What you need to do in Choosing a Realtor
Posted by Fred White on
Whether you are a “First Time” buyer or seller, or if you are looking for a “Rental” either residential or commercial, or that particular person looking to “Up size” or “Down size” into that 2nd or 3rd purchase? The following will offer you some insight as to why you want to be particular in how to choose a Realtor ® that is going to be beneficial for you and your family. In the event it may be a commercial property, for you and your business.
Get recommendations from family and friends. Even if your friend’s realtor works in a different area than where you plan to buy or where you need to sell, talk to that agent anyway. They may work a larger area than you think, or very likely can recommend someone they know who works the area you are interested in.
Get recommendations from mortgage reps or attorneys. These people are in the business and have dealt with a lot of real estate professionals. They know who’s good and who’s not.
You don’t necessarily need or want to hire the busiest agent in town. You know the one…the agent with so many signs in the neighborhood you’ll trip over one if you go out for a walk. If that agent is stretched too thin they may not be able to give you the best service. An agent does not need to have earned the areas sales club awards every year to be a good agent.
If you don’t know anyone with a recommendation, call some real estate offices, request for an agent who may be active in the area you are interested in. They’re usually open in the evenings and on weekends, too, so call when you can devote the time to have a long talk with the agent. Do they seem friendly and helpful to you? Ask them for some references. Don’t be surprised if the agent is taken aback a little by this question. Believe it or not, no one asks us for references, even though they should.
Don’t feel you need to limit your search of Real Estate offices to just a couple of miles radius of the area you have interest in, either. Most agents are familiar with many towns and neighborhoods- not just the ones in the immediate vicinity of their office. Many agents will service an area that encompasses an entire county, or two, or even three. It’s the agent you need to feel comfortable with; that is the most important thing.
Many agents have made Real Estate their second, third, or even fourth career in life. The profession is loaded with ex-managers, ex-teachers, ex-anything salesman, etc. This is a good thing. After all, real estate is a business- someone who’s been in the business world AND the real estate world has been around the block a few times. All too often I’ve had run-ins with agents who ONLY knew Real Estate and have never been in the “real” world with the rest of the population. Some of those people are perfectly competent, but some of them don’t have a clue. Ask prospective real estate agents you meet about their past lives. Find out where they came from.
Ask potential agents about their ugliest transaction- the one that went the most horribly wrong. First, this can always make for an entertaining story. Second, it will relax the agent and possibly get their “true” personality to come out. If they start trashing the other parties involved in the story and telling the tale like they are the superstar and everyone else is a big dummy, this might not be a good sign. If they keep the story neutral, they know how to be diplomatic.