Home Selling in 18940>Question Details

Thomas Park, Both Buyer and Seller in Newtown, PA

How do you know when a realtor is good?

Asked by Thomas Park, Newtown, PA Fri Feb 8, 2008

I am looking for a realtor to sell my house. Everyone says the right thing but how can you tell?

Help the community by answering this question:


*Someone who you trust and feel comfortable with.
*Someone who treats you as a person, not a transaction.
*Someone who can complete a thorough CMA and EXPLAIN it to you.
*Someone with a good web-heavy marketing plan.
*Someone who can give you glowing past client references.

I want my past clients love me when we're through. That's my definition of a "good" realtor.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 12, 2009
Unfortunately, you often don't know if you're working with a good Realtor, until you're in the thick of it, and it's too late. As you mention, at the interview, we're all pretty good... upbeat, knowledgeable, personable...

If you don't have personal referrals to go by, you kind of have to take a leap of faith. But make sure that you have a contract that allows you a no-cost escape clause (either no-questions asked, or perhaps for lack of performance) within a fairly short window... say 90-days.. So that if you've found yourself stuck with an agent that, for whatever reason, isn't a good match... you can extricate yourself with a minimum of hassle.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 23, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Comfort and trust, in my opinion, are the most important things. Just because an agent has had a high number of transactions, doesn't mean that he/she is necessarily a good agent. Are the clients happy after the closing? I've seen top producers who leave a train wreck behind and don't think twice about it after the close of escrow.

Testimonials are important.

Asking an agent how they handled a frustrating transaction gives you a better picture of what I think you describe as "good". Anyone can stick a sign in your yard. Buying and selling a house is an extremely emotional process. A "good" agent is one that helps to keep everyone focused on what is important and work towards the common goal.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 8, 2008
Selecting a Realtor, just like selecting a CPA or an attorney, is difficult.
I recommend creating a list of questions and asking the Realtors the same questions and comparing the answers.

There are a couple of key areas that will affect the marketability of your home, so you need to ask questions to find out what the Realtor's plan are in these areas:

1. Price - you should be able to figure out on your home's market value from your conversation with the Realtor and the Competitive Market Analysis (CMA). If you are unable to figure out the price, and feel that the Realtor is just telling you the price, I am not sure that is a way to start a relationship.
2. Condition - the better the condition of your home, the more saleable. Having Realtor tell you how to prepare your home for sale, including cleaning, painting, decluttering, etc. are one of the reasons you want to hire a professional. Market time will be shorter, offers will be better, it makes a big difference.
3. Marketing - the Realtor's primary responsibiltiy is to expose your home to the market. I would ask them for samples of their marketing, review their marketing plan, and ask the question: What happens if my home does not receive showing acitvity?
What will happen if we do not receive any offers in the first 30 days?
Where do buyers typically come from ? Newspaper, internet, other Realtors? See what they say and compare the answers.

The truth is that houses sell houses. Realtors manage the process. That is where we earn our money. Once the offer comes in, once we open escrow, how do you make sure we close escrow.

I suggest asking the Realtors what they would do if a low offer comes in? Compare the answers. Most markets are buyer's markets, so I would evaluate how the respond: Reject it outright, counter with YOUR price, or somewhere in the middle.

Also ask them how long it will take to sell. In our area homes that well in the first thirty days of market time sell closest to asking price, so our goal is to sell sooner than later, and our marketing is very front end loaded to get maximum exposure during the first two weeks of market time. Don't tell the Realtor this, just ask them the questions I've outlined and see if you can detect a difference.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 8, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Hi Thomas,

Many of us have answered you question in one way or another, most of the answers are very good. Their are many ways to go about you choice, but keep one thing in mind. It's truly is not a clear cut science to who you choose to market your property. Besides skill, experiences, etc.. you have to just feel comfortable with their style and personality. I would however suggest that if you haven't already, think about moving forward in the near future as the spring market is around the corner and it may take a bit of time to get things ready. Your home should be in good shape, free of clutter, staged if needed (it does help, I do it for all my homes) etc.. So preparations should be underway soon. In any event, best of luck in your decision and I hope your process moves along smoothly. Keep the lines of communication always open with your realtor so you know the next step and can plan ahead.
Long and Foster
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 15, 2009
Thomas, The best thing is to interview 3 agents. Ask them for their marketing plan. Ask for references and check it out. Ask if they give you the option to cancel the contract if you are not satisfied with them.Ask for some examples that show how good they are at negotiating an offer when it comes in.
Check out their web sites, the hours they work, the marketing plan and credentials. Did they take time to get designations ? It is easy to get a Real estate license and hang it somewhere.You want someone who is available to work with you and easy to communicate with. Some agents do not give you any other number except the main office number and it can be frustrating getting in touch with them.
I would love to be interviewed for the job.
Please check out my web site http://www.gitabantwal.com
You may call me at home , office or on my cell phone.
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 15, 2009
Hi Thomas,
Meet with me. Let me display my services. Besides Facebook and many national ways of exposing your home. I attract buyers from all over the country. People who are seriously looking for this terrific area. I am extremely familiar with everything from schools to events to neighborhoods in the 18940. I live there and raised a family. My best advise is to meet with me.
Thank you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 13, 2009
Hi Thomas,
Now is a better time than ever if you are thinking of buying another home. Interest rates are down; prices have changes depending on the area. No one has a crystal ball on how the housing market will be for the rest of the year but anyone looking to relocate, is looking now. If you are considering listing, you may want to do it before the Spring as most activity occurs by the end of the summer. Have you spoken to any realtors about the value of your home? Their services, both local and global, marketing strategy? You should at least interview two realtors for a comparison. I’d be glad to chat with you.

Frank Dolski
Coldwell Banker Hearthside-Lahaska, PA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 13, 2009
Their lips aren't moving...
Web Reference: http://GetPrequalified.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 12, 2009

The best advertising is by word of mouth.....and recommendations from satisfied customers should be taken seriously.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 12, 2009
There are many factors to look at when assessing a realtor. As a realtor, my recommendation to buyers and sellers are as follows:
First, I would suggest researching the agent's profile as well as information about their respective company. Does the company provide full service? This is critical!
Is the Realtor familiar with the area? What is their market share in a specific area? What type of credentials or designations does the Realtor possess? For example, if a buyer, I would be looking for a realtor that is an Accredited Buyer's Agent. Seniors looking at over 55 communities may want an agent with a SRES designation. For relocation buyers or sellers, is the agent a certified Relocation Specialist? If CARTUS, is the agent CARTUS certified. Or if looking at new construction, are they familiar with multiple builders and their products?
I would also consider that agent's track record. Referrals make up a significant part of any successful Realtor's business! Repeat business indicates that past clients are pleased with the agent's services.
Most importantly, it's not always about the agent but how they will fulfill the needs of the client. Every buyer and seller has different needs and good agents can direct their clients to an array of support services such as stagers, painters, electricians, movers, roofing contractors, etc.
In summary, a good agent is not a person who looks to just “close the deal”. Their objective should be to have clients for life as well as future referral business from all of their clients. My recommendation is for you to do the research when choosing a Realtor. You may want to start by interviewing the Realtor over the phone after you do your research.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 16, 2008

Talk with the realtor over the phone, see what you gut tells you. You have to like the person and feel absolutely comfortable with them. See if they are truly committed to selling your home. Do they have a marketing plan that illustrates all the specific details. Do they listen to you,? and care. You can be in the business 30 years, 2 years, or 10 years, although important- that should only be one area of consideration.
When a realtor has a clear understanding of the market trends -they are worth their weight in gold in selling a person's home. Don't be fooled by gorgeous web sites and double talk- truly listen to what you hear, is the
realtor listening and asking pertinent questions that leave you comfortable and informed.
Good luck and If I can be of service to you, please do not hesitate to call.

Long and Foster
Happy Holidays

A moment ago - Delete this answer
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 16, 2008
Hi Thomas,
Look at my marketing plan,it speaks for itself. Invite me over. Thank you for your inquiry
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 15, 2008
Google them to see where they advertise. If their name does not come up or is only on one site you may want to pass. The proof is what you can see - not what they say they can do. In this market - advertising is crutial, whether you work full or part time, how hard are you working to get this home sold? Where do they advertise, get examples, how many homes have they sold? How many are currently listed. What is their average sales price. How will they follow up with you on feedback received, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 27, 2008
Lots of great advise here. I throw in my two cents.
- Review their marketing plan and compare it to others.
- Make sure they are a full time realtor.
- Ask for past clients who you can call for a reference.
- Ask their company ranking or awards they have received.
- What is their plan for communication with you?
- Do they guarantee their services and put it in writing?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 24, 2008
When their lips aren't moving...

(this post is purely intended for humor only)
Web Reference: http://getprequalified.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 23, 2008
Their are many way to response this question. But first would say is you have to like the person, everybody brags about what they can do for you, which I don't discount-by any means, but you have to be comfortable first and feel like you can trust this person. They should be listening to you and not selling themselves the whole time. it's not about them, it's about the client.
A realtor should be valuable to you, anyone can use the multiple listing service and put up a sign in front of a home. This good realtor provides exceptional service. Including knowledge and a genuine perspective of the market nationally and locally (within your area). For example how many homes are on the market in the area, what was the average selling price last year vs. this year ?etc.. When realtor's
does their homework they bring a sense of value and knowledge. A good realtor has connections with other professionals should you need a loan officer, home inspector, etc.. When a realtor is referred from past clients is very important, as this shows that other clients have been satisfied with the service provided. I strongly feel that a good realtor does not end when he recieves his commission. I feel he stays connected, provides any necessary contractors should the family require any additional to be done in their home etc.. The realtor should follow through with details, and consistently educate you throughout the process. They should consistently provide feedback so you are up to date knowing the present situation. Educating a client is a necessary part of the process. Pricing, Negotiating, Educating, Planning,
marketing are just a few of the tools a good realtor utilizes.
Does their marketing plan fit your objectives, or their's? what are the alternatives should you encounter a snag in the process? Their are othe things to consider, google your question and I'm sure you find out other specifics that can help you. Best of luck in your search..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 22, 2008
Simple! A reference from a friend or family member tells it all. If your agent did not do what was promised, the agent obviously would not be referred to you. Testimonials from past clients is good too. Also, ride around the neighborhood. See how many of thier signs have a SOLD sign on them, or google their name too!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2008
Get testimonials from past clients. Analyze the marketing plan and determine whether it has the right marketing mix to promote your property. What metrics are available to track the effectiveness of various marketing components? What is the feedback mechanism used to get buyers' opinions of your property so that you can make effective changes to the marketing strategy? Financing is a main concern today; how knowledgeable is the agent in providing financing solutions if there is a hiccup in the buyer's mortgage application process to keep the transaction moving? Are they full-time or part-time?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2008
Lots of good advice here. I would like to add that you ask for references of the last 5 sellers they represented and get the answer directly from those sellers. Make sure that those sales weren't from 5 years ago that would indicate either a low production or they knew that those sellers aren't going to give them rave reviews, or that they may work with buyers mostly.
Web Reference: http://www.sumnerrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2008
A good Realtor produces results. Ask for references if you are still unsure. After the first meeting you should be able to tell if you click or not with the Realtor. Also, check out the brokerage company and see what kind of results that they have. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 8, 2008
Hello Thomas,

Just like any other consumer transaciton you have to do your home work and trust your judgement. You need to find someone that you will feel comfortable having a working relationship with for a few months or longer in todays market. You need to interview a few agents and see what they as individuals and their company have to offer. Can they help you sell your home in your timeframe. How do they plan on markrting your home and find the right buyer? How will they assist you in negotiating, not just price but up until closing. Can they advise you on ways to fix up or improve the value of your home? Communication is very important so make sure you are comfortable with the agent you choose. Ask for testimonials and make sure you check out their current listings. Hope this helped some. Best of luck selling your home. I'd like to interview for the job if you haven't found the right agent yet.

Have a Great Day,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 8, 2008
Does he/she listen to you? Communication will be the most important tool in this process. Like in any area of business if you get a person that's a poor communicator, what's the point in doing business with them? While you can walk away from a store that gave you bad service, this is different.

Ask a lot of questions like:

1. Is there a good time to speak with you if I have questions about my home?
2. How often will you hold open houses?
3. How do you collect feedback from showings/open houses?
4. What forms of marketing will you use (MLS, local newspapers, Craigslist, flyers, postcards, etcetera?)

Ask to see the marketing materials they're currently using. A great Realtor will use all the resources they have available to get it sold.

What company do they represent? That's also a HUGE factor. Chances are the larger the company they represent, the more marketing options they will have readily available to assist in the sale. It's not always the case, but in my opinion it sure helps!

All the best in your search!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 8, 2008
Talk to them more :) Ask them more and different questions. What will they do if your hose hasn't sold in a month, two, three? What do they plan to market your house etc. Getting recommendations from people you trust is also a good idea.

Lastly, whoever you choose, makes sure you feel comfortable with them and feel that you can trust them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 8, 2008
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