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Always Moving…, Other/Just Looking in Denver, CO

What are some best tips and practices for finding the right realtor?

Asked by Always Moving And Relocation, Denver, CO Sat Dec 14, 2013

Doing a blog post on this subject, might as well get it straight from the right sources. Answers will be referenced in the blog post. Please leave your website/social etc so that we may link to you as well. Thanks for any and all input.

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Answers

37
Be sure you interview Agents. Yes, it is important to have someone working for you that knows the area and the market. But that is not all. As a Seller or a Buyer, you will be working with the Agent you chose for months. You want to find a Realtor who you feel comfortable with and will enjoy working with. We all want the home buying and selling process to go as smooth as possible but that does not always happen. There will be bumps in the road but having someone you trust will make the experience so much easier and less stressful for you.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
1. Ask your lender for a few names of some local Realtors. They know who's helping the most buyers and sellers in your market. These busy agents know the market. They will make sure that when you are buying or selling you are getting the best possible service. Interview at least 2-3 realtors from different companies.

2. If possible, find a great team to work with. You get two realtors at no extra charge. One of your agents should be available for you, if there are two of them.

3. Make sure your agent (agents) are Brokers. This assures you they have the experience and education needed to make your buying and selling experience as smooth as possible.

4. Test the agents response time. Send them a text, e-mail or voice mail and see how long it takes to respond. Sometimes a few minutes can make all the difference in the world when it comes to seeing a hot property.

"The Sold Team"
Wade Eckenrod & Robin Yost
RE/MAX Results
Bay City, MI 48706
989-671-1791
WadeMrSold@aol.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 30, 2013
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find out about good agents in your area, but to ensure the referral is a good fit for you I'd suggest looking at the agent's website and reviews (e.g. Yelp) as well. Once you've narrowed it down to a few good candidates, I strongly suggest meeting each of them in person to make sure you would feel comfortable working with them. In the very competitive San Francisco Bay Area, you need to have confidence that your Realtor has strong analytic and negotiating skills to deal with multiple offers, so doing due diligence up front can really increase your likelihood of success.
Web Reference: http://www.opartners.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
Get a good referral, a Realtor that can advise but more importantly listen, is patient, skilled and experienced
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
How about a Realtor who gives the client a lot of personal attention. Listening is a big part of what a Realtor does. Follow-through and execution are a priority. Yes, check references.

Great question.

Suz
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 22, 2013
I agree with Barry about finding an agent who will actually LISTEN to the client. First, I think buyers & sellers should ask about a Realtor's area of expertise (including geography, type of property, and type of client).

For example: Geography: Are you an expert in a certain neighborhood, town or suburb? Buyers focused on a specific area will want an agent who knows that area well. For example, I'm primarily focused on the N. Denver Metro area. Sometimes buyers will ask me about Highlands Ranch, and I am honest with them and say "that's not my area of expertise. I'd be happy to show you houses there, or I can refer you to an agent who is more familiar with that area."

Types of Properties: Do you specialize in single family homes? Condos? Farm or ranch properties? Fixer uppers? Each one has it's own things you want to look for.

Types of Clients: Do you work primarily with First Time Buyers? Retirees? Relocation Buyers? Clients who are "moving up" or "downsizing"? Each situation is different.

Second - Consider the Realtor's personality and "sales style". As Barry said some agents are very "high pressure", which really isn't necessary in this business. Buyers are already to buy. They don't need to be "sold" on something. (actually, some do which I'll get to in a moment). I am not that type of Realtor. My job is to listen to the clients' wants & needs, find properties that would work for them, and then get the transaction closed.

I was actually "fired" recently by some buyers who thought I wasn't "aggressive enough" and who were used to "agents who tried to up-sell" them! Seriously?! Some buyers are super easy and flexible to work with, and may find the right house after looking at 5 homes. Others are more "finicky" and have to look at a hundred houses before they "settle" on one. While I would love to try and "sell" these people on a home after about the 50th house, I don't. It is up to the buyers to decide when they have found "the one". My job is to be patient, and listen to their wants and needs and find the right house, even if it means looking at 100 of them.

Third - Years of experience. You want an agent who knows his/her way around a contract and has a proven track record of getting transactions closed. BUT...years of experience isn't everything. I'm a relative "new" agent (5+ years) and I run across plenty of "experienced" agents who don't know how to write a contract, or who miss things on the contract that will negatively impact their client. You want someone who is competent and who is going to be looking out for your best interests at all times.

Finally -- and this one is key -- I think references and referrals are a great way to find the right Realtor. I've had clients contact me solely on my references, or who were referred to me by friends, family and past clients. This business is more than just about buying & selling real estate. It's about developing relationships. You want to find someone who you LIKE, who you can TRUST and who you're going to have a good working relationship with.

I hope this helps! Feel free to reference my websites:

My blog:
http://www.boulderhousesearch.com

My official Metro Brokers site:
http://www.metrobrokersonline.com/agents/Sally.Grenier

And my profiles on various real estate / social media websites:

Trulia: http://www.trulia.com/profile/sallygrenier/
Zillow: http://www.zillow.com/profile/sallygrenier13/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrenierRealEstate
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sallygrenier
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 15, 2013
Thanks!
Flag Mon Dec 16, 2013
Sally, I think I would enjoy working with you.
Flag Sun Dec 15, 2013
Thanks Sally, GREAT answer. Area, types of properties and clients...good insights. I'll let you know as soon as it's posted. Enjoy your Sunday :-}
Flag Sun Dec 15, 2013
Does the realtor listen more than they talk? Simple but worth saying. If the realtor is talking all the time they probably aren't focused on your needs and wants.

(For buyers) Is the realtor showing you all the properties that fit your criteria or only ones listed by either him or her or their company? Realtors, myself included, like being on "both sides" of the transaction because it puts more money in our pockets. Having said that, realtors have an obligation to find you the house that makes you the happiest regardless of who has it listed. Sadly, this is not always the case. If you find your agent only showing his her properties (or only from their company) or you find that every time you mention a house listed by another company you are told that it is sold, under contract, or there some other reason you "don't want to look at that property," you should probably run.

(For buyers) Is your realtor using high pressure sales techniques? You are already looking to buy a home. You don't need to be "sold" and you certainly don't need to be rushed. This a huge decision and you need to be shown the best options, given honest information, and then given the time and space to think things through.

Ask your agent to show you proof of how many homes they have sold in the past year. If they have very few sales, that does not automatically mean that they are a bad agent (just as lots of sales does not automatically mean that they are a good agent or the right agent for you) but it is an indicator that you need to investigate further. If they are a part-time agent with another full-time job they may not be as flexible as they need to be to show you houses (if you are buying). If you are a seller, other agents may have difficulty reaching your agent in order to schedule a showing. There is an old saying that foes, "If you need something done, ask a busy person." You want an agent that knows how to make things happen. Hope is not a method.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 14, 2013
That would be great. I am still learning this social media stuff.
Flag Sun Dec 15, 2013
Thanks for an informative and detailed answer Barry. Would you like a link to your Trulia profile, website or other? Thanks again.
Flag Sat Dec 14, 2013
Finding the right REALTOR can become overwhelming. Remember recommendations are always great; friends, family, co-workers all have their opinions. YOU, are the one that will be working with the agent, you are the one with the last word. There is countless information on the web about REALTORS. You can get a great idea of how this agent will be by just calling them. Did they answer the phone? Call back in a timely manner? Were they willing to listen?
Sometimes the simple things can provide the greatest information.
Good Luck
Remember, you can always call me
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 8, 2014
Finding the right realtor can be a long and painful process. Some elect to use friends or relatives, only to find later, that this was a huge mistake, while others seek top producers, or highly visible companies. Regardless of which avenue you take, there is still a high margin of error when you rely on another's recommendations.

This is why we always recommend that people seeking agent services always use their own personal judgment. Who, you ask? Consider attending open houses, not for the exclusive purpose of viewing the home but observing the agent that is present. By investing a Sunday afternoon, you can interact and evaluate a dozen or more realtors....and they don't even know it!

Have a few prepared questions that reflects their understanding of the local RE market. ie. Not including your company and your listings, what is the best value out there for a buyer like me?

Getting a feel for how an individual interacts with others and thinks on their feet can go a long ways in determining whether or not a person has the skills you are looking for and if you can relate to them yourself.

Good luck,

Bill
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 2, 2014
Conduct an in depth analysis of EVERY real estate Agent you ever contact.
NEVER believe ANY ONE when attempt to inspect, review or buy a property .

A SELLER WANTS THE MONEY in exchange for their house. They KNOW THAT MONEY IS WORTH MORE to them than their house. THIS MUST TELL YOU ABOUT THE HOUSE. IT WILL ALWAYS BE WORTH LESS. I recommend always offering at least 30% below asking and sticking to the offer. Let the seller keep their house until THEY feel some pressure. If YOU as a buyer EVER FEEL PRESSURE or ever get :"emotional" about a property....run away as fast as you can.

There is rarely harm in WAITING out the seller of the house you want. if they sell it to someone else, god for them...at least YOU were not the sucker who bought it! There are MILLIONS of houses for sale. ALWAYS CONSIDER ONLY YOUR BEST INTEREST and NEVER the best interests of ANYONE else. You will be OWNING the debt that the seller is trying to get rid of. What do THEY know that you do not know ?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 1, 2014
500k for a house in Lodi? LOL
Flag Mon Feb 10, 2014
Thanks Olga! We successfully bought a house. All agents involved should have been arrested. We ended up threatening them with an real estate attorney-Broker, who advised us we saved over $20,000 in legal bills for his $20 / 15 minute telephone consultation. We offered about 33 % under asking price and it was accepted in a "hot sellers market" in California. Asking was $325k, we offered $200K and countered with $205k which was accepted. We closed in 5 weeks and found more lies from the property inspections but it does not matter now. Why? the house is now "worth" about $510k according to comps. Its 2700 sq feet 5 bed 3 1/2 bath on over an acre with a detached 3 car garage + workshop. We found the ONLY people honest in this transaction was ourselves, the seller ( didn't know enough to lie) , and our 15 minute Real estate attorney. The attorney could be sued for lying, whereas the agents are rarely sued for lying or fraud- it's in the contract--that's why it is has 60 pages.
Flag Tue Jan 14, 2014
this is the best advice of all! thank you. Olga
Flag Mon Jan 13, 2014
You might get referrals from your friends. You can ask the agent for testimonials. You probably would rather have someone with experience who has handled pretty much anything that can come up during the sale or purchase of a home.

Marianne Hofmann
Serving DuPage and Will Counties of IL
Web Reference: http://mariannehofmann.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 30, 2013
Working mainly as a Buyers' Agent for the last 4 years, the best strategy for finding the right Realtor to work with is interviewing them. You may set up a traditional interview or go out with them once to see property and see if you mesh. There are enough issues that arise during a transaction, you don't need a tempestuous broker/client relationship to make it worse.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 30, 2013
I always TEST them FIRST. If an agent EVER lies or exaggerates ANYTHING...its time to run in the opposite direction, for they are their OWN CLIENT. AGENTS ALWAYS HAVE FIRST DIBS ON ANY LISTING. If the price is so good...why didn't they buy it? Buy LOW and SELL HIGH...NEVER BUY HIGH AND SELL LOW.
Flag Wed Jan 1, 2014
When looking for a Realtor, Agent or Broker, I would advise the prospective client to do a little research on the Agent/Broker first. Trulia.com is a great source of information. Any successful Agent or Broker should have an extensive profile on this website. This should be sort of a resume of their customer service, knowledge and experience. Choose your top three to interview for the job and narrow it down from there.

Focus on the Agent or Broker that has the experience and structured marketing plan. Read the recommendations, and use them as a guide to who you feel with provide you with the best overall experience.

All the best,

Alex Montelongo/Broker
Coldwell Banker Star Realty
562-810-7387 Cell
BRE Lic #01456982
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 30, 2013
Great question!

Did you know that the media has advice on approaching this chore, too. There is plenty of press about hiring a Realtor for buying and selling. And they advise meeting and speaking with at least three experienced Realtors.

You are smart to choose a Realtor. They have been thoroughly trained and take courses on an ongoing basis. They also subscribe to higher ethics than non-Realtors, though you should ask for references.

Check out SuzRealEstate on Facebook. We have this kind of information as well as other tips on buying and selling.

Suz
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 30, 2013
Thanks BoulderSuz, you are correct there is a massive amount of info on this subject, wanted to get answers directly from those in the industry to give visitors to our site a variety of answers from viable resources, the agents and broker themselves.
Flag Mon Dec 30, 2013
A real estate agent's job is to make a sale in a hurry. The faster a property sells, the more money the agency makes, because they don't have to spend a lot of money in advertising and carrying inventory in general. To accomplish this they try to set prices as low is as reasonable, and make the property look as attractive as possible. Successful real estate agents keep a record of all the inquiries they have. The most successful question the customer to really find out exactly what they want and then just match it up. Question if an agent has an inventory of people looking for what you want and get them to describe it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 30, 2013
Most Buyers are not aware of the many possibilities available to them, not only in the home they want but it the multitude of financing options. Putting a buyer in the best home for them, with the best financing, is an art. It takes knowledge of the market, knowledge of financing options and most of all knowledge of what the buyer wants and NEEDS are. Why are they moving? How will this move improve their situation. A really good agent will help a buyer navagate homes, the areas of opportunity, and the right lender. A really good agent will give the buyer any and all options that are available, not just the ones that the buyer suggest. A really good agent will need to be experienced, not just in years but in transactions. The market changes everyday. When was the last transaction the agent did? How many questions did they ask you when you meet them. Did they talk about themselves or did they find out about you and your needs. A really good agent will make all the difference in the world not just in finding a home, but more important, in CLOSING the transaction.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 30, 2013
First of all, establish with your buying partner what you are looking for in an agent; such as a good listener who has your interest at heart ( you will have to go on your gut and on reviews from past clients.)
If your needs are immediate, you may not want to go with the agent who is the top producer because of the time involved with communication. This leads to the next answer, other than listening, it is important adequate , pertinent information is communicated in a timely manner, so ask them in the interview process how soon they get back ( as a general rule,) to your requests.

Of course, communication is a two way street so you need to determine as much as possible your needs and let them be known , and level with your agent of any possible sharks in the water.

There has to be a trust relationship and you need to like their approach to business. Usually this can be determined at the interview and by asking a few questions you have determined beforehand.

In summary, an open, honest relationship is crucial to the whole process and all parties on board will need to participate in that frame .

Thank you for reading and I do hope you make the right choices.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 30, 2013
You want a full time REALTOR or better yet a BROKER, who has the experience, knowledge and negotiating skills that will serve you best. After all, 90% of all of the transactions are done by the top 10% performers. Hire one of the best!

Tip: Go to their testimonials for references. Oftentimes these can give you that additional information you need to separate the best from the ones who lack the necessary skill set.

Claire Richards
REALTOR - ASSOCIATE BROKER
RE/MAX Professional Realty
Exton, PA 19341
610.256.2780
http://www.ChesterCountyLiving.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 30, 2013
Find out the what the agent's experience and customer service level is by reading past client testimonials and or ask for references to be sure its a good fit for all parties. See The Ray Team on Facebook.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 30, 2013
Finding the right Realtor is definitely worth the interviewing process. They are not all created equal. New agents shouldn't necessarily be overlooked. Many new agents are hungry, fresh and ready to WORK and prove themselves. They often don't have 20 listings and 20 phone calls a day, so they can dedicate time to you and the sale or purchase of your home.

There's definitely something to an experienced agent as well. They will know how to negotiate, know how to trouble shoot and deal with problems if they come up.

An experienced agent will be able to assist with financing issues, title, insurance, inspections, etc.

I think it's a happy medium. Finding the right agent that has the time to dedicate and the knowledge and experience to be creative and strong if times call for them.

Ask lots of questions and trust your gut. Get to know the agent and how they work, market and what to expect from them. Honesty and communication is key. Be upfront with what you need and what they can do. Discuss realistic goals and not just the initial fluff involved with sales. Have them lay out a plan for 1, 2, 3 and 4 months. Find out how they market and what their company can do for you.

Ask them about commission splits. How much will they give a buyer's agent? Do they recommend bonuses? Make sure they know your local market and what a home's resale value could potentially be down the road.

There are a lot of factors to buying or selling a home. The right agent makes all the difference!

Cecilia Sherrard
RE/MAX Real Estate Group
216-323-4620
http://www.YouShouldOwn.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
Very much appreciate everyone who has responded so far. I'll have the blog post ready the 1st of the year with everyone's answers and referenced link.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
Working with the right realtor is the most important step in the home buying/selling process. Often buyers may call just any agent to just get in a property. Sellers know to interview realtors to decide on the right one to hire. Buyers really need to research and interview as well. A good experienced realtor will make all the difference! Negotiating the purchase price is only the beginning, protecting your clients interest, muddling through inspections, lenders and local knowledge are just as important as finding the right home!
Pat Settar -Mullica Hill, NJ
Web Reference: http://PatSettar.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
Many agents work for the commission and forget about the client and how important the process is. A knowledgeable, trustworthy and ethical realtor that (this is the kicker) will answer his phone when you call!
http://www.buyandsellhomesLA.com
sebastian M.
Keller Williams Realty
(we have realtors in any state in the US - let me know if you need a trusted referral!) sebastianm@kw.com good luck! and happy 2014
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
Ask your realtor 3 questions.
1. IS HE READY TO WORK FOR YOU
and not just for himself
2. HOW ORGANIZED HE IS
Will he keep you updated on all matters
3. MAKE SURE HE KNOWS THE PROPERTY
Another words came well prepared

Call me for anything else you need to know. I know Brooklyn inside out.

Gavriel Drew
Top Agent in Fillmore RE 2013 award.
917-864-7701
Gavrieldrew@Fillmore.com
Web Reference: http://Fillmore.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
It's always good as a seller to see what listings and sales a realtor has in the area that your home is in. For buyer, local market knowledge and experience is essential. You'll want to interview your agent and be certain that not only they are knowledgeable but that you like them. Crazy, but feeling comfortable and trusting an agent will make the process much less stressful.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
from my experience in our market the home and area sells its self, just because a Realtor has whole bunches of listings doesn't necessarily make them the right agent for you
Flag Sun Dec 29, 2013
How can you find out what other listings and sales an agent has before listing your house with them. Of course an agent is going to tell you what you want to hear so I'd rather see it in writing.
Flag Sun Dec 29, 2013
First look for an agent that is experienced, knows the market and is full-time. Nothing more important than an agent that knows the market and cares about your needs as well as is able to solve all the little problems/glitches involved in such an important transaction.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
Get referrals, search for recommendations. It is important to be accessible to your clients, via phone, text or email. I have marketing ideas that may be of interest to you. I listen to your goals. My goal is to help buyers and sellers achieve their goal, in the most seamless way possible.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
Realtor who answer the phone and gives your the info you need , be there on time , has 2 and 3 other choices for you to choose ,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
A Realtor who puts your needs above all, who is sincere about helping you find the best/most suitable home to your needs. Who responds asap via email, txt or phone. Who is honest, and have integrity. Full time in the business and knows their job. By Linda Chupco, San Diego, CA.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
Realtor that knows the business, Realtor that picks up the phone, Realtor that knows the area, Realtor that can get things done in good time, Realtor that wants to help, Realtor that needs your business, and a Realtor that can explain the process or answer your questions. A Realtor that is not tired of their job.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
A Realtor who accomplishes the goals of their clients. They listen, research, plan, implement, an action
plan for the goals of their clients. And yes, answer their phone, return calls & emails promptly. Talk to
their past clients, and people who know their work ethic & integrity!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
Find a realtor who will answer the phone and/or call back quickly, send you info on properties daily, and will schedule home showings within a day or 2. If they can't do all of those three things, odds are, they aren't taking the job seriously or just aren't available enough to be effective.
Web Reference: http://Realtornikkireed.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
Sarah G wrote

- If the price is so good...why didn't they buy it?

Utility value, Sarah. We can only live in one place at a time, and we're not collectors. The "highest and best use" for many properties is owner-occupied.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 1, 2014
Believe I got everybody, if I missed you please let me know. If you would like to add any additional links, let me know as well. Thanks for everyone's input. Blog post link is below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 31, 2013
how do i know if the broker or agent gives me the accurate information .. not just to make a sale??
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 30, 2013
I ASK THE SELLER FIRST....followed by the neighbors. They will YAK your ears off with THE REAL PROBLEMS with the property. The successful listing agent DOES NOT WANT TO KNOW the negatives about any potential new listing.
Flag Sun Jan 12, 2014
Check with your friends to see who they have used. Were they happy? Make sure your agent gives you a market analysis for a home that you want to sell or buy. Best of Luck!
Flag Mon Dec 30, 2013
I think it is instinctual. Realtors are bound by a code of ethics, so they should give you the best information they can gather. The best way to find a Realtor is to get a referral to one from someone who has purchased or has had a good experience with one.
Flag Mon Dec 30, 2013
You have her right here (me) Sherry, look no further. 770-377-6741
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
My name is Zofia(Sophia) Lavarde 17 years with the same Brokerage Rye Port R.E.Inc.
located at 15 Quintard Dr. Port Chester N.Y.10573
My specialty is CBR and do also listings.
I am full time 24/7 agent. I am v.deligent and happy to help.
My cell # 914-672-2509
E-mail: zlavarde@optonline.net

Wishing All Very Happy New Year 2014
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 29, 2013
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