Are you looking to buy a condo in downtown San Diego? [SPOILER ALERT!] Well, you should hire a downtown San Diego Realtor to help you. For free. End of discussion, right? Wrong. Here are a few tips to help you do it the right way and improve the experience for everyone involved:
1. Hire a downtown San Diego Realtor. No, I don’t mean an agent who thinks downtown is nifty or neat or lives in Rancho Bernardo (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and comes downtown for the the occasional night out or Padres baseball game. Downtown San Diego real estate isn’t t just about geography. It’s also about lifestyle and walkability. Every neighborhood is different. Every condo building is different. And there’s simply no way to “learn” the 92101 zip code unless you’re here 24 hours a day. Pick an agent who has lived downtown for a while. And a side note: If you meet an agent who says they work all of San Diego county, run away. As fast as you can. In today’s hyperlocal expert world, you don’t need a “jack of all trades, master of none”, to botch the process for you. Heck. You could do that all by yourself. (Going in the reverse, from city to suburbs, is a different story though. Another post to follow on that.)
2. Only hire one downtown San Diego Realtor. “But Alan”, you say, “don’t I want lots of agents working for me?” No. That’s because we get paid based on results. Think you’ve got 5 Realtors helping you? Here’s your wake up call: you’ve got exactly zero. And besides that, now you’ve got 5 pushy salespersons trying to “sell” you something so they can get paid. Gross. And here’s a kooky idea – be loyal, take their advice, and consider putting your relationship in writing like you would with a contractor or lawyer.
3. Listen to that downtown San Diego Realtor. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is but . . . . If you’re not going to take our advice, why are we having this conversation? I wouldn’t dream of telling you how to do your job. (As a side note, I probably have no idea what you do. Even after you explain it to me. It’s part of the philosophy major in me. The concept of time is also troublesome to me. See Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams or Nietzsche’s analysis of The Eternal Return concept. But I digress.) Yes, real estate seems simple on TV. Not to mention bitchy. There’s lots of good info out there on Al Gore’s interweb. But there are also a lot of moving parts and a lot of humans who can screw up a lot of things along the way during a real estate transaction. And those goofs can cost you time, money, or even the dream property you’re trying to purchase. It’s only a good deal if you actually own the property at the end of the day.
4. This isn’t sales. If it is, I quit. Seriously. If it feels like sales, you’re doing it wrong. Now, it used to be. But no longer. You have access to all the data. But that’s a very small piece of the puzzle. This is consulting, advising, a collaborative effort, a partnership. Make sense? Just nod.
Are you ready to form a team and accomplish an objective? Fantastic. Mortgage interest rates are still in the 4s. Hire a “real” downtown San Diego real estate agent! That goes for selling your downtown San Diego condo, too. Ask your agent why they charge 5 or 6 percent. The answer: Because that’s what they’ve been doing since the 1980s. What year is this again? Time marches on . . . .