What to look for in a good real estate agent?

Asked by Alex, Fresno, CA Tue Jul 1, 2008

I'm a first time buyer and I need help. I am pre-qualified for a loan so I know what I can afford to spend. Now...

Here are my questions:

1. What are some characteristics I should look for a real estate agent?
2. Is there a buyer exclusive agent who wouldn't have any conflict of interest with others? That is, look out for me and my interest only?
3. How do I actually get an agent? Do I just walk into an office (e.g. Coldwell Banker, Prudential, etc) one day and proclaim to the office "I need an agent! Hear me roar!"?
4. Can anyone recommend me a good buyer's agent who knows Fresno existing single family house market inside and out? I am specifically looking for "young" houses (less than 15 yrs old) that doesn't require a lot of work.


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Mon May 11, 2009
Hi Alex,

You've got lots of great answers. Accredited Buyers Representatives have completed the requisites to represent and work for the interests of the Buyers, I know I am one of them in Yakima Washington; obviously, the ones that have being in business longer will be more experience. I encourage an Exclusive Buyer Agent and sign an agreement with the one that you feel more comfortable to work with to only represent you (not the seller),

Make sure to visit http://www.rebac.net for ABR (Accredited Buyers Representatives in your area)

Best Wishes.
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Thu Oct 9, 2008
Thank you for some great questions.

1. Characteristics - I recommend sitting down and talking with a prospective Realtor. Someone that will invest time in analyzing your situation, your requirements, and can help you distinguish between wants and needs in your new home, as well as prioritize them. A Realtor's ability to understand what you want, then communicate with you during the buying process are helpful abilities.

They should:
Listen more than they talk
Ask you questions that make you think
Be willing to fight for your best interest.
Be able to negotiate the best deal - and in real estate sometimes that is more terms than price
Have a system that will keep you in the loop at all times.

2. Buyer exclusive - You'll want to have them draw up a buyer Representation Agreement - Exclusive to clarify your relationship. Both of you contribute 100% to the successful purchase of your new home.

3. So far as locating a Realtor, I recommend asking friends, business associates, and professionals, like your CPA. I also would be happy to refer you to a top Realtor that works in the areas you are looking. You can contact me via my Trulia profie. No obligation on your part, but I can pre-screen an agent for you.

Good luck!
0 votes
Jennifer Dun…, , Fresno, CA
Thu Oct 9, 2008
Hi Alex,
I am a Realtor in Fresno, CA. If you are looking for a Top Producer, they will be very easy to find, they are all over the internet! I am an agent with Guarantee Real Estate and know the market very well! I focus solely on working with buyers because thats what I love to do, find my friends the right homes and get them the best price. I am never too busy to find you a home! If you'd like to email me what your looking for I would be happy to help you!
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David Tapper, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Fri Sep 19, 2008
Try to find an agent who will look out for your interest, and only your interest. Not the sellers or his or her own.

Find an agent who is well respected and very knowledgeable in the area. One way to find an agent is to call the local board of Reators in that area. Or you can call 2-3 local brokers from respected companiens and ask for they top agents. Getting referred by a friend or co-worker is always nice too.

Remember this, the difference between a good agent and a great agent is their knowledge and skills.

Best of luck,

Dave Tapper
Burlingame/San Mateo Ca.
Web Reference:  http://Teamtapper.com
0 votes
Eric Bryant, , Long Beach, CA
Wed Jul 2, 2008
Alex, here's my honest opinion...What truly matters is finding a decent, hardworking, honest human being to work with. Someone you feel compfortable with the minute they shake your hand. Someone with integrity and character. Your choices are many. Your gut will guide you. Best of Luck! The Coach
Web Reference:  http://askPCR.com
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Michelle Car…, Agent, Coppertino, AL
Tue Jul 1, 2008
Hi Alex,
To answer your questions,
1) honesty, experience in your market area, good reputation & someone you feel comfortable trusting your biggest decision to.
2) yes, you can hire an Exclusive Buyer Agent and sign an agreement with them to only represent you (not the seller), just like a seller hires an Exclusive Listing Agent;
3) you can find Accredited Buyer Representatives (ABRs) who are experienced and specific to Buyers at http://www.rebac.net
4) Refer to above
Best wishes!
Web Reference:  http://www.rebac.net
0 votes
Harold Penner, Agent, Clovis, CA
Tue Jul 1, 2008
Well, this is a good place to start to look for an agent in the Fresno and Clovis area. In answer to your question, I would look for an agent with extensive experience in the Fresno/Clovis area as well as someone who is experienced with this type of market. There is a lot to know regarding short sales, foreclosures and conventional sales in order for you to get the best deal possible. I also believe being technologically savvy is essential to knowing this market.
2. Typically, agents list as well as sell houses. I am not sure how you would regard this as a conflict of interest however. Maybe you could elaborate on that.
3. You could certainly try roaring! I think there would be few that would come running! Personally, I would search through agents with advertisements (Homes and Ranch, Fresno Bee) as well as websites. Those who advertise heavily are typically top producers that know this area well.
4. Finally, I could save you time and ask that you check my website athttp:// http://www.HomesInFresno.com. I am the top selling agent for Guarantee in 2007 and have specialized in Fresno and Clovis for the past 20 years. If you would like we can meet and you can see why I am good at my job. And you can always try roaring as well!
Web Reference:  http://www.homesinfresno.com
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