Archive for the 'Real Estate Agent' Category

Dec 05 2009

Realtor Screening

Realtor Screening- How can you find a good Realtor?

  •  A Realtor must be doing transactions currently and in the recent past in order to:

- know the market trends

- know current real estate laws

  • A Realtor should be able to provide at least five current references.

-If you are a buyer, make sure that you get buyer references.

-If you are selling, make sure that you get references from the Realtor’s clients that have sold their properties using the particular agent.

-Ask the references if the property closed on time.  Did they get the offer that they anticipated?  Were their issues that the agent could have handled better.  When you ask specific questions, you will be able to determine whether the experience was actually positive or if there were problems that would go undisclosed.

  •  Ask the Realtor for a letter of recommendation from the broker.  It is essential that the agent has a good relationship with the broker.  This also shows that the broker may be accessible if there are problems that need to be resolved.
  • Has there been any disciplinary action claimed against the agent?  Many states will post agents who have had complaints filed against them and any disciplinary action that has been taken.
  • How much will the agent charge you to represent them.  In many states it is assumed that the home seller will pay the buyer’s agent.  In states, such as Maryland the buyer agent agreement is actually unclear.  It assumes that the seller is going to pay, but does not specify.  There have been cases in which the buyer’s agent has collected from both the seller and the buyer, without disclosing this to the buyer first.
  • Ask the agent to produce comparables and a executive summary of their findings.  Agents often interpret information differently.  This does not necessarily mean that one agent is right or wrong, it simply gives insight to their thinking process and lets you know if you think that they can decipher the information that the computer will spit out to them.  This also helps prevents hiring an agent that is trying to get your business by telling you that you can get more for your home than other agents that you are interviewing.  Agents that sell you are not necessarily agents that will be able to get your home sold. 

-If you would like Real Estate Search and Sale LLC to pre-screen an agent for you please contact us @  write “prescreen agent” in the headline.

 If you select an agent that we pre-screen for you, you will be given $200.00 toward your closing costs.

We get paid by the agents we refer.  If you would like to send us a list of three agents that you would like screened, we will ask each of the agents if they are willing to pay a screening/ referral fee.  Most say, yes.  This program is only applicable if the real estate agent signs the screening / referral form.   The form states that they will be completely transparent regarding their prior transactions and that they are to document any issues that may have arisen along with an explanation.

After the screening process we email you our findings. 

When your title company/ closing agent is determined, you simply send us a note and we will send them, verification that we are paying $200.00 toward your closing costs or cash back at closing if allowed by the title company and your state law. 

Getting a professionally screened real estate agent the first time will can prevent some headaches in the long run.  An experienced agent knows many of the pitfalls and how to address them.

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Apr 15 2008

Real Estate Agent Commission

Published by Carolyn Thompson under Real Estate Agent

Do you really think that you are saving money by paying both your buyer and listing agent lower commissions? 

 Well, our research demonstrates listings in which a real estate agent is paid less then 3%+  is three times more likely to sit on the market long enough for the listing to expire and the property to be relisted. 

 You may say that this is irrelevant.  You are willing to sit on the property if it means saving a few thousand dollars.

 Just as listing agents, buyer’s agents get paid by commission.  Don’t you think that they may show a property with a higher commission first?

 Statistics clearly demonstrate that the longer a property sits on the market, the less desirable it becomes.  It becomes stigmatized and will eventually sell for less than the original list price.

 So, the property sells for less and if the house is vacant the seller has just lost carrying costs as well.

 Why don’t Realtors talk about the commissions other companies offer?  In the 1970s there was a huge anti trust scam.  The story goes something like this:

Brokers in the Washington DC, Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, Potomac, and possibly Virginia (although this has not been confirmed) all agreed to fix the commissions.  Some unhappy customers caught wind of this, knew that price fixing was against the law and filed a complaint.  Several brokers went to jail.

I am supportive of competition.  If I can sell my properties quickly while the competative properties sit on the market I can serve my clients better.

 This research was performed surveying 200 homes.  I personally did the tally while I was just a young real estate agent (last year) sitting in my brokerage classes, intently listening to my instructor talking about real estate finance.  A subject which many may find dry but excites some of us knowing that we can use it to help both our clients and ourselves make and save money.

 Since, I was just doing this for my own entertainment and informational purposes at the time, I did not keep the documentation. 

 I will remember to do this when I sit for my continuing education classes.  It will be interesting to see how a real estate agent’s commission has an impact in a different market?  Will it be more important?

 I am also interested in knowing how the Days On Market, DOM will be impacted by a real estate agent’s commission in different locals?  My upper end clients in Bethesda, Potomac, Washington DC and Virginia don’t dicker with me over commision.  They hire me because I am not just any agent.  I am an expert real estate agent.

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Feb 25 2008

Selecting A Superior Real Estate Agent

Published by Carolyn Thompson under Real Estate Agent

If you want to find a home that fits your needs and personality and get a good price for your home, then find a Superior Real Estate Agent. 

Many home buyers don’t like to haggle and have a need to pay a fair price for the home- Get over it!!!  A fair price is what someone is willing to pay for the house.  Okay, it is what a buyer is willing to pay for the house when the buyer and seller are not under any undue pressure to purchase the home.

Consider the fact that your home is an investment.  A Realtor is an investment counselor.  It is their responsibily to help you make an informed decision about purchasing your home.   This decision should include reviewing comparables if they are available.

A real estate agent should discus both the current fair market value of a home and the resale value of a home.   Is the home your considering purchasing on a busy street?  Does it have off street parking?  Is it near a water tower, or power lines?  These issues WILL have an effect on resale.   Will the home sell in a slower market or will you be stuck with it? 

A superior real estate agent will help to determine the offer price for a home while  taking into account all other factors, including how badly you want this perfect home.  The agent will find out what terms are important to the seller and with your permission, customize the offer to suit the seller’s needs. 

 An often overlooked point is that the sales price may be less important than other factors, such as how soon the buyer can close or a seller rent back.

The real estate agent should encourage the buyer to obtain a home inspection from an experienced inspector; work with the title company to make sure that the abstract is done, there are no liens on the property and that closing will be performed as scheduled.

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