Several years ago, I received a call from a real estate agent in Simsbury, a town located about an hour or so from Ledyard. She wanted to know if a home owner could use a motorized boat on the water near my Inchcliffe Drive listing in Gales Ferry. After I laughed, it occurred to me what a disservice this agent was providing her client.
The National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers rates “neighborhood knowledge as one of the main reasons a consumer selects an agent. Yet I’m constantly amazed that agents representing buyers, show properties in towns and neighborhoods they know little about.
I believe part of the reason this happens so often is due to the Connecticut Multiple Listing Service. While I continue to be a huge supporter of the concept of a state wide multiple listing service, it seems to have provided a vehicle for agents to show properties out of their geographic comfort zone. While I’m sure their GPS system will get them to the listed property, how can an agent adequately represent a client in a town or neighborhood they know nothing about?
When I was new in the real estate business in CT, I had this fear that I would sell a buyer their dream home and they would find out the day after closing that a shopping center was being proposed right outside their backyard. As a result, I have always been diligent about following the local news concerning land use issues. Keeping up with the news is the easy part of knowing a neighborhood.
How does an agent know that one subdivision in town sells for more than another even though the housing is seemingly the same? How would you know if a subdivision or a particular street has had a history of water problems? Unfortunately that information isn’t usually found in the local newspaper, a book, or as part of a real estate course. Neighborhood knowledge is accumulated from experience. Agents, before you call yourself a neighborhood expert, make sure you are one.
Photo above taken on Smith Pond in Gales Ferry. No motorized boats here.