You just want a Google-style list of the best realtors near you. We get it.
- You’re in a rush.
- You’re the expert.
- You know what you’re doing.
And there may be a small subset of people who actually do. No offense, but the rest of ya’ll don’t.
Please don’t cancel us or get mad. Just hear us out please and you can be on your way.
There is a fundamental lack of respect for realtors, and as an industry, it’s our fault. Most realtors suck.
Bunch of lazy, unresponsive, incompetent weekend warriors who waste your time and just want to make their commission and move on.
It’s this guy but better dressed so it’s not as easy to tell if one sucks at their job.
There’s no one-size-fits-all realtor
Your search will return dozens of agents. But how can you tell who is right for you?
- Do they really know the neighborhoods you’re targeting? The school districts?
- Are they patient with first time homebuyers or do they prefer experienced buyers?
- Do they only deal with home sellers?
- Do they actually understand how to work with investors?
- Do they understand how to work with military buyers or people relocating?
- Do they speak and understand your language or understand your unique cultural needs?
- Do they only work with buyers above a certain price point? etc…
Tip: Agents want your business so many unscrupulous ones will tell you that they have experience in…whatever it is you want.
The good agents, and there are plenty of good realtors, won’t lie and will refer you to someone else. Now, back to disrespect.
People understand there are different types of software engineers, accountants, teachers, mechanics, doctors, lawyers, salespeople etc…but when it comes to a realtor, they assume we’re all the same. Sigh.
Again, a fundamental lack of respect for the skilled agents exist because the horrible agents gave us all a bad reputation.
If you have a trusted friend, attorney, business partner etc..who can vouch for a certain agent, then why are you searching online for a real estate agent?
Probably because a part of you just doesn’t trust that recommendation. Or maybe you’re just looking for additional options.
Ok, we’ll try to make it quick:
How To Interview Realtors
This isn’t your first rodeo. You probably should interview 2-3 agents.
Look at their past 12 months of transactions. Who cares if they’ve been a realtor for 20 years if they haven’t sold anything in 12 months?
Again, sold homes, not helped people buy one. It takes a different skill set to be a listing agent vs a buyer’s agent. Typically, the more experienced realtors will be on the listing side.
Yes, we’re biased. We’re realtors. Let’s get that out of the way. But this is the same advice I would tell my family.
Look, in life, you get what you pay for. Why would you assume it’s any different in real estate, the biggest asset class in the world?
Do you want a public defender? Ok, maybe the stakes aren’t that high, but they should be. 70% of most people’s net worth is tied up in their home. Don’t gamble with your money.
You can hire a flat fee, discount broker, or even a Redfin agent (no offense, Redfin :). Guess what? People are motivated by incentives.
The thought process is:
“If you’re only paying me a little money, I’m only giving you a little bit of my time and energy”
Did you work hard at that job you had as a teenager? Right.
The natural reaction is to balk at a realtor who wants to charge full commission, call it 6%. Instead, probe further. Try to understand why they feel their services are worth it.
This is where you get to see the realtor in action.
- Can they negotiate?
- Are they confident?
- Do they hit you with data?
If so, they’re probably worth it. They will make you more money than the money you think you’re saving by selling your home on your own or using some discount agent.
If not, and they can’t even stick up for themselves, they definitely won’t stick up for you in a negotiation with the buyer’s agent. Move on.
Location, location, location.
This basic rule applies to so many things in real estate. People think realtors know an entire major city and its suburbs. 9 times out of 10, that’s completely wrong.
New York, DC metro area, Miami, LA, Houston, Charlotte, Seattle, Atlanta, Boston etc…These cities are enormous. Interview the realtors to see who has experience in the specific zip codes you’re targeting.
Next, the buyer’s agreement. It’s when you commit to working with the realtor for 3-6 months. Many of us have fear of commitment. We get it.
Your fear is that you’ll be stuck working with a real estate agent who could care less about you. That’s understandable, but there’s another perspective.
If a realtor knows you’re working with multiple agents, they will be less committed to you. What if they drive you around to a bunch of homes only for you to use the next agent to close on a home?
Realtors don’t make money until a deal closes so they’ve gotten zero compensation for their time and effort. That’s their fear.
If you talk to an agent you like, sign the damn buyers agreement. It’s not that serious.
Worst case scenario, you end up hating each other for some reason and you ask them or their broker to terminate the agreement. They might try to convince you to stay but 99% of the time, they will ultimately do it.
Bottom Line (straight to the end)
The next time you search for “A List of Real Estate Agents Near Me,” keep the above tips in mind.
Or if you don’t have time to sift through a bunch of agents and want someone to curate the options for you, they’re literally dozens of services out there, including ours.
We’re not right for everyone. And not every agent is right for you.
But please, stop treating good realtors like Rodney Dangerfield. Show a little respect for the profession.
Once you find a good realtor, you will likely end up being lifelong friends.