How would you go about finding a good real estate agent?

I've tried the phonebook, that doesn't work too well. Most people my age are not buying or selling houses. So not sure who to ask for recommendations.

3 answers

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ANSWER #1 of 3

Without anyone to refer you, you're pretty much going may have to call a few up, and ask them key questions regarding their skills. This might help:

ANSWER #2 of 3

I've never bought a house...yet. Me and the hubby are looking though, and I think it would depend on if you're looking to buy or sell.

If you wanna buy, I'd pick a house I liked and could probably afford by looking in real estate mags, online or the newspaper. Then just call them up and see what you gotta do from there. You may want to go to a bank and get pre-approved for a certain loan amount and have that ready when you see the house so you can be prepared to make an offer.

If you're looking to sell, that would be a little harder. I'd narrow it down by looking around at what the most popular Realtors are in your area and then start calling them. Ask how much of a percentage they take, how much they charge up front, how long they expect your house to be on the market and what happens if it doesn't sell in a certain amount of time.

Good luck!

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ANSWER #3 of 3

A very, hugely important statistic I read from "freakonomics" is that real estate agents typically sell their *own* houses for on average about 3% more than they will help you sell YOUR house, b/c they tend to pressure you to take the first offer, as the difference, for their personal check, in 10-50K in purchase price is only a few hundred dollars, after they split commission.

As a result, their motivations are NOT clearly aligned with, be careful!

Also if you're buying, sometimes, even though the seller agent is trying to "maximize the price, and thus their commission" you may be able to simply call and say "what is the lowest I can buy?" and then get a better idea of where your offer needs to be.

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