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  How to Conduct the Search.

How to Conduct the Search for a Good Realtor

One way to find candidates to interview is to talk to professionals from
real estate related professions and ask their opinion. If you know
someone who is employed as an escrow officer, title representative,
homeowners insurance salesman, or loan officer, they will be able to
recommend Realtors from the area they work in.

If you talk to a loan officer, be sure it is someone who deals primarily
with purchase money first trust deeds and mortgages instead of
refinances, second trust deeds, or finance companies. Since the latter
do not deal with Realtors on a regular basis, they will not know who to

You could just make phone calls to real estate offices and ask
questions. Ask the manager to recommend someone or ask a Realtor
who he/she would recommend from another office. This will be a little
tricky because the Realtor you ask will be "giving away" a
commission, but you will find out who they respect as a competitor.

A new alternative to finding a Realtor is the internet. Look for Realtors
who advertise themselves, not property. That way you have a pretty
good idea you are getting a "buyer’s" agent instead of a listing agent.
Look to see if their web page offers something to you in the way of
information or other services instead of just telling you they are
"number one." You want someone of value to represent you, not
someone who is full of "puff."

Interviewing a Good Realtor

When you interview Realtors for the job, you want someone who will
be concerned about you and will take care of your interests. You want
someone who demonstrates ready knowledge of homes available for
sale and does not have to call you back after they "check on the
computer." This ready knowledge demonstrates they have actually
been out previewing homes and don’t just sit around waiting for the
phone to ring.

You also want someone sharp enough to ask you questions as well,
including your financial and debt information. By asking these
questions, a good Realtor will be able to determine the proper price
range you should be looking in. By asking about your family, an agent
will be able to tell if what you need in a home is something available in
your price range. You want a Realtor who is bold enough to talk
straight with you instead of always telling you what you want to hear.

When a Realtor Asks to Meet With You

Finally, any decent agent will always ask for an appointment to meet
with you, too. It is only natural, since they earn their living by
commissions. However, Realtors are also supposed to act as your
agent, looking out for your interests before their own. You want a
Realtor who takes that responsibility very seriously. If someone
seems too much like simply a salesman, then maybe you should look
a little further.

copyright 1999 by Terry Light and RealEstate ABC, revised 2002


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