Want email updates from me?
Want more unvarnished truth?
Looking for something? Look here!
What I'm saying now
What you're saying...
I think tag clouds are pretty, and not to be taken overly seriously
111 Chop House 75 on Liberty Wharf 9/11 A Broth of a Boy ABCs Abiouness accountability activities alcohol Allora Ristorante Analysis Angry Hams ANSI/TIA 942 Anthony's Pier 4 Apple Application Armsby Abbey Arsenal Arturo's Ristorante Ashland AT&T Audio Automation baby Baby Monitor babysitting Back To School Bad News Bangkok Thai Bar Bay State Common baystateparent BBQ BCP BeeZers Before I die I want to... behavior Big Bang Bike Bill of Rights Bistro Black Box BlackBerry Boston Boston Marathon boundaries Boyston BPO brand Breakfast Bridge Bring Your Own Technology Budget Burlington Burn Burrito buyer BYOD Cabling Cambridge Camp Campaign career Casey's Diner Castle casual cCabling Cell Phone Central Square Change Management Cheers Chef Sun ChengDu Chet's Diner Children Chinese Christmas Christmas Families Holiday CIO Cloud coddle collage College College Acceptance co-lo Co-Location Co-Location Tier Power Cooling Comfort Food Control Country Country Kettle Crisis customer dad Dad Phrases damage daredevil Data Center Data Center Design Davios Day Care Dead Death declaration Del Frisco's Design Desktop Video dinner Disaster Recovery Divorce Do Epic Shit dodgeball Downtown Crossing DR driving Droid Easter Economic Kids Edaville Education Elbow Night Elevator Employee Engagement Erin Etiquette Evaluation events Exchange Expiration Dates Facebook Failing family Fatherhood Favorite things Flash Flemings Fogo de Chão Food Hits and Misses Format Foundry on Elm Foxborough Frameworks fraternity Fraud French Fried Clams friends fun Fusion Generations germs Girl Scouts girls Global Go/No Go GPS Grafton Grandchild Grandpa Harry's hazing Healthcare Healthy Choices while Dining Out Help Desk Hisa Japanese Cuisine Historic holiday Home hope Horizons hose Hot Dog Hurricane IIT Assessment incident Indecision Indian Infrastructure Inn Innovation Internet Inventory Management iPhone IT IT Assessment IT Satisfaction Italian Jack Daniels Jakes Restaurant Janet Japanese Jazz Joey's Bar and Grill JP's Khatta Mitha kickball kids Laid off Lakes Region Lala Java Leadership Learning legacy Legal Harborside Les Zygomates L'Espalier Liberty Wharf lights out Linguine's loss Love Lucky's Cafe M&M Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade mai tai Managed Application Services Managed Services managers Mandarin Manners Mark Fidrych marriage Mary Chung mass save Maxwell-Silverman Mediterranean meetings Memorial Day memory Mendon Mergers Mexican MiFi Migration Ming III miss MIT MIT CIO Symposium Mobility Moes Hot Dog Truck MOM money Mother Moving on Name neanderthal neighborhood Network New York Marathon newborn Northborough Not Your Average Joe's Nuovo Nursing On-Call Operations Operators Oregon Club Organization Pancakes Pandemic Parental Control Parenting Patch Peeves People Perserverance UMASS growth Play Plug and Run Predictable Pride Problem Process Production program Project Management propane PTA. PTO PUE QR Quick Response Rant Real Estate Realtor Recognition Red Rock Resiliency Respect restaurant Restaurant Guy RFP ribs Ritual Root Cause Analysis Sam Adams Sandy Sapporo savings School Sea Dog Brewing Company Sea Dog Steak and Ale Seafood Seaport Security Sel de la Terra Service Service Desk Service Indicator Light sharing SHIRO Shit Pump Shriners SHTF Simplification Skunk Works Skype Sleep sleepovers Sloan Smith & Wollensky soccer Son SOP sorority spanking Squarespace staffing Starbucks Status Reporting Steak Steve Jobs Storage Strategy stress Summer Sushi swimming Tacos Acalpulco teacher Technology Teen Telephony Temperature Strip Tenka terrorist Testing Texas BBQ Company Text Thai Thanksgiving in IT The Mooring Thomas Thought Leader Three Gorges III TIA 942 Timesheets Toby Keith Toddlers traditions Transition treehouse turnover TV Twitter unspoken moments Valentine's Day Value Vendor Venezuelan Verizon Vermont Video Vietnamese voice VoIP Watertown Wedding Westborough Korean Restaurant Westborough MA. StormCam WiFI Wi-Fi Wilbraham Wine Worcester work work life balance working Yama Zakura Zem Han Zitis

Entries in Realtor (1)

Friday
Jul172015

Selecting a Real Estate Agent

Real estate can be stressful. When buying or selling, consumers are making some of the biggest transactions they will make in their lifetime. When renting, you’re often making decisions under a tight timeframe. A real estate agent can help navigate local markets and help make the process a pleasant experience. Selecting a real estate agent is an important part of this process. Here are 6 steps to get you down the path to selecting a real estate agent:

  1. Interview - There were 422,000 real estate agents in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Picking a good one is an important first step in the process. There’s an adage, “people buy from people,” and the same is true with your real estate agent. You should make sure you have a chemistry and trust with the person. You need to know they are operating in your best interests. Interview the agent and establish your expectations.

  2. Licensing - Real estate agents are licensed (in Massachusetts, after a 40 hour course and exam.)  Research the person’s licensing and check for any disciplinary actions.

  3. Check references - Speak with current or former clients of the agent. Ask questions to make sure your considerations are met by the agent. For example, some sellers have specific concerns they need the agent to accommodate, such as avoiding showings after school. Some buyers/renters want to review a short list of properties, others want to visit a large number of properties.

  4. Check the website – Agents investing in a pleasant Web presence with automated feeds and updates are taking their business seriously. This attention to detail will often carry over to all other aspects of their business.

  5. Check listings – Active agents are generating business and referrals based on their activities.

  6. Ask about credentials – initials after an agents name can indicate further commitment to the real estate business. Some of the more common designations are:
    1. REALTOR® If the agent is a REALTOR with a capital “R,” they are a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. These are agents with additional training formally pledges to support the code of ethics
    2. Accredited Buyer’s Representative® / ABR® -  The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation represents real estate buyer agents focusing on working directly with buyer-clients at every stage of the home-buying process.
    3. Certified Property Manager® / CPM® CPM designees are recognized as experts in real estate management. Holding this designation demonstrates expertise and integrity to employers, owners and investors.
    4. Seller Representative Specialist / SRS  The Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) designation is the premier credential in seller representation. It is designed to elevate professional standards and enhance personal performance. 
    5. Seniors Real Estate Specialist® / SRES®SRES® The SRES® Designation program educates REALTORS® on how to profitably and ethically serve the real estate needs of the fastest growing market in real estate, clients age 50+. 

A word on reviews

There are a plethora of sites where reviews can be found (such as Yelp, Facebook and Trulia/Zillow.)  Unlike Consumer Reports where independent test results are published, some of these services are vulnerable to manipulation. Many online reviewers have an agenda beyond providing valuable information. For example, many consumers try to leverage their negative reviews into getting free stuff from the place they are reviewing. Additionally, many companies pay people to leave reviews: either positive reviews for themselves or negative reviews for their competition.

Additionally, there are many inherent weaknesses in the review sites themselves. For example, Yelp can be paid to influence ratings, by hiding negative reviews and promoting positive reviews to the top of a company’s page. Also, “bad” Facebook comments can be simply deleted. Like anything on the Internet, take these “reviews” with a grain of salt.

As someone formerly writing reviews I was well aware of the need for quality, reliable reviews. My personal published restaurant reviews were always independent, while some services are paid to provide reviews.

With the right agent, you’ll be settled in your new home quickly!

Longtime area blogger Gary Kelley transitioned to real estate working as a REALTOR® in Massachusetts after running data center operations for major global retailers and financial services firms.