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Choosing the Right San Diego Realtor for YOU_

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									by: John Harris

Whether buying or selling a home, it is one of the largest financial events that happens only a
few times within your life. That makes choosing a realtor just as important and a crucial decision
that can add to the stressful event or make it smoother and easier. So, choose your realtor as
carefully as you would choose your doctor or attorney.

The first step in choosing the RIGHT realtor is to ask your friends, neighbors, acquaintances and
business associates for recommendations. Ask them why they liked the realtor, what kind of
service he/she provided, and would they use him/her again? Do not consider recommendations of
their relatives it is doubtful that you are getting an accurate perspective on the realtor.

If you did not get several truly exemplary recommendations, then drive throughout your
neighborhood and check the for sale signs, especially those with Sold stuck across them. Note
the realtor names. Also, check out real estate, display and classified advertising in your
newspaper and local neighborhood paper. Which realtors have the most listings? Which have the
largest or most display ads with photos of the homes? Note the realtor names.

By now, you should have a good list of potential realtors. It is time to check them out. Attend at
least one open house for each realtor you are considering. Observe them in action and judge their
expertise. Are they professional or do they come across as a used car salesman? How familiar is
the realtor with the property he/she is selling? After you leave, make detailed notes of your
observations and how you felt about the realtor.

If you only used the recommendations of others, now check the advertising in the newspaper and
neighborhood media for the realtors in which you are interested. Do the drive through of your
neighborhood to see how many sold signs these realtors have. Make notes of how visible these
realtors are and their marketing efforts.

Next, choose your top three realtor selections. It is better if they are from different companies,
ensuring they will work harder for your business. Call all three and set appointments. For sellers,
make the appointment in your home and let them know you would like an estimate of your
homes market value. For buyers, let them know you would like them to determine how much
you can afford to pay for a home. Be sure they know that you are meeting with two other realtors
and will not make your decision until you have met with all three.

During each interview, take detailed notes on the realtors presentations. Note any thoughts you
have. Ask the following questions, along with any you may have:

For sellers
o How will they sell your home? What are their marketing plans? Are they customized to your
listing?

o How many years have they been a full-time realtor? In your area? You want someone with
experience, who will be giving your listing his/her full attention.
o What is their sales record? This includes their production level, rating, closed rate, expired rate
on listings, and average time listings have been on the market before selling within the last year.

o Are they single-proprietorship realtors, work as a team, or part of a company? What prominent
company are they associated with, and what resources does the firm provide the realtor that helps
him/her do a better job for you?

o What level of technology will they use to promote your listing web sites, virtual tours, online
photo galleries, and so on?

o What services do they provide from the time of listing your home to the end of the closing?

o What are their communication procedures with you from listing through closing?

o Do they provide working relationships with local inspectors, appraisers, and real estate
attorneys?

o Will they help you stage you home for showing. This is a walk-through of the property,
suggesting things that should be repaired, renovated or changed to improve your pricing for the
home. It also includes things that would show the home better. For example, too much furniture
adds a clutter affect, making rooms look smaller. The realtor may suggest storing some of your
furniture until after the sale.

o How did they arrive at the results of their marketing analysis? Ask for the actual addresses of
any homes they used for comparison.

For buyers

o What services do they provide from the time you contract with them through the closing?

o How many years have they been a full-time agent? In your area? You want someone with
experience, who will give his/her full attention to finding you a home.

o Are they single-proprietorship realtors, work as a team, or part of a company? What prominent
company are they associated with, and what resources does the firm provide the realtor that helps
him/her do a better job for you?

o What are their communication procedures with you during your search for a home through
closing?

o What level of technology and research methods will they use to locate potential homes for you
to view?

o What is their production level and rating? How many satisfied buyers in the past 12 months?

o Do they provide working relationships with inspectors, appraisers, title search
companies/attorneys, and real estate attorneys for contracting and the closing? Can they suggest
mortgage lenders, if you need one?

o Do they network with other realtors in the area? Sometimes, such relationships may afford you
a viewing before a property is officially listed, giving your first view.

Tell the realtors that you will make a decision and contact them in the next day or two.

After all interviews are completed, note the following:

Who gave you the most usable information?

For sellers, the market value for your home should be in similar ranges for all three realtors Note
if someone is unusually high. They may be only trying to get your listing with the idea of talking
your price down later. Also, drive by the homes they used for market value comparison. Which
realtors compared apples to apples, and which compared apples to oranges?

For buyers, your buying potential (what you can afford to pay for a new home) should be in the
same range for all three realtors. If a realtor is much higher or lower than the others, note this.
You may even call him/her to inquire about the difference and how they arrived at the amount?

Who answered your questions with genuine sincerity?

Who genuinely appeared most excited about your home and its sale?

Who truly listened, and who did not?

Which realtor seemed to be the best fit for you?

Choosing a poor realtor can turn an already stressful event into a nightmare with ramifications
that you must live with for years to come. Choosing the right realtor can make the experience a
dream come true and a totally satisfying event. Selling or buying a home is stressful enough. Be
sure you do not choose a realtor that is going to add to that stress.

This article was posted on October 24, 2006

								
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