Close Your Eyes, Spin Around, & Hit The Bullseye

I’m annoyed … there, I said it.  Just annoyed.  And here’s why … I was having a conversation recently with someone who just bought an investment property  I’ve known this individual for a few years at least through our real estate dealings (he’s a lender and we’ve always had a good relationship, to the point where I think we both would consider the other a friend.  So why was I so peeved?

Because he bought the home through another REALTOR  Am I annoyed at him?  Not in the least!  Instead, I’m annoyed at myself that I failed to see his interest in the investment market, and I didn’t provide him the same professional service that I provide the clients he refers to me!  But that’s not the point – he chose someone else because they were there, ready willing and able, when he was ready to buy.  And it got me thinking … how DO people choose their REALTOR??

I’ve heard of people choosing a REALTOR based on their picture in the paper, their interests, even where they went to school!  Is this the best way to choose?  My experience would say that it’s not, but everyone’s different and has different priorities.  Buying a house, no matter the size or price, is a large investment for most of us, and so is the agent you choose.  Ask family members for recommendations … talk to your friends, your colleagues, your neighbors, your accountant or attorney for their thoughts.  You’re going to be spending at least a few months with that REALTOR and you want to make sure it’s someone you feel comfortable with and can trust, so interview them and make sure there’s a good relationship there.  One of the most important decisions you can make is your choice of who to work with, and the referrals of people you trust mean a lot.  And please … be careful of web sites that promote "Find An Agent" services.  These are often just services that allow agents to sign up for free, or for a nominal fee, and quality is sometimes overlooked.  You don’t go shopping for a car without seeing it first, do you?  (well, I bought a car off of eBay one time but that’s another story for another day!)

That aside, I thought this would be a good discussion for the blog and I’ll hope you’ll provide some thoughts.  What criteria have you used in the past when selecting a REALTOR?  And how did it work out?  Would you use the same process again?

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