When I saw my Doctor the day before yesterday, just before my physical, she asked me “How do you find a good realtor?”
She asked a very good question. Such a good question that I think it would be helpful for many people to know how to find a good real estate agent. Before I started in this business, I hired a real estate agent who would never talk to me after I hired him. I would call to find out what buyers were saying about my house, but he never would call me back to tell me. I was so frustrated that one morning I went to his office and waited in the lobby for him to come to work, just to find out about the house. I immediately requested a meeting with him, and he was very terse during the brief meeting. That was such a bad experience. I often think of that experience and try to do the opposite; call people often, and always keep them in the loop. In an effort to help so you don’t have to go through what I had to, I have put together some preventative measures.
If I were to start to find a good realtor, this is what I would do.
1. Talk to friends, relatives, and co-workers. If one of them is very excited about a certain agent, if they tell you that the agent was attentive to their questions, a good listener, that they gave feedback on showings on a timely basis, and just seemed very experienced, that agent may be the one for you.. Very good agents are a cut above the rest and they stand out! Call that agent.
2. If no one you know knows of a good real estate agent, go online, check out the houses on the market in your area. If there is one real estate agent that is shown as the listing agent many more times than anyone else, chances are that agent is selling a large quantity of homes in your neighborhood. Call that agent.
3. Interview at least two agents. You need to be able to compare their experience, and get opinions on price, the condition of your house, commission, etc. Many agents will want to stop by, take a look at your house, ask you a few questions and then come back again another day after they have done a comparable market analysis in their office.
4. When the agent comes back the second time, ask the following questions, along with any other questions you may want answered;
A. How long have you been selling real estate?
B. How many houses have you sold in this area? When? Specifically where? How long did they take to sell?
C. How often will you communicate with me? How? Can you put that answer in writing?
D. What do I need to do to get my house ready to sell?
E. Why should I choose you over any other agent?
F. Within the last calendar year, what was the average days on the market for the houses you sold?
G. What should we do if you can’t sell our house in six months?
These are though questions, but you need to ask them. Any top agent will answer them truthfully and emphatically! Good luck.