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Old 02-20-2014, 10:43 AM
 
Location: NJ
983 posts, read 2,637,616 times
Reputation: 1895

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I was going to add this to my other post about Craigslist, but it really is a completely different subject, so here goes:

Aside from word-of-mouth referrals, what is the best way to find a good realtor? We do not currently know anyone who can recommend a realtor, so we can't obtain word-of-mouth referrals. I know that's the best way to find a good one. I am very happy to do whatever research is required, but need to be pointed in the right direction.

Thanks!
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:37 PM
 
Location: MID ATLANTIC
8,403 posts, read 21,585,589 times
Reputation: 9899
I assume this is to sell a home? Gorilla Investigations and don't confuse the top selling agent with the best Realtor, the top producer could have 10 other agents working for them. Pay attention to who has listings around you - are they holding them open? Go in and meet them.

You may not have any friends or family, but surely you have a hairdresser, boss, attorney, tax guy.....I recently needed to see an attorney about an attorney. Attorneys hate confrontation against each other, except on behalf of their clients. I got on the phone and called a boatload of attorneys.....and asked them......"who would you hate to be up against personally" or "who would take on a fellow bar member." I found I got a ton of names.....but one name floated to the top (4 out of 40 mentioned the same guy). That's who I called and talked to. When emailing the prior attorney and just adding the new attorney as a "cc," the problem backed off. I had a five figure bill wiped clean. You can turn this and make it sound like something whoever you were asking wouldn't want. Call into various agents and tell them you have an aunt in the area that is going through a horrendous divorce with a mechanic's lien, make it sound like something you wouldn't wish on anyone and who would they recommend? The names you receive should be experienced and patient to handle problems. You can also turn it around and call real estate settlement attorneys: "I need a Realtor that knows how to get top dollar without being out of the market, because my father is very close to being upside down." Deflect the hard sale off of you immediately until you know who you want to work with.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:52 PM
 
3,805 posts, read 8,831,315 times
Reputation: 4976
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassygirl18 View Post
I was going to add this to my other post about Craigslist, but it really is a completely different subject, so here goes:

Aside from word-of-mouth referrals, what is the best way to find a good realtor? We do not currently know anyone who can recommend a realtor, so we can't obtain word-of-mouth referrals. I know that's the best way to find a good one. I am very happy to do whatever research is required, but need to be pointed in the right direction.

Thanks!
List your Desired Core Characteristics. Talk with several. I'd suggest finding one that seems busy. You can research and obtain a list of how many closings realtors have had last year. I'd personally shy away from a part-timer. I much prefer an ass-kicker who gets things done. Call them, and see if they take your call, or call you back when they say they will. Have preliminary conversations with several, see how they fit your desired characteristics, and trust your gut.
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
40,530 posts, read 70,107,473 times
Reputation: 41942
Always pick the tallest guy. You cannot go wrong.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,165 posts, read 37,777,141 times
Reputation: 16155
If you are new to an area, go on Zillow and search homes that are in a similar price range to yours. Look at quality of photos. Write down the names of agents that have good quality photos in homes. Then look at the agents other listings. Does quality go across all listings. If not cross, them off your list. With the people you have look look on Trulia, R.com and make sure they have their listings on the big sites. Read descriptions, see if they take the time to add in room measurements, etc. Virtual tours, video tours? Property websites, etc? Google a couple of the addresses of their listings and see what other kind of advertising they do. Read reviews. Agents are starting to pull their transactions on Zillow and Trulia so you can see how many homes they have sold. Side note: Agents have to manually enter these in so you likely won't see their lifetime sales, but those that are transparent have put in one years worth.

You should only have a few names after this process. Those are the ones to call and start your interviews.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:21 PM
 
Location: El Dorado Hills, CA
3,724 posts, read 9,461,131 times
Reputation: 3903
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
Always pick the tallest guy. You cannot go wrong.
Or the shortest woman
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
40,530 posts, read 70,107,473 times
Reputation: 41942
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinaN View Post
Or the shortest woman
So, now we have boiled it down to a coin flip?
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,165 posts, read 37,777,141 times
Reputation: 16155
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
So, now we have boiled it down to a coin flip?
I say sarcasm wins over height.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
40,530 posts, read 70,107,473 times
Reputation: 41942
If numbers matter to you, ignore the number of closings the agent provides, or the days on market, and make the agent discuss "batting average."

Batting average is the percentage of listing contracts that the agent has closed.
If the number one agent closes 100 listings a year, but withdraws another 50 and yet another 50 expire, so the agent only closes 50% of listings, will that agent disclose THOSE figures to you?
They matter. Would you rather hook up with a high-volume agent who closes the most listings, or perhaps another agent who closes the highest percentage of the listings they take?

Ask the agent about how many price reductions they average per listing. Of course, sellers control pricing, but a good agent can sell the seller on a workable price.

Have the agent provide records of withdrawns and expireds. Ask the agent if they have ever pulled a listing from the market long enough to wash out the Cumulative DOM. If they have, ask if it was any of the listings they are bragging about closing in a short period of time.

Ask the agent if they ever have been reprimanded or censured by your state Real Estate Commission, Dept. of Real Estate, etc.
Lots of high volume agents HAVE. What is their incentive to disclose that to you when they are selling you on their numbers? Ask, and look in their eyes to see how they receive the question.
Most reprimands are due to failure in the fiduciary role, i.e., having mistreated clients.

Get the marketing plan in writing, specific to your property. Make it integral to the listing agreement, so you can fire the agent if it is not fulfilled.

If all else fails, pick the tall guy, or the petite woman.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Georgia
4,573 posts, read 5,124,650 times
Reputation: 15901
One way is to ask allied industries -- mortgage people and real estate attorneys. They deal with real estate folks every day, and there's always a few that they have respect for.

Zillow does not always have the agent's name attached to the listing -- sometimes you can get confused because they will advertise agents who have paid for space in that zip code. Pay attention to the real estate office -- that's where the agent is, even if the agent isn't always identified. Trulia does a pretty good job identifying the agent -- a few slide through the cracks, though, and many agents don't bother to go to Zillow or Trulia to make sure their listings are claimed and correct.
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