“Are the online real estate agent reviews, such as those at the big real estate portals, reliable?” It’s a question we often hear.
We think they are reliable, but they should not be the sole source of information on real estate agents you are thinking of working with.
The search for representation in a real estate transaction is something that shouldn’t be entered into lightly. Understand that whomever you hire will be the person/people responsible for steering your transaction to a smooth and lucrative closing. Choose the wrong agent and you open yourself to stress, aggravation and, possibly, loss of money.
So, how do you find the right real estate agent for your needs?
Starting online, looking for social proof is a good place to start. So, yes, read the agents’ reviews on the various aggregator websites, but don’t stop there. Check out the agents’ websites, looking for evidence of their expertise and integrity.
It’s also a good idea that, when you narrow your choices to at least three agents to interview, that you ask each one for references from past clients.
Insist that you be given phone numbers so that you can call each one and ask the tough questions about the service they received.
Ask the right questions
Determine what type of agent you want to work with – what attributes are important to you. We’ve found that most of our clients were looking for someone who was responsive – who actually returned their calls, emails and texts within a reasonable amount of time.
They also complained about other agents who didn’t listen to them.
While asking the right questions of the agent is important, listening to the types of questions the agents ask you is equally crucial.
If you are a homebuyer, did he or she inquire, during the interview, about your loan pre-approval status and explain its importance? If you are selling your home, did the agents ask you about your preferred timeline?
Pertinent questions, specific to your transaction, are important signs that you’re interviewing a good agent.
It takes money to make money
I don’t know who first said that “it takes money to make money,” but he or she nailed it. And the advice is even more important when it comes to selling a home.
Naturally you’ll want to learn all you can about each agent’s marketing plan but it’s even more important to ask about their marketing budgets. A new or part-time agent may be operating on a shoestring. If so, you may receive the bare bones in marketing services.
To properly market a home requires pulling out all the stops, it often requires a balance of both innovative and tried-and-true tactics.
Since first impressions are critical, the referral to a professional photographer and stager are a must. Marketing to multiple platforms is also crucial.
Finding the right real estate agent to sell or buy a home may seem like looking for the needle in the proverbial haystack, but it doesn’t have to be.
Choose an agent with good reviews on Yelp.com. social media and at the big real estate portals and then ask for further proof in the form of testimonials from former and current clients.
During the interviews, sellers should ask the tough questions about marketing and marketing budgets and remember to pay attention to each agent’s listening skills and the questions they ask you.
Questions? Feel free to reach out anytime.