Financing in Fontana>Question Details

Jack Meraw, Home Buyer in Fontana, CA

Why should I use a trulia agent ?How are the agents qualified?

Asked by Jack Meraw, Fontana, CA Sun Feb 5, 2012

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" 3) Ask for a copy of the Realtors® credit report before you hire them. "

Scott Hulen suggests that you ask for your potential Realtor's credit report. This is indeed a bold move, he follows it up with "do you really want to accept consul on one of the biggest decisions of your life from someone who can’t manage their own financial future?"

Sounds logical... but I have to tell you... My credit score is excellent, but I would not give you a copy of my credit report, if asked. I might share my credit "score" with you, but I'm not giving you a copy of my report.

While the logic behind his request sounds reasonable.. keep in mind that you are not hiring an agent to help you with your financial future. We are not financial consultants, we do not help you manage your wealth. You are simply hiring an agent to help you navigate the landmines surrounding purchasing a home. You don't have to have an 800 credit score to be able to do that brilliantly.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 5, 2012
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
Contact
Alan & John I understand and appreciate both of your comments. Item #3 is not the most important aspect of choosing a Realtor® but I believe it is relevant considering questions which have been asked in this forum such as: can an agent work 100% in the buyers best interest? We all know Realtors® are people and a person’s priorities are generally god & family first but when life throws curve balls people can become conflicted and make decisions which do not follow our fiduciary duties to the client. Although it is not the norm for Realtors® to be conflicted it does happen and I seek to point out one way a potential client might avoid a Realtor® who might have reason to be conflicted. I don’t know the statics or the numbers but what I do know is in my market the downtown in transactions and the external pressures put on good people may result in a certain amount of “compromise” be it however so small. I always encourage all who read this blog/forum to do their homework and take their time in making one of the most important decisions of their life. Ps thanks you for your comments and I have since “softened / amended” that portion of my general response to this type of question.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 5, 2012
I'm totally in concert with Alan on this one. i too have always maintained stellar credit but would never relinquish my personal credit history to any client even if it meant losing them. My score should speak for itself and I don't mind revealing that because I'm quite frankly very proud of it.

But on another note. I know of several excellant, honest and hardworking RE professionals who like many have fallen on hard times during the past few years. I don't subscribe to the notion that a RE professional who's score is below 600 couldn't help you find a home.

Quite frankly many of these unfortunate folks have poor credit because they took a hit in this recent downturn i.e drastic loss of income, personal problems i.e death in the family, serious illness, divorce, etc. There are many reasons folks have credit issues and they're not always because the person is a loser or a flake.

You could probably learn a great deal by working with an agent who's fallen on hard times. Their personal experiences and story can be shared with you. I had a serious financial reversal in the 70's as a boat designer and manufacturer.

As a result I faced the biggest failure of my young life when the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo wiped out the RV and Boat and Auto industry along with many other industries and the US slipped into a serious recession. I saw a 35 million dollar success slip from my grip through no fault of my own. As a result I faced a few very bleak years of starting over, redefining myself and rebuilding my reputation and credit. But I was certainly no flake.

Likewise many folks from all walks of life have taken a serious hit during these past few years of economic turbulance. Some of us have managed to successfully navigate through it and stay the course while many weren't so lucky. But to brand them as a failure, a flake, incompetent or otherwise unworthey I feel would be very short sighted on your part.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 5, 2012
Jack,

I can understand your confusion with Trulia's rather misleading PRO badge on some agents' profiles. No, they're not hired or qualified by Trulia in any way. They've merely paid a monthly fee for that little logo. Trulia is mostly a marketing website and makes money by charging real estate professionals, sometimes for arbitrary designations.

Real estate agents contribute on the Trulia platform for the sake of helping out potential clients. If you'd like to find out whether any of the real estate agents that post or comment on Trulia is worth your time, the simplest approach is to read through some posts and call a few up. You can tell a lot about their service by whether they answer their phones and how they respond.
Web Reference: http://www.archershomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 6, 2012
If technology is an important part of the buying/selling process for you, then you should be looking for an agent who has a solid web presence. Trulia being an example of a critical site. Zillow and Realtor.com are the only other major sites on the web that make up 60-70% of real estate buying/selling traffic. Trulia is the most user friendly. Just google the agents you are considering to narrow them down.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 6, 2012
As stated below we are not "Trulia" agents but rather Trulia is a vehicle we use to promote our services and one where consumers like yourself to review the services agents on this site have provided. You should definitely "interview" several agents to find the one that you feel is the best fit for you. Best of luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 6, 2012
Hi Jack,
as was said previously, we are not "Trulia Agents", additionally, any agent can open an account on Trulia for free, and some of us pay a fee to obtain additional advertising exposure. Trulia does not "qualify" agents. You should interview as many Brokers and agents as you like and select the one you are comfortable with, good luck.

Buyer 50%-60% Cash Rebate / Seller 50% Commission Discount
Quality Full Service!

Flavio Tejada, Owner/Broker, Realtor, MBA-Finance
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 6, 2012
Jack, there is no relevance between a good agent and an agent who appears on Trulia. Trulia is just a marketing outlet that attracts consumers like you through the knowledge and resources agents provide.

Choosing the right agent apparently has some relevance to one's height and weight or even the sign under which they were born. Let's through in their birth position within their family of origin for good measure! Credit Report!!! geeesh.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 6, 2012
Hi, Trulia is simply a platform for agents to blog, participate in Q&A, list homes, and network. You can keep an eye on certain agents by reading their answers to questions, blog etc and see if you gravitate towards anyone in particular. Otherwise you can contact an agent in your local market.


Sincerely,

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
914.406.9023
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 6, 2012
Scott, while I appreciate the softening of your general approach to that question, I still contend that my credit report has no bearing, no relevance whatsoever, to whether or not I will be able to service the client well.

Conflicts-of-interest exist for those with good credit and bad credit. The highly successful agent who handles both sides of the transaction routinely, but has an 800 credit score, vs. the buyer's-only agent whose wife lost her job last year, and their credit is seriously damaged, and yet he's highly ethical.

My credit report has no bearing on the quality of service I bring to the table. Can an agent work 100% in the buyer's best interest? Absolutely, and his credit report has no bearing. Can your agent truly negotiate for a lower purchase price, when they make more money if you pay more? Will your listing agent price your home as high as reasonably possible, even though it's a quicker sale and easier if they price it lower? Absolutely, and my credit report has no bearing.

There is no simple "test" to determine if you've found a highly ethical agent... but credit report won't add any pertinent information to that decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 6, 2012
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
Contact
There are no "Trulia Agents". Trulia is just another place were agents show their presence, answer questions, feature listings and place ads. When choosing an agent you should not limit yourself to just the agents visible or prominent on Trulia.

Oggi Kashi - 415.690.3792 direct
Broker Associate, Paragon Real Estate Group CA DRE 01844627
All data from sources deemed reliable but subject to errors and omissions, and not warranted.
Web Reference: http://www.oggikashi.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 5, 2012
Why pick a Trulia Realtor®? Most of us frequently answer questions and blog about our real estate experiences, the type of real estate we specialize in and our general business practices. This information should give you some insight to the type of Realtor® that fits your desired goals. Good Luck!

Picking a Realtor®; you should interview several Realtors® before making a decision. Do not solely rely on a referral! Do the work yourself and interview several. Here’s a short check list of questions to ask & things to consider:
1) The paperwork involved in this process is extremely complicated, having stated this It is important that a Realtor be “practiced at our trade” pick a Realtor® which has completed 15+ transactions the previous year
2) Interview 3-5 full time Realtors® (very few part-time agents have the same skills as a person who works Real Estate on a full time basis)
3) Ask for a copy of the Realtors® credit report before you hire them. This may sound bold but you would be surprised how many are below 600, and then ask yourself do you really want to accept consul on one of the biggest decisions of your life from someone who can’t manage their own financial future? (note: this is not common practice and may offend many, but you are about to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, do your homework gather information)
4) Once you have interviewed your potential Realtors® and if you are still unsure and want a “trail run” sign an exclusive buyers agency for 48 hours with the Realtor® and explain if all goes well in the beginning then you will be willing to commit for 3 months.
5) Work with a Realtor® which is local to your area. Meaning a 10-20 mile radius, they will know the schools, shopping and the growth potential of the area without having to go look it up!

Before you even start this process consider purchasing the book by Dave Ramsey “The Total Money Makeover” this will provide valuable information in regard to having a successful financial life & make a prudent home purchase!

That’s your list! Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 5, 2012
Jack - Just because an agent is on Trulia doesn't mean they are the best. Yes, there are some great ones here, but doing your due diligence is important. Research & interview at least 3 agents, Google them, look @ their activity level on a multitude of websites, and get referrals from family/friends.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 5, 2012
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