Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Questions to Ask a Potential Realtor
Old 03-11-2016, 01:42 PM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,887
Questions to Ask a Potential Realtor

Thanks for all the input. Interviewed three agents.

#1 is about 70, a broker and an agent, has high ratings for integrity and satisfaction. Knows the area well and lives locally. Assures me I would work only directly with him. Came with comps and a professional summary of him and his company.

#2 is 60ish, but uses a photo from when she was about 40, which seems a little disingenuous. She is 3rd highest seller in town. Would not give me comps unless I hire her. Knows the area very well, but has her assistant do all the computer stuff because "she is not good with computers". Gave me a printout of my home's information off the township website.

#3 is the number one selling individual agent in the area, about 50, also has his broker's license. Office is just him and an assistant. Advertises very heavily and does an amazingly high volume for a one man band. Came with a list of comps and a packet containing references and information about his company. All business, but a human dynamo.

I leaning toward # 1 because above all else, he seems to have high integrity in addition to experience. #2 turned me off with her personality and refusal to provide comps. #3 gets good feedback on line, though with all the balls in the air, I'm amazed that he can be adequately responsive.

I'm still waiting for personal references from #1. When I receive them, I'll make a few calls and base my final decision on their recommendations.

Anyone see red flags?
__________________

__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-11-2016, 04:21 PM   #22
Moderator
MBAustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,154
I would run from #2.

Did either #1 or #3 make any suggestions regarding upgrades/repairs/etc? We got basic info from all we interviewed before making a decision (although the full marketing proposal came after we decided).

If the references check out and all else being equal, I would also probably go with #1.

Good luck!
__________________

__________________
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
----------------------------------
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
MBAustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2016, 04:47 PM   #23
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,814
Timely topic.

DH is in process of trying to get his mom's house listed. (She moved to memory care in a different state than the house). It took a while to get the legal authority in place because of some snags in transferring the guardianship papers from old state to new state.

He's had 3 realtors go through the house. His BIL arranged to be there to let them in to see the house. One was a real PITA to get to show up... and when he did he didn't follow up with email or phone contact. The other two had good advice on what needed to be done. One of them was willing to put together some quotes for the needed work - knowing it's a price sensitive issue. (Home is not expensive so spending $30k is out of the question.) The other just listed the work she wanted done... but couldn't offer assistance in helping arrange it . Remember - DH is 2500 miles away - so finding/hiring contractors is not easy.

The one willing to work a bit is the one we're going with. Her commission was the same as the others, but she seems willing to work for it. The home is in a good school neighborhood but is dated. The fixes we agreed to were relatively low end... replace carpet with laminate floors, paint, fix 2 spots of termite damage.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2016, 05:18 PM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,887
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
........Her commission was the same as the others, but she seems willing to work for it. .........

At what point did you discuss commission? None of my three mentioned it in the initial interview.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2016, 05:42 PM   #25
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,455
For me, upfront, first meeting. One volunteered it, the others I asked.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2016, 06:21 PM   #26
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,814
I wrote up a list of questions for DH to ask when he was phone interviewing. That was one of the questions.

(As was marketing strategy, how comps /suggested listing prices were generated, and how often they send reports/updates.)
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2016, 06:44 PM   #27
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,428
One experience of an agent to avoid.... we once had an agent pitch us to list with him. While we recognized him from his ads locally, he was very aggressive and to hear him talk about himself was the greatest thing to our local real estate market since sliced bread. He allegedly had all these great relationships with buyers, buyers waiting in the wings who would be very interested in our house, etc. While he made a very compelling pitch, my BS meter was pegged at full stop so we passed.

We were later under contract on our house but the buyer needed to sell their house. They listed it with the guy we had passed on. At the end of the day it seems that his main strategy was to list as many properties as he could, do very little himself to sell them and let someone else do the selling and then collect his listing agent commission and go onto the next mark.

Be wary for these types.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2016, 09:37 PM   #28
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,887
OP here. Got a strange email tonight from agent #1. I had asked for references (previous client names and phone #s). His email tonight said that is personal information that would be unfair to hand out, but "you can read customer feedback comments on my website". The other two agents provided the same information without resistance.

Can't imagine hiring someone to sell a 1/2 million dollar house without unfiltered feedback.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Questions to Ask a Potential Realtor
Old 03-11-2016, 09:51 PM   #29
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 86
Questions to Ask a Potential Realtor

Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
OP here. Got a strange email tonight from agent #1. I had asked for references (previous client names and phone #s). His email tonight said that is personal information that would be unfair to hand out, but "you can read customer feedback comments on my website". The other two agents provided the same information without resistance.

Can't imagine hiring someone to sell a 1/2 million dollar house without unfiltered feedback.

Not that strange really, I would just check Yelp/Google.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
Daniel J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2016, 09:56 PM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,887
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel J View Post
Not that strange really, I would just check Yelp/Google.
I did. Not listed.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2016, 10:37 PM   #31
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,428
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
OP here. Got a strange email tonight from agent #1. I had asked for references (previous client names and phone #s). His email tonight said that is personal information that would be unfair to hand out, but "you can read customer feedback comments on my website". The other two agents provided the same information without resistance.

Can't imagine hiring someone to sell a 1/2 million dollar house without unfiltered feedback.
Usually one would check with a reference before providing someone's name as a reference.... which would give that person an opportunity to object to agent #1 disclosing their name and contact info. If the reference concedes to having agent #1 provide the information to you then it is not unfair for him to give you the information.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 01:25 AM   #32
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
photoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,301
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
OP here. Got a strange email tonight from agent #1. I had asked for references (previous client names and phone #s). His email tonight said that is personal information that would be unfair to hand out, but "you can read customer feedback comments on my website". The other two agents provided the same information without resistance.

Can't imagine hiring someone to sell a 1/2 million dollar house without unfiltered feedback.

Seems like a red flag to me.


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
photoguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 06:14 AM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
OP here. Got a strange email tonight from agent #1. I had asked for references (previous client names and phone #s). His email tonight said that is personal information that would be unfair to hand out, but "you can read customer feedback comments on my website". The other two agents provided the same information without resistance.
I wouldn't be concerned; any agent who provides references is going to provide the names of the ones whose house sold quickly at a good price, not the one they overpriced that sat on the market and sold half a year later after 4 markdowns. How much information can that provide for your decision?

You could ask him about average days on market for the properties he's sold in the last year compared to overall figures for the area. The realtor we used sends out a newsletter every quarter or so that provides comparisons for the total area of average days on market, ratio of sold price to listed price and other figures, so the market figures should be publicly available somewhere. Whether he keeps stats on his own business is another question, but he should have a good feel for how he's doing compared to the average.
__________________
athena53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 06:45 AM   #34
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,455
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
OP here. Got a strange email tonight from agent #1. I had asked for references (previous client names and phone #s). His email tonight said that is personal information that would be unfair to hand out, but "you can read customer feedback comments on my website". The other two agents provided the same information without resistance.

Can't imagine hiring someone to sell a 1/2 million dollar house without unfiltered feedback.
Not something to worry about. Realtor is a field with a low barrier to entry, so there are many agents to choose from and you need a way to quickly filter unqualified candidates.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 06:56 AM   #35
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
I wouldn't be concerned; any agent who provides references is going to provide the names of the ones whose house sold quickly at a good price
I totally agree with this.

Normally I will point to reviews on Zillow about me or actual reference quotes on my website. If a customer wants to talk to a customer in person (which is extremely rare) I would certainly call a couple clients first for their permission and make sure that they are cherry picked clients who are going to be extremely happy with me. In addition, the easiest clients of mine to call would be my sister in law and my best friend who I both did transactions with. Are those really going to be objective?
__________________
Fishingmn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 07:54 AM   #36
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,887
Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
I wouldn't be concerned; any agent who provides references is going to provide the names of the ones whose house sold quickly at a good price, not the one they overpriced that sat on the market and sold half a year later after 4 markdowns. How much information can that provide for your decision?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishingmn View Post
I totally agree with this.

............ If a customer wants to talk to a customer in person (which is extremely rare) I would certainly call a couple clients first for their permission and make sure that they are cherry picked clients who are going to be extremely happy with me..........
I had actually asked for all clients, buy and sell, in the last 12 months to avoid this. The other agents provided this information. Cherry picking and using relatives as a reference would be, to me, unscrupulous.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 08:04 AM   #37
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 434
To me it would be unethical to provide names and contact information for every client in the past 12 months unless I personally call them all and ask if they would serve as a reference. Not surprised that an agent would balk at that. Actually, I'd question any agent who just gave that information out - would you want to get contacts in the future without any warning when your contact information was distributed?

Edit - the more I even think of this the more I could tell you why it's wrong. Part of our fiduciary duty is to protect client confidentiality. Any Realtor giving out a list of contacts without prior authorization would be violating the code of ethics. Plus, they will still cherry pick the list.
__________________
Fishingmn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 08:14 AM   #38
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,887
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishingmn View Post
To me it would be unethical to provide names and contact information for every client in the past 12 months unless I personally call them all and ask if they would serve as a reference. Not surprised that an agent would balk at that. Actually, I'd question any agent who just gave that information out - would you want to get contacts in the future without any warning when your contact information was distributed?
If I was in a business where I was frequently cycling customers, as part of my feedback questionnaire, I'd ask, "May I use you as a reference?".

For something like real estate agents or financial advisors where the dollars are large and the frequency is low, I would be delighted to give feedback to future prospective customers. If it was for a television set, then, no, I would not like a hundred calls.

I guess the perspective changes when it is my 1/2 million on the line.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 08:14 AM   #39
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I had actually asked for all clients, buy and sell, in the last 12 months to avoid this. The other agents provided this information. Cherry picking and using relatives as a reference would be, to me, unscrupulous.
I can't imagine all of those clients consented; I'm not sure I would, even though I liked our realtor and have recommended her to others. If the other 2 realtors actually gave you the full list, I'd be very surprised.
__________________
athena53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 08:20 AM   #40
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,887
Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
I can't imagine all of those clients consented; I'm not sure I would, even though I liked our realtor and have recommended her to others. If the other 2 realtors actually gave you the full list, I'd be very surprised.
You may be right, but hiring someone based on their sales pitch, presentation and anonymous quotes on their website seems inadequate for a transaction of this size.

I learned this when I used to hire and fire. What prospective hires said and what their former supervisors said could be radically different. And it was probably unfair of me to ask for former supervisor's names.
__________________

__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Solo 401(k) questions, potential tax problems(?!) and roll overs Marquette Other topics 6 02-11-2008 06:10 PM
Selling house without a realtor RunningBum Other topics 13 02-01-2008 02:28 PM
FSBO nets more money than a realtor cute fuzzy bunny Other topics 3 06-18-2007 01:31 PM
suggestions 4 selecting realtor lazygood4nothinbum Other topics 30 01-16-2007 03:23 PM
Realtor vs. FSBO nwsteve FIRE and Money 45 06-15-2006 11:55 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:01 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.