Newcomers or old-timers: who makes the best real estate agent?

There are a multitude of reasons that most people, when selling or buying a house or property, consult with a professional Realtor.  But like with any other field, there are no two real estate agents who are exactly alike.  When choosing whom to work with to help you buy or sell, you have to look at many different areas in your potential agents.

One area a lot of people overlook is, how long the agent has lived in the city where he’s doing business.  The longer the better, at least for this metric.  This isn’t to say a Realtor who’s only lived in town a couple years can’t do a good job for you, but there are things he simply won’t be able to do because he lacks knowledge of the history of the city and geographical area.

Nick and I both are natives of Fort Smith.  There probably isn’t a whole lot that people around our ages know about this city that we don’t.  We know the neighborhoods, and we know the “talk” about them.  We know price ranges on homes and commercial property in the various sectors of the city.  We know what something is selling for and what it should sell for.

Especially for people who aren’t long-time residents and are coming to Fort Smith to buy, having agents who can steer them in the right direction is a blessing.  We’ve lived here for so long, we sometimes take for granted our knowledge of the business climate, the school system, the roadways, municipal issues and the like.  This knowledge or parts of it can be very important to someone looking to buy or sell a home.

Another thing any lifetime or long-term resident of a city will know is the people.  I don’t mean they’ll have a circle of friends 20,000 strong.  I mean after spending all your life in the same place, you get an intimate feel for how locals think and operate.  You learn what’s important to the general population and how events have affected them and will affect them in the future.

For example, people in Santa Fe, New Mexico, tend to be very arts-oriented.  They’re into paintings, sculptures, weavings, Native American creations and crafts, music, etc.  College football?  Not too big in Santa Fe.  They don’t have a state university there, but they do have the Santa Fe University of Art & Design.

Here in Fort Smith, yes, the arts are important to many people.  But we know people who, if Moses was going to come down and teach the art of chiseling at the same time the Razorbacks were playing LSU, old Moses wouldn’t fill too many seats.  In fact, he’d probably have to stand out on Rogers Ave. and scalp tickets to the game just to break even.

My point isn’t about football or the arts or Santa Fe or Fort Smith.  My point is that every city has it’s own “culture,” a collective mentality with fairly predictable responses and actions on the parts of its residents.  Of course everyone’s an individual, but people do often act and think collectively.

Some cities have people who are highly Republican, others Democrat.  Some are military-minded, others are highly religious.  Some are friendly, some not so friendly.  Some will help you change a flat on your car, others will steal the tire.  Or the car.  There definitely tends to be a unique tone in every city.

So to wrap up, there’s a lot to know about any city, and lifelong residents will usually have learned a lot more than newcomers or people who’ve lived there for just a few years.  With Realtors, the knowledge that born-and-raised residents have can be advantageous in numerous ways to buyers and sellers.

We hope you’ll consider Nick and I when planning your next real estate transaction.  We’ll work hard to steer you in the right direction.

Find a good Realtor.  Count on experience and knowledge.