By Elaine VonCannon, ABR, SRES, Associate Broker, Notary, Team Leader, Property Manager, Award Winning Agent
I have seen home buyers and sellers less than satisfied with REALTORS who were not providing them the level of service they felt they deserved. If you take the time to find a good match, you may find your search for a home to be a rewarding experience. Here are some tips on evaluating a REALTOR.
1. If you are a seller, select a REALTOR who will advertise your property individually and distinctly.
2. A REALTOR must have a hot, up-to-date web site that changes to reflect the market.
3. Take into account the busy lifestyle of today's professionals. Consider that most people use the internet to search for homes. Understand a REALTOR'S presence on the internet is crucial to their effectiveness.
4. If paying commission is a huge point with you, find a REALTOR who will be flexible.
5. Use a REALTOR with a national presence in the real estate market. Analyze the REALTOR'S web site as an indicator of this.
6. Choose a REALTOR with experience. If they are newly licensed, ask if the REALTOR is in a mentor program.
7. Check the REALTOR'S license by visiting your state's department of occupational professionals web site. You can determine if the license is in good standing, read about any complaints or investigations, and see how long the REALTOR has been licensed.
8. Find a REALTOR who will research and obtain information from the source. This includes visiting a tax office or courthouse to research things like zoning or mapping topography of a home site.
9. Ask your REALTOR if they have access to more than one Multiple Listing Service (MLS) - if this is applicable in your area. Access to more MLS means increased opportunities to sell you property to qualified buyers or find the home that meets your criteria.
10. Open houses are not the way to sell homes, so do not be dazzled by a REALTOR who hosts them frequently. Often open houses attract neighbors and people not yet ready to buy.
If you take the time to find out more about the REALTOR you expect to use, you could land yourself a dream home, or a nice net gain on the home you are going to sell.