Finding an agent
How to find a Realtor® shouldn’t be so hard, should it? Probably not! Once you find a local real estate agent, though, how do you know they’re the top local Realtor® to suit your particular needs?
Let’s go through the top ten list.
- Are they a licensed agent (or, better yet, a licensed broker) and a Realtor®? Have you verified that? Realtors have both license numbers for their real estate license as well as National Association of Realtors identification numbers. Both should be readily available.
- Are they a full time Realtor® or a part time Realtor®? Do they do anything else for work or are they strictly devoted to selling real estate? (Go for the full time Realtor® that’s devoted to Real Estate.)
- Check their reviews wherever you can find them? (Zillow, Google, Yelp, etc.) Do they have any? Are the reviews positive or negative? Is there anything contained within those reviews that you can discuss further with them when you interview them?
- Do they have a website? Is it a quality website as far as design, information, usability and search tools? What does it tell you about them? Do they seem in touch with reality (and realty as well)?
- Does the agent have a well-put together plan pertaining to how they are going to help you with accomplishing what you’re out to accomplish or do they seem to be flying by the seat of their pants? How’s their presentation? Do they seem “scripted”?
- Is the Realtor® a family member or close friend? Or a family member of a close friend? If so, it’s probably not worth the potential awkwardness or even the loss of a friendship.
- Are they clear in explaining their value proposition as far as the costs and what your options are as far as services with them and their representation? Have they presented what’s included (and what’s not) if you choose to work with them? Do you have options as far as what you pay for and what you get or options as far as strategy employed in getting your specific job done?
- Are they responsive to you? Do they get back to you quickly, or in a reasonable amount of time, if you’ve left them a message? How well are they able to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have? Is there anything about this topic in their reviews (if they have any reviews)?
- Do they set clear expectations about the details of their role and when they’re talking to you do they seem to be handling themselves in a manner that’s consistent with a job interview? (Don’t forget, they are interviewing for a job)
- Will you work directly with the agent or with one of their business partners or assistants? If you’ll be working with anyone other than them, ask them if you can speak to and interview that agent or assistant that will be helping you, as well.
The Bottom Line
I think it makes sense to assert that it’s best to work with a full-time, experienced Realtor® that is 100% devoted to the job that you’re hiring them for. They should have at least some reviews if they are an experienced agent and those reviews should be positive and could also provide some interview topics of conversation (especially if there are any negative reviews).
Digital marketing is a must these days as, according to NAR, at least 97% of homebuyers use the internet in their home search. (1) It’s an absolute must that your Realtor® has a strong online presence and a rich understanding about how to navigate digital, online marketing.
Success, most simply defined, is “when things go as planned”. It’s also said, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Don’t go there! There must be a well-put together and thoughtful plan. This decision about who you’re going to hire to represent you in a real estate transaction is far too important. It stands to reason that the agent you choose to hire should be the agent you deal with and be your main point of contact. Their value proposition should be clear and clear expectations on both sides of the business relationship are a necessity. There are all kinds of sales pitches you’ll run into. Truly, though, what is their value proposition?
Finally, as far as communication, it must be addressed that a real estate transaction is, many times, a stressful experience. People, by nature, experience the most stress when they don’t know what’s going on. Clear expectations around communication and frequency of updates will alleviate the unnecessary or added stress up-front.
Wherever you are in the world (and in the process), I hope this helps! If you’re located anywhere in Los Angeles, especially in the east part of the San Fernando Valley, I certainly hope you’ll consider interviewing, and hiring me.
Thanks for reading. As an Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker Realty and a Realtor® in Studio City, it’s an honor, a privilege and a pleasure to be of service!