month. Those consistent home sales teach and train the agent on how to handle and overcome problems for the buyer and/or seller. It keeps them more involved and aware of their community, changing laws, and extraneous issues that may affect their client now or in the future. This was true for me in my first 10 years, and also of the hundreds of agents that I have spoken with over the past 30 years.
Making a Significant Investment: Choose Wisely
Remember, buying or selling a home is one of the, if not the, largest investments most people will ever make. Hire a real estate agent with at least 10 years of experience. One who sells no less than 24 homes a year and has a proven track record, great reviews, and is with a reputable broker.
Steps to Find an Experienced Gay REALTOR®
Below are my suggestions on how to find an experienced agent who will act as your fiduciary and get you through the process with far less stress. This is the same criteria that I have used to find agents for my clients all around the globe. After reading this, If you need help finding an agent anywhere, I am happy to help. Just call, text, or email me and I will connect you to one of the best. My information is in the footer at the bottom of this page.
- Researching Credentials and Track Record Start by researching potential REALTORS©’ backgrounds. Look for information about their years in the business (remember 10 or more), types of properties they specialize in, and their sales history (24 homes a year min). Websites like GayTucson.com often feature profiles of local gay REALTOR®s, including their professional achievements and client testimonials.
- Verifying Professional Credibility Credibility goes hand in hand with experience. Verify the REALTOR®’s licenses, certifications, accreditations, and memberships in professional organizations like the National Association of REALTORS© (NAR). These affiliations demonstrate professionalism and a commitment to serving the LGBTQ community.
- Assessing Market Knowledge An effective REALTOR® should have extensive knowledge of the market you are interested in. They should be able to provide insights on neighborhood dynamics, property values, and future market trends. This is particularly important for finding LGBTQ-friendly areas that align with your lifestyle and preferences. They should have lived in the area for at least 10 years.
- Evaluating Contract Expertise in Arizona Real estate transactions involve complex contracts and legal paperwork, especially in Arizona (a non-attorney state). AZ REALTORS© write the real estate contracts on behalf of the real estate client. It’s crucial to work with a gay REALTOR© who has a thorough understanding of these documents and can navigate through them efficiently. During your initial consultations, ask potential REALTORS© about their experience in handling contracts and negotiations.
- Seeking Referrals and Reviews Word-of-mouth and online Google reviews can provide very informative insights into a REALTORS© performance. Reach out to the LGBTQ community for referrals and read reviews on real estate websites. Personal experiences shared by previous clients can give you a clearer picture of what to expect and whether or not you and the agent are a fit.
- Interviewing Potential Realtors Once you’ve shortlisted candidates, arrange phone, zoom and in-person interviews. This is your opportunity to ask about their experience, approach to client needs, and how they handle challenges. Pay attention to their communication skills and how well they listen to understand your specific needs.
- Gauging Comfort and Compatibility The importance of feeling comfortable and understood cannot be overstated. Choose a REALTOR© who you feel genuinely connects with you, respects your needs, and demonstrates a commitment to achieving your real estate goals. Trust your instincts and if you notice any red flags, take them seriously.
Selecting the right REALTOR© involves considering a mix of experience, credibility, market knowledge, and personal compatibility. By taking the time to research and interview potential gay REALTOR®s, you will ensure a partnership that not only brings professional expertise to the table but also a deep understanding of your unique needs as an LGBTQ individual. Remember, the right REALTOR® is out there, and they can be the key to unlocking your real estate dreams.
A Note on Choosing an LGBTQ+ or Ally Agent
Warning: As I write this I am fully aware of the potential this article has to lead someone to the wrong agent. Yes, if you identify as LGBTQ+, it may be best to search for an LGBTQ+ agent first. However, I personally will not hire a gay REALTOR© just because they are gay. They must meet the criteria above, with no compromise. It has been my experience over the past 30+ years that many times, a straight ally is a much better match. If you cannot find an LGBTQ+ agent, find a straight ally. Again, contact me and I am happy to help.