How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

by Osman Parvez

Over the last few weeks, I've been working on an article. It's called, How to Choose a Real Estate Agent. The core idea is that buyers and sellers should apply the same level of due diligence to choosing an agent as they would an attorney, CPA, investment advisor, or other professional.

If we're going to raise the quality of real estate professionals, we need selective pressure towards those that know the meaning of fiduciary duty and will work hard for their clients. Choosing an agent because she's a relative or friend is simply a bad way to go about it. I know people who put more thought into who fixes their car than who guides them through what is often their largest and most important financial transaction.

In any case, my article isn't done yet.

Today, Ardell (from the Rain City Guide) published How to Choose a Client and I highly recommend it. It's an entertaining and refreshing perspective from the other side of the coin by a hard working, very savvy agent (good job, Ardell). It also happens to parallel my recent experience of turning down a client and choosing to work with another who has a difficult foreclosure on his hands.

Image: e-magic

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  1. OPA!!! (if you don't get it, go watch "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", again :-)

    Namaste...another good word for have to see "the God" in their eyes. I recognize the God in you as you recognize the God in respect.

  2. The arrogance of the real estate community NEVER ceases to amaze me. Maybe that's why there are so many FOR SALE BY OWNER signs and so many "Clients" like me who are using buyers only agents.

  3. How is wanting a mutually respectful relationship arrogant?

    I'm recommending buyers and sellers employ high standards in selecting an agent. Ardell is right to point out that agents should be selective as well. Mutual respect is a minimum requirement.

    If a client has unrealistic expectations and is unwilling to consider the advise of their agent, it's not going to be a good experience for anybody.

    As for "buyers only" agents, I personally think it's marketing fluff. But that and FSBOs are another topic entirely.


  4. What does kalu ka thYA mean?

  5. According to Ardell...

    “kalu ka thYA” (emphasis on the YA). Generally, they were saying, “She has a good heart.”

  6. How many FSBO's?? Really, how has it changed. The increase in FSBO's is in line with the increase in represented listings.

    As an agent myself, I do see more FSBO signs and I'm alright with it. There are plenty of people out there that can handle their own transaction. More power to them. If they don't perceive value in using an agent.. great!! For them.

    Agents handle the bulk of real estate related transactions.. yet no one is forcing the sellers and buyers to enter into an employment agreement. It's still a choice... and in most cases... a wise one.

  7. "How to choose a Real Estate Agent", Does HELL have a Toll free number?

  8. Sure does Anon, especially if you pick the wrong agent.

    Check your personal experience after the fact.

    Was it difficult to communicate what you wanted? Did you waste time looking at the wrong houses in the wrong neighborhoods? Did your house sit on the market for a long time, perhaps because it was mispriced? Did you do most of the legwork? How did your agent handle negotiation on your behalf?

    Knowing how to pick a good agent can reduce your risk of having a bad experience. Given that buying or selling a home is probably one of your largest financial decisions, getting some real expertise is advisable.

    And just to clarify, the piece I'm writing is not "should I get an agent?" Some take a "Do it yourself" attitude to everything from plumbing to dentistry. There's nothing wrong with that if you have the time, expertise, or are willing to learn.

    BUT.. If you've decided that you want an agent, then you should know how to choose one.

    In my opinion, most don't know how to distinguish the good from the bad. That's what my article (still in progress) is about, "how to choose an agent".


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Please Note

This document contains forward-looking statements. You are strongly cautioned that investment results are subject to business, economic and other uncertainties. There are no guarantees associated with any forecast and the opinions stated here are subject to change at any time. Always consult your financial advisor before making an investment decision.