We believe that word-of-mouth is often the best way of locating a good agent... Ask for referrals from friends and family and contact those agents first!
Otherwise, look for agents who have a market presence in your neighborhood. Agents sometimes "farm" certain areas, making them experts in particular neighborhoods, types of homes or even types of clientele, such as seniors or first-time homeowners.
Check out advertisements. In the "homes" section of the newspaper, agents will advertise their listings and sometimes the homes they've sold. However please remember that the listing agent you re calling on, is under contract to his seller. If you are buying a home, we encourage you to first seek out an Accredited Buyer Representative to help you locate and purchase a suitable property.
Look on our web site for agents in your area of interest.Just click throughReal Estate Resources and this will take you to a list of states.
When interviewing agents here are some questions to ask.
How many years have you been in the business? - Just because someone has been in the business for a long time doesn't necessarily mean that they're a good agent... Ask for testimonials from past clients.
What professional designations do you hold? - This is where all those letters at the end of a name (Jane Doe, GRI, ABR, ePro) come into play. These are designations that indicate an area of expertise. It means that the agent has put in extra time to learn their trade and has earned the designations through experience and by passing tests. The letters, however, are only significant to you if they mean the agent is more qualified in the areas you need. An ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative) for example, is great if you are looking for a buyer's agent, but as a seller, you will be more interested in a GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute). QSC (Quality Service Certified) and ePRO are others you will want to consider regardless of if you are interested in buying or selling. Ask what the letters mean and how the designations benefit you.
How many sellers do you currently represent? - A busy agent is a good agent...most of the time. You don't want an agent who has 500 active clients because then they're going to have less time to spend with you. Find out what kind of staff they have to support the number of listings they have. However, someone with only one client is not necessarily a good thing.
How many properties have you sold in the last year? What type of properties were they? - Whatever they answer, this question will really help you compare them to other agents. Ask how long, on average, it took the agent to close these deals. You probably want your home to be sold quickly. Just as you found out what types of homes the agent specializes in, find out the price range of homes they generally sell. If they specialize in selling million dollar homes...your condo will probably be very low on this agent's totem pole.
Can you provide me a list of references? - Check with the agent's former clients and see if they were satisfied.
Do you work on your own or are you part of a real estate team? - If the agent is a part of a team, this can work to your advantage because you have the other members working to sell your property as well, and you don't have to pay any extra. Just make sure to meet with the other team members if this is the case. You want to get along with everyone on the team. Find out whom you would contact for all phases of marketing and closing. A good agent will make sure that she or he is always available to you, so that you aren't left hanging for answers or getting response calls from people you don't know. If you find you are always talking to an assistant and never to the agent you hired, you may be understandably frustrated. A good agent will never let that happen.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell me about yourself, your company or your career? - This is where you give the agent an opportunity to get all warm and fuzzy with you. A "bonding" moment, if you will. You want your agent to be someone you can trust and feel comfortable working with. Really examine their personality.
Once you've interviewed all of the potential agents, narrow the list down to about three. Then ask these three agents to put together a formal presentation for you. "This presentation should include a comparable marketing analysis (CMA). The analysis lists the selling prices of houses similar to yours and is used as a guide for you and your agent to determine how to price your place. The presentation should also include an overall marketing plan for the house."
Based on the answers the agents give at the interview and the way their presentation looks, you should be able to confidently choose an agent. It's a bit of work, but in the end, it will ensure your happiness with the agent you choose to help you with your real estate needs.
We hope you found this information useful and encourage you to share it with someone you believe will benefit as a result.
Thank you for your interest and the privilege of serving you!
With our highest regard,
Wayne and Lynda Gomillion
Trusted Names in Real Estate
Member of the Real Estate Intelligence Network
"The friendship and referrals of those we serve is the foundation of our success."
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