How to select a real estate agent: Know the questions to ask
San Diego Union Tribune -- In this do-it-yourself world, buying and selling our first home is not something most of us can do on our own. Even on the second or third home, this complicated task usually is best left to a professional.
So how do you pick a real estate agent? What personal and professional characteristics should you look for? What should put you at ease or on guard?
In today’s recession, as during the boom in 2003-6, it’s critical to act deliberately, coolly and patiently.
The difference today is that agents are hungry. There are half as many transactions as in 2004 but even more agents sharing a smaller pie.
Lou Galuppo, head of residential real estate at the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, says honesty is the single most important trait.
“All the rest of it you can live with in some manner or other, but you need them to be honest and be able to give you full disclosure,” he said.
Other desirable characteristics: timeliness, salesmanship (self-confidence helps), organization, experience, knowledge and ethics.
You can call up the agent you used 10 or 20 years ago, but that person might have lost touch or gone on to something else.
Get fresh recommendations from friends, neighbors, co-workers, your employer (who may retain relocation services), professionals in related fields (law, finance, development), open houses, advertising, for-sale signs and the Internet. Focus on agents who specialize in the area where you’re selling or buying. (Full Story)
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