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How Do I Spot a Good or Bad Realtor?

If you are currently looking for a realtor, there are many questions you should ask them as to how they conduct business. Many home buyers choose a realtor based on their personality. This isn’t the time to make friends.

First off, any good realtor will have a marketing or business plan; lots of them don’t, which is a mistake. Real estate agents who do have a business plan earn a significant amount more of money. The reason for this is that they know their goals, their specialty, and their focus. Because real estate agents work for themselves, they need to have a clear idea of what they are good at, which ultimately will be what they specialize in. You don’t want a realtor that says they sell every type of house; everyone has a specific specialty that they are good at.

You should look for a realtor who knows how to do more than turn on a computer. They need to know how to use it.  Buyers are looking for homes online these days. Tools are available today to where you can pull up a lot of information online on your own, that is similar to the data you provide to them. If and when you have questions about why the data you gathered online is different than what you saw online, they should be able to answer these types of questions.

Your realtor should be taking continuing education classes, which are actually required. You should be sure to ask if they attend these. If they say yes, push further. Ask them questions about what they learned. Their answers to these types of questions are how you’ll be able to tell if they should be your realtor. Real estate agents must take classes to acquire more skills that will increase your sales, and thus earn you more money.

A realtor should have a few months income to be able to live, since they still don’t get paid for a month after a deal closes, and sometimes longer if there are issues that arise. What will happen if they are broke because of this, is that they won’t be as involved as they should be. You won’t know why, you’ll just think they’re irresponsible.

You must ask how many current clients they have, how many and what types of listings, and test how they are on the internet. The goal is to test them and see if they know what they are doing, and how experienced they are. Someone saying that they’ve been in ANY business for 8 years, 9 years, 12 years…doesn’t mean much. You don’t know how much time they took off, and whether it was for a few years! Make sure you find a good realtor!

2 Comments

  1. Katie

    Unfortunately, this happens all too often. Just like with any profession, with realtors, there are both good and bad. We also experienced this when we bought and sold houses before becoming agents ourselves and this was ultimately one of the contributing factors that helped us decide to get our licenses. We advice our clients and friends to ask people they trust who they would recommend as an agent in the area they are looking to buy or sell in. Between referrals and customer reviews you can usually determine if an agent will be right for you. We also recommend interviewing agents before agreeing to work with them. Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest life events a person can have and your agent should be someone you both trust and enjoy as a person!

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  2. Rachel

    Finding a good real estate agent is tough. It’s hard because usually they’re all likable when you meet them. After all, real estate is a people business, so most of the time, they’re great at interacting. It’s not until after you hire them until you learn about their habits and communication style.

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