Home Buying in Murrieta>Question Details

tvs_fam, Other/Just Looking in Murrieta, CA

What are the signs of a good agent ????

Asked by tvs_fam, Murrieta, CA Wed Mar 10, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


From a non-agent perspective, a home buyer... When we bought our first home, we had an agent that literally huffed when we told her we were first time and wanted to look. She basically told us to look on our own and call her when we were ready to make an offer. That is such a bad attitude, that if I had friends with the opportunity to invest in million dollar pieces of real estate (and I do) I would make sure to inform them NOT to use her. The second realtor we had, and while we did purchase a house under her, I would not suggest anyone else use her... she never did research we asked her to (not any further than what I could find myself, here on trulia) and she never did her due diligence before hand on basic questions. She had the same sales sheet that they have at the front door for everyone and answered questions based on that.

I'd say what you want is someone that is in it to give you the best deal. I acknowledge that they work on commissions, but an agent that is there for you, is someone you'll go back to. Someone that makes you feel comfortable is someone when you need the extra room you'll hop on their bandwagon to move, instead of saying "It was hard enough the first time, how can we remodel or at most add extra additions onto this house so we dont have to go through this again". And someone who does there homework... okay, my client likes this style, so I need to research homes of this kind, they want flat land or a straight drop off the back, so i need to narrow that down. Okay now, appliances, whats staying, do they like gas or electric, what's the year of the house, is there alot of crime in this neighborhood, basic questions that are necessary.

Finding an agent is like finding an employee.... anyone can write a good resume, if you've talked to them on the phone and they show up at the first interview with no information besides a contract, tell them they're not what you're looking for and move on.
7 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 9, 2010
Reliable communication... If you get their "Your call is very important to me...and I will call you back at my soonest convenience..." more often times then not --- they are either too busy to cater to your specific needs or they have too many things on their plate. Then what would that mean for your property? Agents that are involved in online marketing and advertising, like Trulia, is a HUGE plus (since most people start their real estate search online). Things to keep in mind when looking for an agent to work with: if for looking for a listing agent - don't always choose an agent that has a large number of listings...quantity does not always mean quality. When looking for a buyers agent - look for someone that is easy to talk to and engages you into conversations about what you are looking for.

That's my piece!
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010
I beleive that byond the code of ethics and all the things a good person is in general a good agent gives you information that you need unique to your situation and helps you make the right decsion for your family, even if thats not selling or buying right now. A good agent sticks with you...for life.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 14, 2010
I believe a good agent is more than numbers. A good agent starts on the inside with the values they have. In a busy market all agents may "look" successful. Here are some ideas on what to think about in what is a good agent? In a down market it is a great opportunity to find out what agents are really made of vs what is said. What are the values & ethics that are practiced & actually demonstrated? Are you, the seller/buyer, communicated with consistently? Do other agents have high regard for this one? Have you spoken to past customers about their experience in working with that agent? How does your agent get creative in working a transaction and/or marketing your property?

What are the signs of a good agent is a great question and I look forward to reading the different responses you receive.


Red Rock Realty
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 14, 2010
A good agent is one who follows up regularly, takes time to get to know their client, their needs and whats important to them and is always completely honest.
Continuous education and knowledge of the market is also very important but only to the extent that the agent is focused on the client. You can be the smartest and most well informed agent but if you dont listen to your client, you wont be seeing many referrals.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 30, 2010
Knowledgeable. Kind. Empathetic. Listener. Specialist in real estate you are seeking (e.g., buyer agent v. listing agent, residential v. commercial, 55+, relocations). Above all work with a real estate agent who is also a Realtor -- a member of the National Association of Realtors -- who has sworn not only to uphold the law but the group's strict code of ethics. Not all agents are Realtors!
Web Reference: http://www.katehannon.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 29, 2010
The signsof a good agent are Honesty, Intergity, Fairness and Professionalism. A Realtor abides by a Code of Ethics. A Realtor will protect and look out for the best interest of his client.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 28, 2010
Signs of a good agents are, stored in the garage, trunk of car, shed in back yard. Signs say, Just Sold, Under Contract, For Sale, to be used in reverse order sequence. How do you know who to choose? Call one from a listing. Ask to see the house. See what happens. If you cannot see the house, stay away from that agent. Not full time, not professional, works in office with clumsy procedures for providing service and marketing homes. Simple as that.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 25, 2010
A "Good Agent" will take the time to educate you and him/herself as to your needs, goals (both short term and long term) and will respect and honor your financial comfort zone. You should expect your agent to guide you through the entire process of either attaining or selling a home.

A full-time professional agent will be fully ensconced in the market place and up-to-date on local conditions. Buying and Selling a home or property is one of the largest investments any of us every make and should be treated as such by everyone involved in the process.

A "Good Agent" will be aligned with other professionals within the industry who bring to the table the wherewithal to bridge any issues which may arise along the way.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 24, 2010
The first sign is if they answer their phone and/or return you calls promptly, An agent that represents you needs to be able to communicate. They need to first listen to what your wants and needs are. They need to be able to use their tools, the MLS and know the market and be able to explain it to you. They need to understand the buying process, know the contract and be able to explain it to you. They need to be able to provide you with information so that you can make a decision that is right for you.

Good Luck
Diana Margala
Web Reference: http://www.dianam.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
Since most buyers don't need an agent to find properties anymore (thanks to all the public listing sites), the value added from a good agent is the ability to structure a winning deal and to make sure the transaction is done right (inspections are conducted and analyzed, disclosures are reviewed, deadlines are met, etc.). The value proposition of a residential agent has shifted from mostly sales/people skills to mostly technical skills. Consumers aren't looking for a new friend or someone to open up their hearts to, they want an agent who will get the job done. Sure, there are some who need hand-holding, but a growing percentage of buyers want to know they are getting the best deal, period.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 19, 2010
Dear Tvs,
An good buyer agent, responds to your emails and phone calls. They will also explain things that you dont understand, so that you are comfortable with the process. An good buyer agent will know the inventory of property for sale in your target area, and try their best to meet your criteria for a home, and stay within your budget.
An excellent Buyer agent will have knowledge of the market in general,preview listings so you don't waste your time, be a Realtor and adhere to the code of ethics,be professional,treat you with respect and earn your trust and your business!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 17, 2010
As a broker and owner of a small realty company I look for these traits in recruiting agents:
1. Honest
2. know the market in the areas thatthey are selling omes in,
3. Provde answers to clients in a timely manner, anif they dont knwo the answer, tell the cient the truth and then find out the correct information,
4. Put themselves last on a transaction, customers come first.
5, Return phone calls and emails,
6. Do what ever they can do to make the transaction go smoothly as possible.
Ask questions! Some posts here state ' dont use a part time realtor" I disagree with that statement, while I am full time but i have met and worked with some excellen part timers, you will find many techerswho during the summer months sell real estate as a part time job. Many of those "part tmers" wil only have one or two listings to focs one, however 90 percent of all listings are sold by another realtor other than the listing agent.
Web Reference: http://sellokla.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 7, 2010
I think it starts with someone who’s passionate about their neighborhood and understands that his client is going to be his neighbor and a probably his friend.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 16, 2010
A Realtor should be knowledgeable about their area, the product and continuously seeking continued education to keep up to speed on the latest real estate changes and information. They should be tech savvy (these days), honest and have good ethics. Very important and something that many agents fall short on is answering the phone and being available for their prospective and current clients. Have a good ear to know what the Buyer/Seller wants. Be respectable and professional.

Realtors are supposed to be more than just salesperson. They are supposed to be Consultants who take their client's best interest into consideration. You do what's right for the client and the commission will follow b/c you will obtain referals and clients for life.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 15, 2010
HEY, WAIT A MINNIT, BUDDY! THE WATER BOY ROCKS AS AN AGENT! It's those crazy Scorpios ya gotta watch for!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 14, 2010
Virgo, Libra, Aries, Not too sure about Aquarius or Leo. Cancer, Pisces...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 14, 2010
Let's keep it simple. first off, a realtor who answers the phone most of the time when you call. Or at least gets back to you in a couple of hours max! One who answers your questions truthfully and if they don't know the answer, they will find out properly and get right back to you with the correct answer. Additionally, a realtor who ALWAYS has the answer you want to hear is one to stay away from. No matter how experienced one may be, no individual is so fluent in any profession that they don't need to consult with others from time to time. Realtor stats can be deceiving. Although it is a decent way to find out the successes of realtors, it is not fool proof. Another good indication of a competent Realtor is one who does a lot of internet advertising and syndication of their listings. If all they do is put it on the local MLS, then that is not enough.
Lastly, they need to listen when you talk. If they are always interupting and not really listening to your questions and concerns then they won't do you justice. A realtor must be available 7 days a week... none of this part time realtor stuff. How can you put in 100% effort in Realty and hold down a full time job at the same time. Realty is a full time job.!!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 14, 2010
A good agent is HONEST and does NOT buy your listing by quoting an unrealistic listing price for your home- just to get your buisness and leave you suffering for rest of the tme until your home is sold at a much lower market price than it actually deserved. I am a frustrated home seller who recently had this bitter experience with an agent who claims to be our area specialist and a pro!
You need to do a lot of research, be smart, interview atleast 3 agents before you hire. See their treck record- even if the agent is selling homes like crazy does NOT mean she's getting you the right price or is working for you. For her your home just means another house or another number but taking a 7-8% loss on your biggest transaction can affect you badly.
The agent needs to be straightforward, honest, and AVAILABLE- you certainly don't want to always hear her voice mail once you hire her! And she must truly be able to do full justice to each client by giving right advice, be available when you need to reach them. The client doen't care for how many homes this agent is selling- if she can not do justice!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 14, 2010
If you're looking for a good listing agent review their past listings. Look for an agent that takes the time to post many photos of good quality. Most buyers first review homes on-line, and if the photos are poor, chances are they will not ask to see that property. Most people have the perception that the property must not have nice enough features to warrant more than a few photos. The higher priced and nicer the property, the more photos there should be. At least 30 photos for every property that includes a home.

If you're buying a home a good buyer's agent will be available when you are, and work hard to find the right property for you. If your agent doesn't return your calls, or doesn't seem to listen to what you're saying it's time to work with one that does.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 13, 2010
I like agents that you can get ahold of. No one likes an agent that cant ever be reached and you have to call over and over. Also I think a good agent will go above and beyond what their clients are asking. In this economy you cant have the mindset that your clients have to come to you! If your client needs to get a mortgage or get pre qualified help them do that don't just sit back. An agent with a good attitude and smiles also helps. Having a large knowledge of your market and area is a must so you can answer any questions your prospects might have to ask.

Just a few thoughts.

David Wain Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 13, 2010
Keep it Simple. One that listens and responds to your needs and who you feel comfortable working with. You should be treated with integrity, honesty and respect. Make sure the agent has the experience necessary to handle your business transaction professionally and can provide the type of services your seeking.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010
NAR does an annual survey, and what I take away from it is that everybody has their own specific set of needs, and that if an agent satisfies that set of needs, than the agent is a "good agent." But if that agent tries to impose that style and set of services on another client, they can fall into the category of "bad agent."

Good real estate agents treat their clients the way their clients want to be treated.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010
This question has been asked many times. I always go back to the fact that just about anyone can become a real estate agent regardless of background or experience.

Two interesting scenarios come to mind:
Agent working within a Team environment - Agents bring listings to team leader and they are advertised and marked using team leader's name and signage only. This would dramatically boost the number of listings to one agent. Buyer's agent working within the team sells team listings, which also boosts team leaders "sold" numbers.

Agent working individually - Individual agents can only handle so many listings, perhaps 10-15 max. Most are very organized, detailed and results oriented. Success depends soley on their contributions to the whole. They cannot turn over responsibilities to team associates and tend to work the hardest to achieve success.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 9, 2010
Here are a few good signs...

They would be a FULL-TIME Realtor.
They would be ethical and fair.
They would go above and beyond your expectations in terms of marketing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 7, 2010
I have calculated that 1% of the adult population of the USA, are realtors. Hard to believe, but true. With that many of us, the spectrum of quality is as wide as a rainbow; and as allusive. If you are a new agent, part of me wants to advise, get out of the business, there are too many of us already. You are taking money out of my pocket. But a good agent will keep his eye on the prize and consult with customers, always looking to complete the transaction. And sometimes, your conscience will tell you to walk a way. You must interview the lister for your benefit, as well as his. The same as with the buyer. Our job is not to show houses willy-nilly. Our job is to consult on needs and match them with reality solutions.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Do you have a a few hours? All of the answers here are on the money. To me one stands out, you have to like people. That it! If you like people all the other stuff falls in to place. Everyone want to be good at what they do, and it will show.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Knowledge not only of the market but also of the clients, open ears, honesty, straightforwardness, promptness, transparency and patience.
Clients interest come first. If you can combine all these attributes together with the core value, the signs of a good agent are flashing brightly right before your eyes.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Short and Sweet, I try to keep things simple and easy for my clients, so, I feel the signs of a good agent are simply the following. A good listener, knowledge of the market, helpful, informative, and not complicating things. Asking for references, testimonials is always a great idea.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 26, 2010
When choosing an agent you want someone who will really listen to you and look out for your interests. Also it should be someone who makes you feel comfortable. Knowledge and patience are key. You want someone who will take the time to explain the law of agency and the contracts and docs you will be signing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
A good agent asks alot of questions to find out what's in your head and what's in your heart, then listens to your answers so you have a successful, stressfree transaction from beginning to end. A good agent has integrity, is honest and will put your needs above their own. Market knowledge, contract expertise and strong negotiation skills are a must.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 20, 2010
Hello tvs_fam,

As you can see by the many excellent answers you have received that there are many good signs...but it is far more important to tell you what signs you need to stay away from that would indicate an agent that will only bring you grief.

I have to address the commission issue that is being bantered about here...some of the answers you received specifically dictates a commission percentage as being the "industry standard", and I absolutely MUST tell you (and all you agents that are reading this!) that COMMISSIONS ARE NEGOTIABLE BY LAW!!!! To indicate there is any kind of 'usual, customary, standard' commission is a clear violation of the Anti Trust laws (regulated by the Department of Justice, by the way) and is a FELONY.

So PLEASE do not tell anyone there is an "industry standard"...each firm determines their brokerage fees independent of any other company (in many cases the individual agent determines their own commission rates).

This is definitely one of the signs you need to steer away from: Agents that are uninformed of the laws and ethics of their own profession! Find someone that has spent time and money on educating themselves in real estate.

Michele M. Hunt, GRI, CRS, SFR, CDRS
Broker Associate
1998 REALTOR of the Year
Realty Executives Platinum
Web Reference: http://www.MicheleHunt.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
I think when Other realtors respect you
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
Professional - courteous, well mannered and well maintained
Modest - beware of too much "flash and panache"
Knowledgeable - provides accurate data and can speak to it
Positive - makes things happen
Strategic - is prepared with a plan...and contingency plans
Referencable by clients - would they use this individual again??

Good luck!!
Web Reference: http://www.LisaMoroniak.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
A good agent wants your business but doesn't need it.
They are not afraid to tell you the truth instead of just telling what you want to hear.

An excellent agent is someone who has the ability to project where your homes value is going, understand where it is today and offset the difference with strategic marketing.
Web Reference: http://www.route495.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
One of the ways to find a true leader in the industry is to look for an agent that carries the CRS designation (Certifed Residential Specialist). There are approximately 4% of all Realtors across the country that have gotten the additional education and number of transactions needed to obtain this designation. Whether you are looking for a buyer's agent or a seller's agent, their educational processes through the CRS are stellar and up to date for today's current market. Visit the website and find one that works your area....this will really narrow the field in looking for a true professional. http://www.crs.com/

Thank you TVS_FAM of Murrieta! Great question!

Kim Duclos CRS ABR GRI
Coldwell Banker Wardley
Web Reference: http://www.crs.com/
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
You need an agent with experience but also has an eye on current and future trends in the maket. After that, look for someone that will talk straight and honestly about YOUR goals.
Web Reference: http://www.thedutygroup.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
Honesty, Integrity and Full Time Involvment!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
There are many signs of a good agent. One of the things I look at is their perception of where they think I should live. In other words the housing stock they present me with. When I purchased my first home 14 years ago the 1st agent I dealt with was terrible. We showed him our pre-approval letter and told him what we were looking for in a house. He gave us a list and agreed to take us through some of the neighborhoods to view the houses. The houses and neighborhoods he took us to were awful. When we got back to his office I asked him if he would live in any of the houses or neighborhoods he took us to. His response was "well, aah................". After the long pause I asked him what made him think we would want to live in any of those houses or neighborhoods. Again the same response "well, aah......" After his second long pause I thanked him for his time and told him we would no longer need his services.

The next agent we worked with took us into neighborhoods and homes we didn't know we could afford. We bought a home through him and ended up sending 3 other couples to him who also purchased.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
A agent that will actually show you issues with a home, do research on that home and the surrounding area, Tell you if that has has structural problems (Even refusing to sell you a house because of it), Listening to what the buyers whats not just what the Realtor wants to you to buy. The list goes on and on, and IMO a Realtor that is not pushy and pay attention to you while working with you is worth a ton. We have had Realtor who were too busy talking on the phone while showing a house to show us the house. We were not looking for a 500,000+ home and we felt like the Realtor didn't want to waste her time with us. She cared more about the money than she did helping us find a home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
Hi tvs_fam
The sign of a good agent,...
One that listens to what you say and answers your questions.
One that is intuitive to your needs.
One that takes the time to show you what you want.
One that knows the marketplace.
One who is knowledgeable.
One who is experienced.
One who is a good negotiator.
One who respects you.
and above all,..
One that puts your interests first.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes Realty
(951) 821-8211
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 11, 2010
Yesterday I saw a sign that was like 6 feet tall and it had a picture of the Agent (Life-size/full body shot) with For Sale written next to the picture.....
I didn't realize until then things were so bad in the industry that Agents were now for Sale.

I don't think that was the Sign of a Good Agent...Just my opinion
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
Great question and you have received lots of great feedback pertaining to experience and credentials. Other attributes you should look for:

Honesty: Already mentioned, but deserves to be listed again.

Great Listener: You want a Realtor who LISTENS to what your needs are.

Customer Service: You want a Realtor who then delivers and provides you with the information and services you want and need.

Interview a few Realtors. Experience is great, but it is not the complete package. Look for the complete package. You want a true partner who will assist you every step of the way and provide you with the services and information you need to make confident decisions.

April Tavares, GRI
Realtor, DRE License #01742179
Web Reference: http://www.AprilTavares.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
A good agent is one who listens to their clients needs and not their wants. An good agent is one who has knowledge of the market area and how to negotiate terms best suited for their clients. A good agent is one who answers emails/phone calls/texts/etc. immediately. A good agent is one who is caring, understanding, ethical, and hardworking. One who is a full time agent compared to the fly by night part-timers. Good luck and please let me know if you need anything else.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 7, 2010
Fulltime realtor is a good thing. I always advertise that I am. However, I think it depends on the other job the realtor has. With the economy the way it is, many realtors have to take at least a part-time job. And, many realtors are also investors, landlords, etc. which takes as much time and energy as another part time job, I think.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 7, 2010
They don't have a second job : )
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 7, 2010
Trust in "Mack".....he's so honest with his answer's.....and right on!
Web Reference: http://YourTeam4homes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 6, 2010
Funny thing, Joanna; I tend to look at people in the lips, because as I get older, I'm slightly harder of hearing. Go figure!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 16, 2010
I love that there are 134 answers to this question and that so many of my colleages feel passionately about it. I just have to add my two cents: for ANY professional that I consider hiring, I want someone to look me in the eye. Without that connection, which is the foundation of integrity, I go no further. Good luck in all of your endeavors!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 16, 2010
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