Welcome back for part two of our talk on the things you can do to find the right real estate agent, or Realtor, for you.
Click below if you missed part one.
7. What Kind of Marketing Do They Employ for Clients?
I mentioned this in the questions at the end of part one, but I wanted to elaborate on this.
You want someone that’s going to do more than just list it on the MLS.
Any agent can do that.
But what else do they do for clients? Craigslist? Do they post flyers up in different places around the area?
If you can, ask for examples of some of their other marketing tactics, to make sure they’re not lying to you.
8. Are they a Buyer’s or Seller’s Agent?
I should’ve mentioned this earlier, but before you even meet with them, find out if they’re a buyer or seller’s agent.
Now some people don’t care, but I believe in working with someone that’s either or, and not both.
If you’re selling, you want a seller’s agent, if you’re trying to buy, you want a buyer’s agent.
Why Should You Care?
It takes a lot of energy and dedication to be good in either niche (buyers or sellers), so you might want to make sure they’re the kind of agent that you need.
Also, if they’re a buyer’s agent and you’re looking to sell, they might share your confidential information you give them about your situation to the prospective buyers they work with.
Lastly, if they’re both the buyer and seller agent, they might try to push a property off on you that they’re listing so they can make both commissions, and not because the house meets your criteria.
Of course, just because they present you with a house, you’re not obligated to buy it.
Note: I’ve had successful transactions with agents that were both. I’m just merely stating my own preference.
9. Check their Past Work
If you’re looking for a seller’s agent, ask them for a list of the listings they’ve had over the past year, along with the contact information of some of their past clients.
Don’t be afraid to call some of them to check on the quality of the agent’s work.
Compare the Asking and Selling Prices
When you’re looking at their listings, compare the asking price with the sales price of the properties.
You want to see how well they’ve been able to negotiate in favor of their clients, to get their sellers a selling price as close to their asking price as possible.
Even if it’s a buyer’s market, the agent should have the expertise to set the asking price properly to prevent having to sell the house too low below the asking price.
Compare the Houses they’ve Sold (or are Selling) with Yours
You might also want to ask if any of the homes they show you from the past year were similar to yours.
Real estate is extremely niche-based, especially in a big Metropolitan area like Detroit, where you have so many agents to choose from.
You want someone that has experience with the type of home you have or are looking for.
If they’ve been in a particular niche for a while, they’ve probably built some key relationships in that niche that can benefit you as a buyer or as a seller.
10. Double-Check to See if They’re Really Licensed
You can go to www.arello.com and type in the person’s name to check to see if they really have a license.
When you click on the person’s name, it should show their license number.
Take that license number, then go here: www.dleg.state.mi.us/verify.htm
Search using that license number, and you’ll be able to see if how long they’ve actually had their license, so you can see if they’re telling the truth about how long they’ve been active.
11. Check for Awards
Awards like “Realtor-of-the-Year” are pretty highly esteemed awards to win, especially when you consider the fact that they’re given by their peers.
Try doing a Google search for something like detroit michigan “realtor of the year”.
You might have to do some digging, but you should be able to find people that have been named the Realtor of the year by some of the local Realtor associations.
Whether they won it this year or not, if they won it recently, they should be pretty good at what they do, to say the least.
12. Check for Certifications
You want the best of the best working for you. Why wouldn’t you, when you’re going to pay the same commission regardless?
Anyways, another way to help yourself get a top-notch Realtor is to see if they have any additional certifications.
The certifications require that they undergo and complete additional training outside of the norm. Here are some you should look out for:
- SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) – These agents have underwent training that specializes in helping sellers and buyers that are 50-plus years of age.
- ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) – These have taken additional training for helping buyers in real estate transactions.
- CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) – This gives them additional training in working with residential real estate in general.
These are just a few things you can do to make sure the Realtor you pick is a good fit for you and your situation.
Do you disagree with any of the advice given in this series? Leave a comment below.
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Real Estate Agents versus REALTORS (via homebuying.about.com)
How to Find a Great Real Estate Agent You Can Trust (via moneycrashers.com)
7 tips for picking a real estate agent (via bankrate.com)
Verify Your Real Estate Agent’s Credentials: How to Find Out If Your Agent is Lying (via homebuying.about.com)