Home Buying in Langhorne>Question Details

Jaye, Home Buyer in Northeast Philadelphia...

It is really hard finding a realestate agent that are about the client. what are some tips on finding and interviewing a real estate agent. I am

Asked by Jaye, Northeast Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA Mon Dec 28, 2009

looking in the Langhorne area.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hello Jaye,

As in any business there are people who are good at what they do and people who are not. The other posts have more of the "standard" questions you may end up asking a potential Realtor if you are buying or selling a property:

How many years have you been in the business?
Are you a full-time Realtor; do you have another job?
Do you work with Buyers, Sellers or both?
Will you show me some of your marketing materials (Brochures, flyers, home books, etc.)?
Do you have a specific marketing plan to show me?
Does it include exposure on the World Wide Web?
Will my listing also be on the "Web"?
What professional designations do you have?
Do you carry a pager --- a cell phone? What is the best way to reach you?
Do you have an assistant or someone available to help when you're not in the office?
How do you determine the asking price of my home?
Where do most of your Buyers come from?
Can you show me how to make my house more marketable?
Do you have references from Buyer's and Seller's you've helped?
Why should I list my home with you? --- Why should I use you to help me find a home?

In the end talk to people until you feel comfortable with someone. Avoid people who just tell you what you want to hear. Its a partnership and both parties should be up front. Write down your expectations and discuss them with potential Realtors. For example, if I meet a client that can see properties "only" on Sunday afternoons when I coach my son's baseball team and that's game day its not a good fit and I tell them so rather than sign them and become unavailable. Be clear with what you need from someone and you will be able to separate fluff from substance. A 20 year Realtor is not necessarily any better than a 2 year Realtor at the negotiating table. A Realtor having a tough year might be inclined to push you harder into a property than another having a better year. In the end ask the right questions, define your expectations and go with your gut about selecting someone to help you. Generally that will guide you to make the right decision.

Dan Rich, CPA, ABR, CDPE
RE/MAX 440
Email: drich@remax440.com
Web: http://www.dan-rich.com
Web: http://www.bucksmontcohomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
A great way to find an agent is to look at the activity of the agents in your current market. Visit an Open House that one of them are hosting and see how the represent the current sellers. Do they have the information available to you that a home buyer would be interested in obtaining while viewing that home. Also look for the sales experience of the agents you select. You can ask the agents if you could speak to sellers they are working with now and in the past. You can also call the brokers of each office you have identified and they will direct you to the agents who fit your criteria the best. The brokers work with these agents on a regular basis and will have the best knowledge on how each agent handles the clients they work with now and in the past.
A few conversations and meetings will quickly help you identify the right agent for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 17, 2012
Wow... there is allot of responses to your question.

Sheri and I are Full Time.... Full Service Realtors. No Part time supplimental service here....

Helping + Serving the Langhorne Pa Community over 17 years. We live in Langhorne + it’s a great centralized area for Philly, Princeton + N Y

Is there a better time to talk to you confidentially?

All the Best John Curci RE/MAX Properties 215-757-2889
Web Reference: http://www.HomeCatch.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 17, 2012
Your question is quite a tough oner to answer. How do you distinguish between someone who is good at selling their services and someone who will have your best interests at heart once you have hired them. I would interview three or four realtors. Rather than listen to the positive, try to pick out things that don't quite add up. Have questions ready for all of them that they are not expecting and listen closely to those responses. We can all spot those generic qualities that belong in a brochure........"serving your best interests" is one that is on my tagline, but how would I actually do that. When given a generic answer to a question,slow them down. Ask them specifically how they would accomplish that vague promise they were making. I'll get you the most house for the money. Specifically how will you do that. Can you reference three clients that you did that for recently? Do you mind if I call them? I am not suggesting that all Realtors are full of it. I think in every profession there are some people who are better at selling themselves, some better at servicing their clients and some who are good at both. I know some that fit each category and I have great respect for those that can do both and do it exceptionally well.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
Hi Jaye,
You have plenty of responses including mine. So, have you chosen a Realtor and what are your thoughts on all of the responses?

Good Luck!
Frank Dolski
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 6, 2010

My advice is, talk to a few Realtors and see if you feel comfortable with them. The "interview" should not be as a Q&A type of session. Just have normal conversations. Tell your agent what you're looking for and see if what kind of answers you get back. If you like what you hear, go with that agent. Go with someone you feel comfortable with. And make the agent feel comfortable with you as well.

During the conversation, you'll be able to tell whether you "click" with that agent or not.

Hope this helps.

If you have any questions, my contact info is on my website.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 5, 2010
Find an agent who can work with you specifications, and lender approved amount.

Many clients are not real on what they are looking for.
EXAMPLE: I had a potential buyer today contact me stating they wanted to purchase a home and aprpoved for $250K in a $1 Million area of Dallas, could not believe that they could not purchase a home for that amount. I declined service after many attempts of what is real, and reasonable offers.

You are correct it all about client however many need understand real estate market that is where problem lies perfer not take value off what a Realtor may state to them.

National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Texas Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lynn911

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009

I help people all over the country find strong real estate agents to represent them. One important filter for real estate agents is to look for agents who were willing to invest the time to earn the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation. These agents have met education and production requirements which place them in the top 3% of agents nationally. You can search for them at http://www.crs.com and use the tab "Find a CRS". Now that you have located a subset of some of the best possible agents, look for recent educational experience and testimonials. Lastly, interview two to three of these agents to find a good personality match for you.
Web Reference: http://www.crs.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
Hi Jaye,

I thought that you might appreciate another end consumer chiming in, since I'm local to the area that you appear to be interested in. Like you I'm a buyer and live in Bucks County. I moved here this May and had been looking for a house for some 6+ months prior to that. At this point, I'm pretty much ready to be back in the market again and looking for another home.

It so happens that Langhorne was one of the towns that I considered. It has many areas that would make it attractive to most buyers.

We're not sure about many of your key considerations, without more info. So if you would not mind, it would be helpful to know if you have kids, or are planning to have them. And where you anticipate needing as far as commuting goes. Depending on your needs, I would perhaps recommend different towns for your consideration. Broadly speaking, I like Yardley, Lower Makefield, Newtown, Langhorne, Trevose, New Hope, Doylestown and others. But ... we don't know what might work better for you yet.

Since you already live in PA, you are already aware that there is this wonderful stuff called Earned Income Tax. But it is also very specific to each municipality. In lower Bucks county you can live in a town that has none at all. Or up to 2%.

Langhorne itself has no EIT - IF you live in the Neshaminy school district. A portion of Langhorne, slightly more to the West is part of a different school district and DOES have EIT. This can possibly factor into your decision making criteria.

Please find here a link to the PA EIT site - so that you can lookup the exact rates for any area that you like :

Ok ... so with that out of the way. Onwards to addressing your question. You have a variety of opinions and suggestions below. And I agree with a great deal of this, except on one point. As a buyer, I am of the opinion that there are VERY FEW really good agents out there. I am not a real estate professional, but my business IS sales (high tech), and I view real estate as an investor and landlord. So perhaps the standards that I set are higher than some. I'm not interested in working with an agent whose strictly a "salesperson". I want one who is a seasoned professional that I can partner with to help me buy a very large expensive investment - one who has a proven track record, really solid negotiating skills, and YES - someone that I can work with also.

I met with and interviewed LOTS of agents in PA - at least 5 but more likely 6, before I found an individual that really did have the solid background, expertise, and a good personality match. You are also fortunate that you have several agents on your thread that, in my opinion, should merit your consideration and be included in your interview process. If you would like me to be more specfic than this, please feel free to contact me off-line via my profile.

Please feel free to provide more information, and we will be happy to address follow-up questions, etc.

Best regards,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
Hello Jaye,

There are number of resources and recommendations that I would suggest for you to find a suitable agent. First, there are many good agents with a variety of different brokers. So, you have some homework to do!
First, check with friends, family members, and co-workers and others for referrals. That is how I obtain most of my business.
Second, research there profile on there company page/website or personal website. There you may find recommendations as well.
Third, Interview a couple of agents. Perhaps you want to make a list of items that are important to you as a buyer. Agents have a variety of designations and areas of expertise. For example, I am an Accredited Buyer's Agent (ABR), Associate Broker, e-PRO (Internet Specialist), Relocations Specialist. Some agents specialize in over 55 communities, new construction, strictly buyer representation or both.
Finally, an agent's track record speaks for itself. You want to make certain that there is a mutual fit with your needs. I would be more than happy to talk to you regarding buyer representation or perhaps you may want to look me up on my website http://www.FrankDolski.com, on ColdwellBanker.com, or on LinkedIn. Please feel free to contact me!

This is my Mission Statement:
What sets a Real Estate Agent above the rest? For me, it's the outstanding compliment of my repeat and referral business. It has been my commitment to provide trusted experience, hard work, enthusiasm, integrity and results. It is my job and privilege to have great success for my clients.
There is a difference!

Frank Dolski

Frank Dolski MBA, ABR, e-PRO
Associate Broker
CARTUS Certified Relocation SpecialistThere
Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors
215-803-3237 (mobile)
215-794-1070 x103
Web Reference: http://www.FrankDolski.Com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Hi Jaye,
First, I would tell you to trust your gut. You have an instinctive radar for people who are out for themselves, and people who are out to do a good job for you. (At least I do - I can spot fake people a mile away).

Secondly, ask for recommendations from family and friends, or do some research online. Take a look at client testimonials and ask for references. Make sure you call and check with the references.

Third, make sure you personally mesh with the REALTOR and have similar personalities. An overtly agressive, bullish personality will suite some people, but not others. If the REALTOR has a blog, do a little reading up on how they run their business and approach difficult situations (negotiations, glitches in closings, etc). Make sure you like what you see.

And lastly, ask how much of the REALTORS business comes from past client or personal referrals. If past clients trust and refer out the REALTOR, I think it's a pretty good indicator that you're on the right track.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. I'll be happy to help in any way I can.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
There are plenty of good agents out there--keep in mind--Since most sellers have representation so should you. First and foremost make sure you like each other since you will be spending some time together. Interview two-three agencies and don’t be too concerned as to their locations; sometimes a local broker is no more skilled than one outside your area. Ask about scheduling around your needs, who will choose the properties to be seen, can you expect updates on new listings and recently sold properties, and how often will communication occur, etc. Ask about current sales in your areas of interest, negotiating strategies, etc. The answers to such questions should determine whether you should enter into a business relationship with an individual broker. Buyers should be aware that a mortgage pre-approval letter is required in order to determine your price range and for any offers to be taken seriously. Again, make sure you like each other.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Hello Jaye,

I am not going to disagree with you. Finding a real estate agent who will totally want to protect you will be hard.

I've been posting on Trulia for some time now and have gotten in a lot of heated arguments with other Realtors because of my client first mentality. As I tell those Realtors, I am not here to make friends with other Realtors or to socially network with other Realtors, I am here for one reason and that one reason is to help buyers, sellers and consumers.

What I advise people is to view profiles here on Trulia and read the answers you get from Realtors and see which answers you feel best answer your question. Call the Realtor or Realtors you think you would fit best with and have a short discussion with them to get a better feel for the Realtor.

You should schedule an appointment to meet with the Realtor at their office. I always schedule an appointment with a potential client at my office so that I can answer all questions the person may have and I go over the entire buying process with them. It is at that time that I also decide whether or not I want to work with that person as well. It has to be a mutual relationship. Just as you have to like and feel comfortable with the Realtor, the same goes for the Realtor. Granted, not many Realtors want to turn down business but if I don't feel as though it will be a win-win for both of us, then it's not going to benefit either one of us so its best to be honest right from the start.

There are different agency relationships you can have with a Realtor:
*buyer agency
*seller agency
*dual agency

I am not going to get into dual agency here on Trulia because as I've said, it tends to start a lot of heated arguments. What I will say about it is that I do not like dual agency and believe that it only hurts buyers and sellers. If you would like me to explain dual agency to you in more detail, please feel free to contact me.

Buyer agency is extremely important to you as a buyer. You should hire a buyer agent who will only represent you and protect your best interests. It is very important that your buyer agent be an expert negotiator and know the agreement of sale like the back of their hand. I do talk about buyer agency on my blogs on my website @ http://www.reneeporsia.com.

Seller agency is when a home owner wants to list their home for sale and hires a seller agent to list the home and work only for them and not the buyer.

It is not necessary that your buyer agent live in the Langhorne area or have their office in the Langhorne area. These days, Realtors should be very tech savvy and if they are, they can find a home for you in any area that they are licensed. Most Realtors do not even go into their offices anymore. Most work from their homes. I'm not saying that all Realtors do not go into the office every day, but most, can just work from their home. Most consumers get caught up in where the Realtor's office is but what they should concern themselves with is what kind of Realtor they are. Will your Realtor be able to only concern themselves with your best interests at all times? Is that Realtor afraid of confrontation? If so, they are not the Realtor for you. Real estate is about negotiating and protecting the client at all costs.

I could go on and on. I would love to discuss your situation with you further. Feel free to contact me at (215) 669-0589 or email me.

Please take some time to read my blog. I know you will find it very helpful.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office Ask for Renee
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Hi Jaye:
IN your search for a local Realtor you can trust, look on the internet. As you know, social networking is so important these days. The "MY SPACE" for Real Estate is called Active Rain. http://www.activerain.com
check out the Realtors in Pennsylvania, and in Bucks County. There you will see profiles and blogs from those Realtors that are embracing technology. You will see that I am the #1 agent in Bucks County and also all of PA. I would be happy to be your Buyers Agent. When you have a business relationship with me as your Buyer's Agent, my services to you are FREE! My favorite word!. Then you have an experienced Realtor that is working just for you,, not the seller. Please feel free to give me a call. Don Bradbury http://www.bradburyteam.com
You also want a Realtor that does this full time. Has lots of experience, and is trustworthy and ethical. I look forward to your call. don@bradburyteam.com
Web Reference: http://www.bradburyteam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
ask for testimonials from past clients and have them show you the data ... give me a call Tony 215 485 3868
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Have a conversation. Talk to them about what you're looking for in a home, what home means to you, how you see the process taking place, and what you think you need in an agent. Let them know what is important to you!

Listen to them, then - after you walk away, decide whether they're a possibility or not. If not, call or write them immediately and tell them so; and when you have three "possibles," ask yourself if you think you can still do better.

Everybody has a different style and personality. Even the best agents aren't a match for everybody, and the best clients aren't a match for every agent.

It's a relationship.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
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