Real estate agents advertise themselves on park benches to grocery store carts and everywhere in between. There is no shame in the real estate game. Especially nowadays with the online sponsored ads, it's more difficult than ever to cut through the noise to find the best Realtor for you!
The agent you hire should live, work, and play in the neighborhood you want to either buy or sell a home. If the Realtor can't take you on property tour pointing at multiple homes they have sold or talk about landmarks or future development projects that's a problem. If the agent doesn't have their finger on the pulse of your neighborhood, real estate market, or have a relationship with other local agents that's a red flag.
The short answer is if the agent you're considering as your Realtor hasn't been in business for at least three years they're learning off of you. How does that make you feel? Look for an agent who is actively involved in the community they work and has closed at a minimum 15 or 20 transactions the past twelve months. It's also important the Realtor is active in the price point you're either preapproved to purchase in or position your house for sale in the market.
You can either take the agents word for his past sales or you can do a bit of homework. In California, a consumer can cross-check Realtors past sales and current listings plus any disciplinary actions or complaints at the California Department of Real Estate website.
Ask the agent for current and past client references. If they flinch at your request it may be a sign to continue your search for the right agent. If you're contacting a past seller, you'll want to know what the listing price was and also the selling price. Was there a clear line of communication with the agent? Where there any surprises during or after the close of escrow?
If you're speaking with a past buyer, ask how long they searched for the house they bought and how many property tours and offers they wrote. Was the property in multiple offers? What property inspections did the Realtor suggest to perform? Did you ask for credits or a price reduction? At the end of the day, would they recommend or use the agent again?
If you're having a difficult time getting in touch with the agents past clients you could turn to the internet for advice. Testimonial website forums like Yelp.com and Zillow.com typically have agent reviews.
Last, are these homes, condos, apartments, townhomes, similar to yours in price, location, condition, and other key features and benefits. You want to work with an agent who specializes in what you're buying or selling.
You can learn a lot about an agents approach to the market or their business by their professional profile online. Especially in today's technology culture if an agent isn't on the cutting edge they're getting left behind. This is also the facts for their clients. It's absolutely true residential real estate is and always will be a people business and local neighborhood business, but how we're connecting is different, faster, a clearer line of communication.
You definitely want an agent who has a healthy amount of business easily searchable online. However, not so much business you're waiting in line with a ticket for them to get back in touch with you.
Do some homework before deciding to work with anyone Realtor. The best Realtor for you is out there! Partner with an agent who has value ads beyond putting a sign in your yard or driving you around to open houses. Work with an agent who approaches the market and their career as a lifestyle, not a job.
Glenn Shelhamer is a listing agent and buyer's specialist Realtor. He's teams focus in the Eastside of Los Angeles from the Hollywood Hills east all the way to Highland Park. If you enjoyed this article you can find Glenn blogging at Shelhamergroup.com and Silverlakeblog.com.
Are you looking for more helpful tips? Below are a few articles we like:
What Does a Real Estate Agent Do? For every hour a real estate agent engages with a buyer or seller, they spend an average of NINE hours behind the scenes working on their client's behalf. If you ever wondered if hiring an agent was worth it, check out this article.
How do I pick a Realtor to sell my house - see some of the best advice for choosing a real estate agent to sell your home at Maximum Real Estate Exposure. Exceptionally detailed tips from a real estate pro.
How a Realtor has got your back - Covered in this article are 8 ways in which a Realtor handles a Real Estate transaction for you, so you won't have to worry.
10 Essential Questions to Ask When Hiring a Realtor - Considering buying or selling? Then these are must ask questions of a Realtor before you embark on a Real Estate Transaction.
8 Signs You Hired the Wrong Buyers Agent - Michelle Gibson shares how to determine if you hired the wrong buyer's agent.