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Old 02-07-2007, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
641 posts, read 1,955,045 times
Reputation: 423

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Has anyone in Co Springs had any experience with McGinnis GMAC realtors?? I'm buying my first home and was not able to find any reviews on the internet. Good/bad?? Any first hand experience from local home buyers?? Tks all.

[Moderator Adds: Folks, it's perfectly okay to send TeryTee a PM with info about realtors, as the site does not want to advertise the name of realtors, good or bad, in these public forums. Thank you.]
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Larkspur, Colorado
226 posts, read 1,247,384 times
Reputation: 77
When buying a house the real estate firm has little or no bearing on how your overall experience will be. You should be much more concerned with the individual agent you choose. Ask them for references and review the following questions:

If you are buying or selling a home it is generally recommended that you interview at least 3 agents. One way to ensure that you're hiring a top-quality agent is to spend some time asking the agent a lot of questions; then listening carefully to the answers. If someone has an outgoing personality (as most agents do), they're "talkers." They like to talk and explain things, and if you're quiet, they'll tell you a lot of information about who they are, how they work with clients and how they handle transactions.

If you interview two, three or four different agents, you'll begin to get a sense of who might be a good match of intellect, temperament and interests.

First, you've got to get together your short list of agent possibilities. Start by talking to friends, family members and colleagues who live relatively close to where you live (if you're selling) or close to where you intend to buy a home. Focus on Agents who specialise in your area.

Once you develop your agent list, start making your calls. Here is a list of eight questions to ask, along with some follow up questions.

1. What neighborhoods do you work in? Ideally, you want to find an agent who is really plugged into your neighborhood: they know the gossip, they know the agents who work there, and they've seen the housing stock turn over time and time again.

2. How many real estate transactions did you complete last year? How many on the buy side, and how many on the sell side? How many did you complete in each of the last four or five years? You're looking for someone with experience, and closed transactions are a good indicator of how active the agent is. Keep in mind if the agent with the most active listings in not always the best choice. If an agent has 20 active listings you run the risk of getting lost in the crowd.

3. What are the age and demographics of most of your clients? Do they have special needs? While some agents can work with twenty somethings to seniors, other agents specialize. If you have special needs or are looking for a house featuring universal design, it helps to have someone working on your behalf who understands what that is and where you can find it.

4. What type of home do you most frequently help your clients buy or sell? If you're working with an agent who mostly sells single-family homes and you want to buy a condo, the agent may not have as much knowledge about the condo market or understand the intricacies of how condos work. Likewise, if the agent mostly works in an urban area selling high-priced condominiums, he or she may not be the best choice to help you buy a single-family home in an outlying area of the city.

5. How frequently will I hear from you? Do you use e-mail? Do you have a Blackberry? How can I reach you? Do you work on the weekends (amazingly enough, many agents do not work on weekends)? Do you work full time or part time? Are you planning any extended vacations? Whom will I be working with if you're on vacation? While you don't want to stalk the agent, you do want to stay in touch and not feel abandoned. Try to find a middle ground that works for each of you.

6. Do you work with an assistant? Many top agents have full-time assistants who are licensed agents in their own right. But if you're going to be working with the assistant more than the agent you've hired, make sure you like the assistant.

7. Are you a smoker or a nonsmoker? If you're a nonsmoker and you are allergic to smoke, even being in the car of a smoker can make your throat start to tickle. Make sure to ask the question if this is something that's important to you.

8. Can I see your letters of recommendations? Most good agents will have a collection of thank you cards and feedback reports from past clients. If they become evasive or can't produce a significant number of them the agent obviously has not left many positive impressions in their client's minds. My feeling is if agents don't volunteer letters of recommendations in the initial interview, cross them off the list.

When you're buying or selling a home, finding a partner you can trust to help guide you is extremely important. If you find yourself wondering who this person really is, or if they are more concerned with their commission check than you then this agent isn't for you.
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Avondale, AZ
1,207 posts, read 4,138,515 times
Reputation: 913
Quote:
1. What neighborhoods do you work in? Ideally, you want to find an agent who is really plugged into your neighborhood: they know the gossip, they know the agents who work there, and they've seen the housing stock turn over time and time again
I really agree with this point. The first agent I talked to kept trying to get me to look at an area she lived in. I knew the area where we desired to live, but she was not familiar with it. We found a new agent who was knowledgeable and it made a huge difference.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:09 AM
 
20,308 posts, read 37,804,669 times
Reputation: 18082
Quote:
Originally Posted by vfrpilot View Post
I really agree with this point. The first agent I talked to kept trying to get me to look at an area she lived in. I knew the area where we desired to live, but she was not familiar with it. We found a new agent who was knowledgeable and it made a huge difference.
Amen to that. We had been out here on our own to house hunt as part of a vacation trip. We liked what we saw here in the Briargate / Pine Creek area. We found a buyer's broker / realtor specializing in new homes...and lives here too. Turned out great. We love the area, our builder, our new house, AND our Realtor.

I would add that a full-time pro is better than someone who fits it in around life at a main job. I'm told by my realtor pals that there are 4,000+ people in this area with a realtor license...but only a portion are full-time pro's. IMO, a full-time pro is the best bet for success as opposed to those who dabble. This wasn't overtly stated in Ben's list (thanks!), but is heavily implied there.

s/Mike
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Old 02-11-2007, 03:53 PM
Status: "October is the eighth month" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,679 posts, read 28,500,687 times
Reputation: 6842
Being a Realtor means you have a real estate broker's license from the state *and* have joined the local/state/national Association of Realtors.

All Realtors are licensees, but not all licensees are Realtors. Ask!

Ben, the system won't allow me to give you more rep. points. Your "How to Choose a Buyer/Seller's Agent" is great.

I would add three things:

1. Look you the licensees disciplinary record online on the real estate commissions website.

2. What designations do you have? Designations are awarded for production/education to benefit our clients.

3. If I sign your agency contract, will you write in a guarantee that if you do not perform, I can cancel/terminate the contract?

That should separate the posers vs doers.
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Old 02-11-2007, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs CO
6 posts, read 26,140 times
Reputation: 19
I also must be careful on tips given. All companies have both good and bad agents. Remax is no better than GMAC which is no better than McGinnis, which is not better than Keller Williams. etc etc etc. I recommend you contact at least two to three agents and then decide from there. An agent can have 20 certifications and not necessarily be the one you want, or have only 1 certification and be the perfect one for you.

Bottom line, don't get hung up on the agency, look for the agent.
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Old 02-11-2007, 06:48 PM
Status: "October is the eighth month" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,679 posts, read 28,500,687 times
Reputation: 6842
Agents are created by a written buyer or seller agency contract.

In theory, brokers are only "agents" for our brokerage, and not the consumer.

Colorado is a designated agency state, meaning the broker you hire is named as your "agent" in the contract until such time as the managing broker and you agree on a replacement. I have been substituted as the designated agent twice. One broker was in a car accident and faced a lengthy recovery and the other when the client and the broker agreed that the original broker had a conflict of interest, her brother and sil wanted to make an offer on the seller's property. So the seller felt more comfortable in having a different broker represent their interests, and the managing broker agreed.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
53 posts, read 417,412 times
Reputation: 25
Get as much information as you can. Make sure you know what you are looking for. Then listen to what your real estate agent has to say. Another possibility is to talk to someone who does not have a dog in the hunt. In other words, do your initial research with someone who knows Colorado Springs and the neighborhoods, but does not stand to gain from the transaction.

One other piece of advice is just to make sure that you like your agent. That you feel comfortable with him or her.
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