How to Choose a Real Estate Broker
If you’re dreaming about a new house in your favorite neighborhood, or about selling the one you’ve got so you can follow your dreams elsewhere, there’s probably going to be a real estate broker in your life soon. How should you go about choosing which one to work with? Here are some tips:
1. Choose someone who works a lot in your neighborhood or the neighborhood you want to live in. Brokers who specialize in a particular area have a lot of knowledge about the history of the houses, who lives down the street, what’s going on in that market, and what the local codes or covenants are.
2. Interview at least two brokers. Before you sign the listing or buyer agency contract, talk face-to-face with two or three brokers to see which one feels like someone you trust and can work with. Don’t just immediately go with someone your friend recommended, although that is a good resource for finding the ones you’re going to interview.
3. Make sure you are working with a licensed Realtor. Realtors have to take an oath promising to act in an ethical manner. Ethics matter in the high stakes and often stressful world of real estate.
4. If you can, try to find out what other brokers think of the people you’re considering. This might take a little sleuthing, but it’s important to work with someone other brokers enjoy working with, because if the brokers get along with each other and are well-regarded in the community, your home buying or selling process will go a lot more smoothly.
5. Ask for references from their five or six most recent past clients. Contact the past clients and ask how their experience was. Or go online and read reviews on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Google+ or Facebook.
6. Ask for their success rate. In the past 12 months, how many of their listings sold? Or, if you’re looking for a buyer’s agent, did they have any buyer clients that dropped them? Keep in mind that it’s not always the broker’s fault when things don’t work out, so you might ask for explanations. This success rate is something they might not be able to produce on the spot, so let them know you’re going to ask it ahead of time to give them time to prepare.
7. Make sure they have someone to fill in for them when they’re unavailable. Everyone deserves time off now and then, but you want to be sure they have arranged for someone competent to handle things for them when they’re gone.
8. Choose someone who takes classes regularly and continues their professional development. The real estate industry is always evolving, so you want to work with someone who is keeping abreast of all the changes.
If you follow these tips when choosing your real estate broker, you are much more likely to have an enjoyable home buying or selling experience… and you might even gain a new friend!
Manitou Springs Real Estate, LLC