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How to Select a Real Estate Agent

All Relocation Articles

Brought to you by RPS Relocation Service

Whether you are buying or selling a home, you need an agent with whom you can comfortably work and who will do the most capable job for you. Someone who is aggressive and has laid out a practical plan for you, using your housing guidelines.

  • Find out how well the agent knows the areas that you are considering.

  • Inquire about credentials, licensing and areas of expertise.

  • Learn if the agent and agency belongs to the Multiple Listing Service.

  • Ask about the types of homes the agent typically deals with.  Are these similar to what you are buying and/or selling?

  • Look for an agency that provides more than just house-hunting. Some offerings to look for:
    School and community information.
    A customized relocation packet with information about the city, housing market, mortgage financing and local real estate.
    A service to find medical personnel.
    An agency that can assist you with rental property if you need interim housing.
    An agency that will help with a spousal employment search.
    Ability to video-tape houses to show children who could not attend the house-hunting trip.
    Particulars about volunteer organizations, activities, day care facilities and retirement centers.

  • If you do not believe an agent is doing a thorough job for you, or you feel extremely uncomfortable with this person, choose someone else. You will be spending a lot of time with your agent and will rely on him/her for credible information, so make sure you like and trust your representative.

Ask what your agent will do for you:

1. "What is your marketing plan for my property?" Look for advertising specifics (brochures and flyers) and an open house agenda.  The agent should also detail a plan with other Realtors in the area about property by using mailings, phone calls and "agent's opens."  Get quantitative promises - when and where ads will run for example.

2. "How often can I rely on you to call or write me with feedback?"  Good agents should contact their clients every week (even if news is not encouraging). Mondays are best because week-ends present the most opportunities for viewing.

3. "Could you give me a list of your satisfied clients as references?"  Make sure the list contains owners of properties in similar neighborhoods and/or price ranges.

4. "What percentage of the asking price, on average, have you received for the homes you've sold during the last year?"

5. "What is the average number of days your listed homes stay on the market?"

Changing agents once you've entered into a contract to buy a house is difficult, so you want to find a reliable agent at the start. Only consider making a change if you are not happy with the service. First, call the agent and your Relocation Counselor and express your concerns; then if the agent does not rectify the situation, pursue another agent search.

Remember, your Relocation Counselor is here to assist you with these services, including any changes you may need.


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