Question of the Day: What makes a great buyer's agent

Asked by Trulia, San Francisco, CA Thu Mar 8, 2012

How does a home buyer identify a great agent? What are some key things he/she does?

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Linda Brown, Agent, Charleston, SC
Thu Mar 8, 2012
The best way for a potential home buyer to find a great Realtor is by asking friends, family and co-workers for recommendations. They will share their experiences with their Realtor. If that Realtor did his/her job with intergrity and great knowledge and brought value to the transaction he/she will get rave reviews and referrals from their past clients.They will insist that the potential buyer call and will likely have the number or email readily available, if not a business card. If a Realtor expects to get referrals from past clients he/she must go beyond expectations, be knowledgeable about the current market, listen to the client to hear what they are really telling you regarding their needs and wants. Be available to them and remember they are making a major life changing decision and you should be a trusted advisor. A great Realtor is substantially more than someone who has access to buildings. A great Realtor will work just as hard and diligently for the $60,000 client as he/she would for the $600,000 client. He/she would have compassion for the client, who is on Section 8 or housing assistance but is looking for a house to call their own payments he/she can afford without assistance. That's a Realtor who puts the client's needs before the commission. That is the Realtor any potential home buyer should seek.
2 votes
Doug Holmes, Agent, Charleston, SC
Thu Mar 8, 2012
Lots of experience and good market knowledge. The buyer needs feel certain that their Realtor is a trusted advisor and not just someone taking an order. Real Estate transactions are as difficult as they've ever been and getting more so every day. We had 6k Realtors at the peak of the market in 2006 and now we have about 3000. Only about 1000 of those are actually making a living at it. Several hundred of them actually subscribe to my statistics and market analysis service that I sell to agents. Those are the kind of agents you want. Those that are paying extra to gain more knowledge. Look for certifications, those letters after the name. ABR stands for Accredited Buyers Rep. GRI stands for Graduate Realtor Institute. If you want to buy a short sale or foreclosure and get your best deal, has your agent done those or have they stayed away from those b/c they are too difficult? You need an agent that has a team of contractors that he works closely with. Not just building contractors, but inspectors, LENDERS, pest control, painters, etc. I belong to a Business Networking International group and have 20 people that I know I can count on.
1 vote
Shawn Pillion, Agent, Charleston, SC
Tue Jun 26, 2012
A great buyer's agent will save the buyer a great deal of time and money.

Please read my blog to discover all the things a great Charleston buyer's agent can do for the home buyer:…

Doug says that 1,000 agents in Charleston are making a living in real estate- I say more like 100 agents when you look at buyer only transactions. (An exclusive buyer's agent doesn't get involved with sellers) The average buyer in Charleston has a very high chance of ending up with the wrong agent when you do the math on 3,000 licensed agents and (at best) 100 real buyer's agents- my math tells me that only 3% of the time will buyers end up with a full time agent.

Buying a home is a BIG purchase.... are you getting the right advice???

Shawn Pillion
843/ 647.9711
0 votes
Joshua Calve…, Agent, Charleston, SC
Tue May 8, 2012
A great agent is an agent that is not only going to find you the home that you're looking for, but is an agent that you'll have fun doing it with! Buying a home is serious business, it's the single largest transaction most people will ever conduct in their lives! For me, I act how I want to be remembered. When my clients are sitting around in 30 years thinking about their first home buying experience I want to be a part of that memory! I want my clients to say they had a great agent that found them a wonderful home!
Aside from having a winning, fun personality your Realtor should also know their market! A good agent will research properties for you and send you a list based on your wants and needs and not press homes on you that you dont want. A good agent should have good, open lines of communication. Meaning, if you try to contact your agent they should respond back to you within a couple of hours but no later than about a day. GOOD Real Estate agents can get pretty busy, but they also make time for their clients. A good agent should be with you every step of the way, guiding you through every step of the process. They should go over all paperwork and conduct the negotiations, they should schedule inspections, and go to the closing table with you to make sure everything checks out. Even after closing a good agent should remain in contact with you to make sure that your needs have been met and that your entire experience was a good one.
The short answer is, if you have a good agent they will know what they're talking about, they'll work with your schedule, and they'll be there to help no matter what you need. If you would like experience this kind of service for yourself give me a call at 843-789-9860 or visit me on the web at
0 votes
Maureen Cody, , Charleston, SC
Mon Apr 30, 2012
Having the techincal skills to effectively assist Buyers to compare and track their favorite homes, and to determine which will be the best financial decision.
0 votes
Margie Casey, Agent, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Thu Mar 8, 2012
If a buyer is lucky, he/she had a great experience working with their agent on their last home purchase and go right back to that agent. If not, people usually ask friends, family members and business colleagues for referrals of the best agents in the area.

Margie Casey
0 votes
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