In love and real estate, its all about relationships. But can that dreamboat turn out to be a stinker? Of course. So when making a commitment, to a sweety or a broker, it is important to have eyes open. So what is the key? A lot of times we go by gut feelings. Should a firm handshake seal the deal? Getting swept away by good feelings may put you in a precarious position. Like a wolf in sheep's clothing, not everyone is as he appears. So what to do? Research. It's work. It is boring. But there is no shortcut to good decision-making. Smart action beats dumb luck hands down.
The broker’s website is a good place to start. Ideally the site will give some clues as to the way the broker conducts their business. Beyond that the web gives us many other great opportunities to explore what is behind the publicly presented facade.
The Better Business Bureau is a fine tool. The state licensing board may also provide helpful info. The realtor himself can provide a history of their closed transactions. It is a matter of record. A realtor who has closed seventy five transactions in the last year is likely to have fresher skills than someone who closed three. Productivity, as reflected in such statistics is an important factor to consider. It goes to their energy and commitment to their work. The web provides many rating sites that may be helpful. One major caveat. The web is anonymous, and anyone may access a rating site for any nefarious purpose.
Contacting business references is a very fine way to proceed. They may provide the in-depth, meaningful input on fundamental aspects of a broker's practice. They may also give insight into such intangibles as the tone and tenor of the broker’s practice. Such illuminations may fortify your confidence that the relationship will be not only productive, but satisfying and perhaps even personally rewarding.
When interviewing a prospective broker, your antenna should be up for what seems to be their focus. In my practice, I make a point of expressing clearly my ethics. I go on record as to who I am as a person in order to attract clients who have a similar way of viewing the world.
So it’s back to the "relationship". Opposites may attract in love, but in a real estate transaction, you will be trusting your broker to act on your behalf. You want to have the confidence that they think like you do. At the end of the day, when the home closes, you want to be satisfied. You have no regrets that when the broker asked if you wanted to work together, you said: “I do!”