Thursday, August 4, 2011

Selecting A Buyer’s Agent in Today’s Real Estate Market

Selecting A Buyer’s Agent in Today’s Real Estate Market

A recent call reminded us that Buyers, and Sellers, don’t always know how to select and use a real estate agent
. The Buyer called on a listing, and it turned out he was calling every listing agent on a long list of properties to get information.  Commendable for the effort, but not an effective way to use agents for his benefit.

He was driving around neighborhoods looking at signs, taking phone numbers, and calling. Finding a home using that method takes much time, not to mention a lot of gas.  There are also many frustrating calls to make trying to connect with each agent to find out the price, bedroom count, and other important information such as distressed status.  Even with that time and effort, the hard working Buyer is never sure if he knows the market as the ideal property could have just been listed and the sign put up after the house hunter drove that street.

An agent can look at all of the properties in the Multiple Listing Service, MLS, at once and determine if the price is okay, there are sufficient bedrooms, etc.  The agent should interview the prospect to find out his wants and needs in a home so she can offer suggestions as to area and homes.  The agent can search the MLS with specific criteria to find the “hidden” gem.  Sometimes the idea home is right under everybody’s nose, and it goes unnoticed without professional perspective.  Cull the list with the agent and then drive around.

So how do you select an agent?

Looking at their ads everybody is number one at something while others are funny.  They are all attractive.  You will be working with this person or team for an extended period of time while you find a home, negotiate an offer, and navigate the escrow process, to the end goal, Home Ownership.  You don’t have to particularly like them, but you must have confidence in them.  Using your Aunt Betty’s grandchild’s wife’s sister’s neighbor isn’t the foundation for a successful relationship.  Don’t be bashful about interviewing for a good agent to represent you.  They should have real knowledge about what you intend to do.

An agent should be concerned about your wants and needs
.  They should ask many questions so they understand what you are looking for, or dreaming of.  They should ask you about your financial status, if you’ve talked to a lender.  What can you afford and what do you actually want to pay?  They should stick to your price range, unless they find you what you want for less than you can afford.  They should explain the process they’ll use to get you the right home.  Different types of homes can require different techniques and timing.  They are there to help you, to do the work for you.  

Our Advice: Pick your agent wisely.  You can find them in the newspaper, from a sign, a referral, or online.  Regardless of how you connect, you should become confident that the agent hears you, understands you, is honest and can do the job for you.  There are many ways to work with an agent and many agents to work with.  Determine your goals and work with a good agent to accomplish them together. When you get a good agent don’t bounce around, you’ll end up with nobody working for you.

Remember, it is easy to search for homes in the newspaper, real estate magazines, and online.  Buyers these days often provide a list of homes to their agents who then research the properties’ details for them.  That way you can search and interact with your agent about what you find.  You’ll be involved in the process and when the right property comes along you’ll know it.

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs …
Experience is Priceless!  Lisa Wetzel  and  Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472.,

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs ... Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472,

Passion ... Inspiration ... What Is Your Why?
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Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine are the authors of this blog.  Lisa, Jim and Jessie are experts in
Carson Valley , Carson City and the tri-county area of Douglas County, Carson City and Lyon County. Call our team anytime at 775-781-5472 or 775-781-3704.  To Search for Homes go to: Carson Valley Listing Book or visit our website at


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