Choosing a Realtor

When buying or selling a home, how do I choose a Realtor?

It’s a fact, when the real estate market is hot, everyone runs out to get his/her real estate license and thinks it’s easy money. You probably know a few of them and they all want your business. You may have a friend or even a family member in the business and you naturally want to support them, but do they have what it takes to help you, properly protect you and find you the house you need are the questions you want to ask yourself!

Let’s face it, there are tens of thousands of real estate agents you can choose from and in all likelihood, you know several. So, the question is, how do you choose a Realtor? I liken this in the same manner of how do you choose a doctor? You may know one or several of them, but is that the best choice for you…maybe, but chances are…probably not. Just because someone has a medical degree, that doesn’t mean that they are qualified or experienced for the particular problem you have or is the best in the industry. Just the same..what are the chances the real estate agent you know is experienced with what you need or absolutely excellent at what they do? Let’s face it, when you are really sick, you don’t want just any doctor…you want the best you can get. When you are making one the largest purchases or sales in your life, don’t you want the best Realtor you can get as well?

So, now that you recognize that there is a difference, what sets Realtors apart from one another?

There are many brokerages you can chose from an each one may have dozens of agents to choose from. Let’s first recognize that I interchange Realtor with Agent….what’s the difference? A Realtor is an agent that is a dues paying member that subscribes to a higher level of ethics. All Realtors are agents, but all agents may not be Realtors.  That being said, you want to make sure you are working with a Realtor.

How much experience is enough?  

This is an age old question…you don’t want to be anyone’s guinea pig, you want someone that knows how to navigate the process….especially if something doesn’t go perfectly.  This is a difficult question to answer without further explanation.  A Realtor with 30 years experience that is partially retired and only sells 3-4 homes a year  may be as dangerous as a brand new agent getting into the business.  You not only need an experienced agent, but you also need one that is keeps current. You see, selling only a few homes per year doesn’t provide even a seasoned agent with a good feel of that is going on in a market, etc.

Why is a market specialist so important?  

Just as you wouldn’t go to a general practitioner for surgery…you don’t want an agent unfamiliar with the market you are buying or selling in.  A market specialist will have access to off market inventory, have networks of agents, know traffic patters, know what is typically negotiated in transactions, whether an area is transitionally getting better or possibly worse and so much more.

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