This is part 2 of the Real Estate Neighborhood Expert series – click the link to see what started these posts. In a nutshell, this series began from an article I read in Inman News. The author was blasting agents that call themselves area experts. His thoughts were that these so-called experts would take high priced listings because they weren’t keeping abreast of local market conditions. I commented on his post and wrote my own response, which you can read using the above link. That post is very long so I’m going to create some shorter posts to highlight specific things referred to in the Inman article.
You’re not an expert if you don’t know current market value in your area
Personally, I don’t see many, if any, agents in the southwest suburbs proclaiming to be real estate experts for any specific area. Maybe they mail out to certain areas or subdivisions, but if they take the time, effort and expense to do that, they usually know the market very well in that particular area.
Some of us who read the article figured the author was writing as an appraiser (he wears two hats, a licensed agent and an appraiser). His gripe was agents that argue when their overpriced listing doesn’t appraise. I’d really like to see a correlation with one of the agents he was referring to. I’d want proof that these agents with overpriced listings are actually claiming to be local experts. If they are and they are pricing their listings too high, then they’re either putting out false advertising, they’re part-time agents that aren’t keeping up-to-date with market conditions (possibly agents that should be retired) or the author just had some bad run-ins with a couple agents that fought his low appraisal. And who is to say his appraisal was accurate?
No one should point the finger at an industry or segment of it because of a few bad situations
Real estate has good, knowledgeable and ethical agents and then there are agents that don’t keep up with the market, don’t follow the rules and don’t know the ethics they have agreed to abide by. This happens in every industry and I’ve run into appraisers that aren’t the best. I’ve had several appraisers adjust their original appraisal once I showed them proof that they were off the mark. One even admitted to using incorrect comparable listings.
Just because there are some bad apples, it doesn’t mean the entire industry is bad. My opinion of who can be a true local expert is as follows:
- A large town like Orland Park or Oak Lawn – very difficult to be a real estate expert as there are usually different school districts*, many schools* in those districts, and different areas and/or subdivisions. Too much to keep up with unless you have a photographic memory and read local news every day.
- A specific subdivision – you could be a local expert for most subdivisions, especially if an agent lives there. They still need to keep up with hyper-local news that might affect their particular subdivision and market conditions.
- A specific geographic area – again, depending on how large the area is, an agent could consider themselves a local expert if they keep up on the market and things happening in that specific area (this could combine multiple subdivisions). It helps if they live in the area.
My service area base is Orland Park but I work in a large perimeter of southwest suburbs. Most agents work this way, with a home base that they branch out of. Some agents will travel all over Northern IL and even into border towns that are part of our MLS.
*When customers ask about schools an agent, even a local expert, should never give personal opinion. I always provide school links to customers that ask. This way they can form their own opinions based on data from these sites.
If you’re looking for a property in any of the southwest or near west suburbs give The Judy Orr Team a call at 708-536-8200. You can also use the Contact Form.