In my years in real estate, I have become profoundly aware that Seattle area agents tend to fall into four categories: Lackey, Warrior, King, and Ambassador.
When interviewing an agent, you would do well to assess which category the agent falls into, and whether or not you want to work with that personality type.
The Lackey is essentially an order-taker. If he has opinions, he keeps them to himself. He does whatever his clients tell him to do without objection. Sounds good – unless you stop to think that the reason you’re hiring an agent is to take advantage of his experience and expertise. You want and need guidance!
The Warrior believes nothing was ever gained without a battle. She thinks she is serving her clients well by wrangling over every detail of the transaction with everyone else involved. Great! She’s looking out for your interests big time.
However, this approach tends to fan your emotional flames and elicit the fighter in the agent and buyers or sellers on the other side of the transaction. A cooperative spirit flies out the window, and thus the Warrior’s antagonism often torpedoes what otherwise could have been a successful transaction.
The King tells you how it is. For example, rather than working with you to mutually arrive at a starting price for your home, he tells you unequivocally what it will sell for. And he certainly isn’t going to get his hands dirty helping you prep the home for the market.
The King values his time more than yours and makes that evident in such ways as refusing to preview properties for you when you’re searching for a home.
A more disastrous way the King’s arrogance shows up is in having little regard for licensing or real estate law – after all, he’s above the law. The trouble that can get you into should be obvious.
The Ambassador takes a collaborative approach to the practice of real estate. She educates her clients on best strategies for buying and/or selling. She is a tough, but fair-minded negotiator who seeks agreements that work for everyone, and she strives to keep emotions cool.
The Ambassador collaborates with the transaction’s other principals to solve problems as they arise, and looks for whole new solutions when roadblocks are met. Her primary goal is a successful, peaceful transaction that meets her clients’ primary goals.