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 canâ€™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.
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.
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.
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.
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
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.
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.
Picking a RealtorÂ®; you should interview several RealtorsÂ® before making a decision. Do not solely rely on a referral! Do the work yourself and interview several. Hereâ€™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 â€œpracticed at our tradeâ€ pick a RealtorÂ® which has completed 15+ transactions the previous year
2) Interview 3-5 full time RealtorsÂ® (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 RealtorsÂ® 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 canâ€™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 RealtorsÂ® and if you are still unsure and want a â€œtrail runâ€ sign an exclusive buyers agency for 48 hours with the RealtorÂ® and explain if all goes well in the beginning then you will be willing to commit for 3 months.
5) Work with a RealtorÂ® 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 â€œThe Total Money Makeoverâ€ this will provide valuable information in regard to having a successful financial life & make a prudent home purchase!
Thatâ€™s your list! Good Luck!