Great! This is John.. no not the one that you responded to in this thread.. but hey, this question is just over one year old! Happy birthday thread! You seem to be working on outdated information!
After all, would you want to stumble onto a Realtor who sells 3 homes a year and trust that they know what they're doing? No...interview, ask questions like the following.
1. How many homes a year do you sell?
2. What area's and price range?
3. Are you full time or part time and do you have a team or partner to support you if you're off or on vacation?
It's really important that buyers and sellers know what they are getting into.
There are too many ways for people to get real estate listings not to offer that as the first step, not the "Look at me" advertisement or website!
If you were sick and looking for a doctor would you want to know only about the illness or the doctor's background and success in treating your condition? I think knowing the background and success of your agent is equally important as the one house you want to know about. (there may be a dozen more just as good or even better for you) True enough ,often info is missing or wrong (even worst). There are many many agents, good and bad. There are many many houses for sale, good and bad. You can buy a great house with a bad agent, you may just pay too much or have other problems. You can also buy a bad house with a bad agent (much more likely). With a good agent this is less likely.
I put my picture on my cards web sites etc because it identifies me. When I show a home the seller sees what I look like. I dont know about you but I feel much more comfortable having people in my home who I know or have a picture of. (Realestate licenses in NJ and Pa do not have pictures)
When I buy (just about anything) I want to know that the person selling me knows what they are talking about. So in my profile I mention my experience with underground storage tanks, septic and well, moving houses, GREEN designation ... as well as the large number of satisfied clients and previous sales.
It sounds as if you are not working with an agent and instead opting to do much of the work your self. I respectfully suggest you look at those "pompous creaps" and ask "how can they help me achieve my goals"
Let them get you the information you seek. That is a big part of what a Realtor does.
Kenneth "Ken" Verbeyst CRS GRI ABR SRES GREEN
Hire an agent you like and let them assist you with gathering property information - your satisfaction level will increase dramatically.
The real estate world is no different than any other business entity....it's diverse and filled with a variety of personalities and varying view points. Yes, there are good and bad agents as there are good and bad doctors, lawyer, and accountants etc. You enjoy the freedom to select those that meet your needs, share your values, or are attracted to.
You opinon is one that may have some value, however attacking a group in general and using strong language like, ego maniac or creaps,is a reflection on you and places you in a select group..............
It's actually not a bad idea for the consumer to "shop" for an effective agent first, and then the house. The agent you use will be key in how much inventory you actually see (that fits your critieria) and the purchase price and terms that are agreed upon (which should benefit you as much as possible). Perhaps others in your circle of friends or family have made a purchase or sale recently and they can refer you to an agent.
In any case, the best of luck to you!