I have been thinking about selling my home and I do much research on anything I do before I do it.

Asked by K. Elly, Portland, OR Wed Sep 26, 2012

I have been referred to 2 agents now but after researching them on their websites and Trulia etc., I don't think they will be a good fit for me. I am also looking at agents here on trulia but have a big concern - I don't see any real estate signs in the city of the agents that seem to be important on this website? Why is this? Am I missing something? What about the agents on Zillow?

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Brad Golik, Agent, Portland, OR
Thu Sep 27, 2012
So far there have been some good comments here...and some not so good. One thing you will find on not only this site, but also Zillow, are agents who try to "Game" the system. In other words, they spend alot of time posting on these sights to try and gain business. Unfortunatly, on this website, an agent can be rewarded for # of postings as opposed to the quality of postings. (you would be better off by dividing the number of total answers by best answers. This ratio will at least give you agents that try to give you longer, well thought out answers) Trying to get business is not a bad thing, but too many agents on this website will try to sugar coat the answers. in other words they are trying to be nice to get business. My fellow agent below Marvin (see below) is not one of those agents! He pretty much will tell you like it is. Now, I won't always agree with his answers, but at least he is blunt and tells you some good facts.( Yes, there are plenty of very bad agents out there) & (No, i don't think this is the place for political views.)

If you drive around your neighborhood, you will most likely see signs of 1 or 2 agents that seem to do much business in the area. You might include one of those agents in your interview process. I would also search online to see which agent has a strong internet presence in your area, because this is where buyers are looking. During the interview process, make sure you have good communication and really make sure they have a good marketing presentation. Many agents spend way too much time presenting their market analysis and no time on their marketing.

And for what it is worth, my turn to be blunt here. In the short time that I have been posting on Trulia, I have seen very few postings on this site from any of the top 100 agents in town. You can read this any way that you want, but to me, I believe that they are busy selling homes!

While I have sold plenty of homes in the past, my niche is the condo and loft market so I would probably not be the best fit for selling your home. I do wish you luck... and keep doing your research!
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Linda Heinri…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Mon Dec 17, 2012
Hiring a good Broker to sell your home can definitely be an art with a good dose of luck. You have to feel the love so to speak and have confidence that the person you are hiring for this important job really has the skill set to achieve your goals.

The reviews are helpful, but probably only give you about a 35-50% view of the true picture, mainly because many happy clients simply do not want to be bothered or are not sure what to say or forget to send the review when they are cued by the link. Zillow has been "reviewing" longer than Trulia, so you should see a good agent with at least 15+ reviews on Zillow, which means they are selling 25+ homes a year. Some of the best agents are not very tech savvy and some of the most inexperienced are super techno. I would go with a good combination of tech savvy and experienced. Another interesting note is the agent of what I would consider one of the best websites around sells very few homes.

With regard to signs, you should see ReMax signs all over this city. We sell the most Real Estate, carry a 4 page ad in the Oregonian 4 out of 5 weeks and maximize exposure in every way possible for our clients online. Where do you live? Have you received proposals from anyone? My best advise is to look at them closely to ensure they as close as possible in their view of comparable homes. Pricing is a key aspect of marketing your home and getting it "right" is critical to your success.

The good news is, inventories are low right now and move in ready homes are getting snapped up quickly and with multiple offers in many locations. Good luck and do not hesitate to reach out for more information. In the end, go with your gut:)
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Paul Johnson, Agent, Portland, OR
Mon Dec 17, 2012
Great Question! Right now there are only about 7800 listings citywide and about 7000 licensed realtors in the Metro area. So you wont see a ton of repeat signs. 80% of realtors are part timers or struggle to sell 3-4 houses a year. The top 3-4% of realtors do the biggest bulk of business and carry a huge listing inventory. But often times these agents don't return phone calls or are so busy that you aren't really a priority. What it sounds like you need is an agent that operates full time and can provide you a high level of service. Someone who sells at least 12 homes a year. that would put this agent in the top 5% of agents citywide.

I suggest you interview a few agents and ask them some tough questions. Get to know them and see if they are a good fit personality wise. I wrote a blog on selecting an agent recently and I think it may be helpful for you! please see the link below.
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Michael McBa…, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Oct 26, 2012
Dear K.,

Sometimes the most prominent brokers (the ones with the most signs out) can be too busy to provide the personalized service that you require. Don't get me wrong. Brokers with many listings in your area have thay many for a reason. I would urge you to interview a couple of people who have done business in the area but have not saturated the market in your area.

Good Luck!
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Geoffrey Pohl, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Oct 23, 2012
Finding an agent that meets your needs can be a difficult thing. Usually, people find agents through referrals, but of course there are many sites such as Trulia and Zillow that can help you identify an agent by area of expertise. Have you tried Zillow, type in the zip code of your home...that should populate a few agents in the area. Have a questionnaire for them when you interview. Selling your home is a big step, you definitely want to find the right fit for you.

Best of luck...Geoffrey
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Drea Cooper, Agent, Portland, OR
Thu Oct 11, 2012

Didn't you ask this question before?

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K. Elly, Home Seller, Portland, OR
Mon Oct 1, 2012
Thank you to all who responded as I appreciate your time.
Brad, thank you for your honesty.
Marvin, maybe a little too honest? but I also appreciate
your honesty in your answer. I prefer people who are upfront and don't "sugarcoat"things as I
like facts.
I may wait until spring to sell, but will keep doing my research!

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One cant be 'too honest'. We are what we do. If someones an idiot they deserve to be called an idiot. The same holds true if they deserve praise. Im proud of my profession and Ive worked for three decades to clear out the spoiled apples. Does this mean there are no good apples? Of course not. The spoiled are a much smaller number. Should one adopt the 'head in the sand' attitude so that no dark shadows are ever cast on their profession? NO. Thats spin. We have enough spin. I may not be the most diplomatic character around but I wonder how all our lives would be if everyone told the entire truth? If we could trust every human instead of wondering about agendas? Good luck...tell us what youve done later.
Flag Mon Oct 1, 2012
Marvin Von R…, Agent, Tigard, OR
Thu Sep 27, 2012
OK, Ive been catching some he** for parts of my answers. Have to partially place here what I just privately wrote to one of the people who took me to task. I was accused of being venomous to the entire industry. I was also accused of improperly spelling 'rotton' LOL

I couldnt care less what any real estate people think of me. I work for the client, not for the admiration of my 'peers'. I tell it like it is, unlike most semi cowardly human beings in any profession who pussyfoot around any topic.

Im not going to sugar coat real estate people just cuz ( slang, not bad spelling) Im one. Many of them SUCK. Im sure that many pizza delivery guys, shoe salespeople, public officials, Presidents, forklift drivers etc suck at their jobs. I could tell you hours and hours of horror stories but counter those with many about great real estate people who bend over back wards to care for their clients as if they were family. It wasnt my intention to trash the industry. I was trying to show how hard is is to choose a good from bad service provider of ANY type of service, and that I am not a 'Now is the best time to buy' all for the commission guy so the author of the post would know my info was unbiased.

So, here is my answer to one of those who emailed me.

"(Withheld name) you are being silly. First,I often use a voice recognition typing program and sometimes dont take time to check it. Its not perfect. I notice typos all the time in most forums. Secondly, You missed my point. It was an example. I could have 20 glowing referral letters on my wbsite but have 500 botched clients who want me tarred and feathered. You passed the license test so are capable of understanding that, right? I was hardly venomous to the industry overall, dude. Come on. Ive been around the block. 33 years. Ive encountered many, many idiots who shouldnt be in the industry. Its too easy to get a license for doing something that can have such large consequences. The only reason we have real estate people is that lawyers dont play taxi." (Ooh thats going to hurt)

A bit sarcastic and undiplomatic but I have become old and testy, lol.

So K Elly---hope this doesnt distract you. We are all humans just like you, and subject to good days, bad days, good training, poor training, and low and high IQs. Try what I advised about the interviews. Complaint history, listing contracts, marketing plans, guarantees and agent confidence. I am through with this thread. Not petulant, just said all I have to say.
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Marvin Von R…, Agent, Tigard, OR
Wed Sep 26, 2012
Oops have to add something. Unlike Margery below, Ive met MANY rotton real estate brokers over my three decades. Ive helped to put many of those out of business too. Its just the same in every profession from selling shoes to changing auto oil to being the President of the USA---snakes do slither in. VOTE OBUMMER OUT OF THE WHITEHOUSE before its too late.
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Marvin Von R…, Agent, Tigard, OR
Wed Sep 26, 2012
Agents are usually on both Zillow and Trulia, and probably on many other similar sites because its FREE to register on them being on or not being on these sites has no correlation to the rel estate agents ability.

Some of the most knowledgeable real estate brokers woth with BUYERS and wont have listing signs all over town. Neither will they be on bus seat backs, etc. Advertsising doesnt make an agent. It can equate to success in that it takes moola to advertise. Anyone can 'sell' your home. All it takes is placing it in front of buyers. Thats almost all through the use of internet now. You want an agent experienced with contract rules/law and with plain old dealing with humans, though a real estate transaction shouldnt be an adversarial game. You have a house. Someone wants the house. There are rules and laws. If the home is listed at a fair price, there shouldnt be sparring and bickering. A transaction shouldnt be about 'what agent knows the most clauses', etc. Actually it should be something that only one real estate professional can handle from a neutral point. A facilitator, if you will. A married couple wouldnt hire the same divorce atty but thats adversarial. I dont agree with dual agency on the one hand but again---it shouldnt be anything but a meeting of minds with an agents helping to complete the transaction with all parties happy in the end. Ahh perfect world, it AINT.

How do you choose a good agent? Its hard! I can give you 20 references who want to name their next kids after me and NOT give you the names of 500 people who want me tarred and feathered. You just have to interview agents and ask them what they will be doing to try and market the home. In this market, pricing it well is KEY. Slapping it into the MLS should work well unless youihave a specialty propertry such as equipped for handicapped, or a unique or strange design that appeals to acertain type of buyer. Take houseboats, for example. You couldnt get me to even step foot on one but others love them. I wouldnt take one as a listing because my heart wouldnt be in it. Check their years in the biz and their complaint history with state licensing. Ive been in this industry 33 years in two states withouit a single complaint. Im not saying this to get your business because Im a buyers agent and only list a few homes here and there, usually by referral.

Just talk to some and go by your instincts. Good luck. PS, some of the highest volume brokers around win awards for their number of transactions but many do not even meet you. They hire underlings to do everything. Thats not very personal service.
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Marge Bare, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Sep 26, 2012
HI K Elly
Boy you are brave! putting it out on Trulia will definitely bring out the answers, because of course, we'd all love to help you.
Having said that, one point that you may not know... the REALLY big Realtors are often teams. There's nothing wrong with teams, like everything there's pros and cons. Most of us are running our own business because we like it that way, others have an assistant. IF you're seeing enough signs of someone then they're probably a huge agent and have a team. That's a good first decision for you... do you want the personal touch of having one person to call, one person to negotiate, one person to help you with your questions that you trust? Or do you like the idea of having one person help with the listing, another one with negotiating? Again, I'm not pushing one way or another, its your personal preference. Sometimes a team means there's always someone available, other times it means they're so busy, no one is. There are so many considerations but at the same time, its not that big of a decision. You might be making it bigger than you should. Selling a home is about exposure, and the initial biggest hit in that is RMLS which you'll get with all of us. After that, its about "who knows my neighborhood" and "who would take time with all my questions" and "who has experience" and most importantly, "who do I trust". Just pick a few Realtors, interview them and hire one! I rarely meet a horrible Realtor, although they're out there. But if that happens, make sure you're not tied into a contract with no out. You can have your agreement state that if you're unhappy, set some reasonable parameters, but with the ability to cancel immediately if necessary. Other than that, I wouldn't stress too much, i think when you meet the right person, you'll know it!
My best to you
Web Reference:  http://www.betterhomesnw.com
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Linda Heinri…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Wed Sep 26, 2012
This is a good site to gain an idea of who is selling Real Estate in the Portland area. Zillow Reviews is also an excellent source of information. There are many active agents that do not take time to respond to questions on these sites, but agents doing so is a good place to start. Real Estate today is complex and the more resources an agent uses to not only market themselves, but also your home, the better served you will be in the end. Where is your home located?
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Drea Cooper, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Sep 26, 2012

First of all, it is great that you are doing your research. I agree with Eric below, some of the better agents in Portland don't have a bazillion listings (because we sell them fast). Interview a few agents to find a good fit. Maybe you won't want to work with them, maybe they won't want to work with you...it does go both ways.

Keep in mind, to sell your home quickly and for the most money you will need excellent marketing, large targeted audience, and the ability to engage potential buyers. Feel free to peruse my website to see if you would be interested in an interview.

My site - http://allportlandhomes.com/powerful-marketing-for-your-home/

Here are a few of my online materials:

Summary of how I market homes - http://bit.ly/PuPojN
Digital flier - http://bit.ly/R7UT94
Single Property Website - http://832nehancock.mhom.es/

Thanks and good luck!
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Eric Steindl…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Sep 26, 2012
There are plenty of great agents on Trulia. Just because you don't see signs up doesn't mean much. How many homes an agent sells every year is not necessarily an indication of how good an agent they are. Many excellent agents aren't top producers. In my opinion, the best way to find a Realtor is to get a referral from a friend that had a good experience. It sounds like you are on the right track by interviewing multiple agents.

Like all agents who will respond to this question, I'd be happy to talk to you to see if I would be a good fit to help you sell your home. I am also happy to provide past client references.

To see how I would help you sell your home, check out http://ericsteindler.com/2012/06/06/marketing-that-matters/

My most recent listing went pending in 3 days with 6 offers- here is the single property website showcasing my marketing: http://7835sesalmon.mhom.es/
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The Stephen…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Sep 26, 2012
There are over 10,000 homes for sale in the Portland metro area and over 6,000 agents (I believe), so it is no surprise if you don't see the signs of one particular agent hanging around town. Most signs are buried in residential neighborhoods and don't get a lot of visibility unless the agent is selling a home on a busy street.

I'd recommend having some agents over and letting them do their presentation so you can ask them questions and find out what they can do for you.

(I know I'd be happy to.)

Best of luck.
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