Top 7 Ways to Evaluate Your Real Estate Agent
By Joe Cline
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You meet an agent at an open house. They seem nice, like they know what they are talking about, but do you really know who you are working with? Find out how to do your due diligence in selecting your agent. It may just save you thousands of dollars and keep you out of court.
- Call the Austin (or your local) Board of Realtors and ask if there are any complaints against the Realtor. Most boards will not divulge all information about complaints against their members, but if the agent is held in high esteem you may get some information about that aspect of their business.
- Check with the Texas (or your state) Real Estate Commission about any violations that they may have on the agent AND the agent's broker. These range from administrative violations to ethics and misconduct.
- Check out their education records at the Texas (or your state) Real Estate Commission as well. If you want a professional, you want to make sure they stay abreast of legal issues, breaking real estate issues, and are the type of agent who seeks to be informed and educated when it comes to dealing with your home sale or purchase.
- Ask for three references and call them! Good agents will be able to give you at least three good references. If they can't or the references are not elated with the agent's performance, you can do better.
- Call the agent's broker and talk to them about the agent's experience and education. Brokers like to hear from their clients and also will be happy to tell you honestly about the agent and his/her experience.
- Ask the agent about thier sales performance in the last 5 years. Some agents get their license and do nothing with it for many years, then enter the business and can advertise that they have been an agent for 15 years, when in actuality they have never sold a home or are very inexperienced. A good agent will be a full time realtor with no other job and should close at least 2 transactions a month.
- Go with your gut! It's usually right. If you have any hesitations about your agent, tell them and see if they can resolve them. If they can't, go elsewhere.
Joe Cline is a professional real estate broker, investor, and REALTOR with Coldwell Banker in Austin, Texas. Joe believes in providing world-class service to his clients through educating and coaching them through their real estate transactions.
Joe's committment to education and service is reinforced by his achievement and participation in the Austin Board of Realtors, Council of Residential Specialists, Accredited Buyer's Representative's Council, Texas Association of Realtors, and National Association of Realtors.
Joe holds his Broker's license, the Accredited Buyer's Representative designation, the Certified Residential Specialist designation, the Certified Home Marketing Specialist designation, Cendant Mobility Marketing Specialist designation and the Cendant Mobility Referral Specialist desgination.
You can find out more about Joe and Austin real estate at Joe Cline's personal website.
Article Submitted On: October 21, 2005