Buying & Selling

How to find a Realtor?

As you know, I’m in the mortgage biz. So that means, I have access to many Real Estate Agents. But I too, want to pick the right one for me… I mean- they ARE getting a pretty good payday to find me the perfect home, right? I don’t want to give my business to just anyone!?!?!

First – I’m all about doing with business with friends and family. We need to support one another. But… the Agents we used previously haven’t reached out to us at all after knowing we wanted to move! Although friends, you also gotta WANT my business. In most businesses these days, it’s all about building relationships.

Second – I work with many Loan Officers who obviously work with Realtors. I could go through any one of them, but this isn’t just business- it’s personal. It’s MY home! You can also ask your Loan Officer or Mortgage Banker for referrals and I promise you they will have a few you can check out.

OR you can also ask friends and family who they have used the in the past. I’m guessing wherever you live, there are plenty of Realtors around and you may even be friends with some on Facebook:) But check out a few to find the one that fits your personality, needs, and who will do what it takes to get your home sold.

SIDE STORY – When we were selling our home in Omaha, we initially wanted to sell it by ourselves. We sold our West Fargo home ourselves and it worked out well, but that’s not always the case. There is something to be said for having an amazing Agent behind you. We chose to hire a couple gals who seemed great when we met them. They also gave Mike their friends & family discount at a very nice hotel chain when Mike was traveling, so yay – we felt they had our best interests at heart and were going to sell our home (quickly). Well – that’s another blog post! Ultimately, we sold the home, but it wasn’t a good experience.

So what else can you do?

GO TO OPEN HOUSES. First, this will help you decide on locations/neighborhoods. Second, it’ll help you see homes in your price range so you know what is realistic and what you need and what you might be ok to sacrifice.

The downfall is you will get put on their contact list. The upside? You will get put on their contact list.

If they DON’T reach out to you – they go on YOUR NO list. No matter how much you liked them at the open house. If they can’t follow up with you when they WANT business, are they really going to be accessible when they HAVE your business?

Take some time to talk with them. Be truthful – if you aren’t in the market yet and are just “browsing”, let them know. But take this time to get to know THEM. Ask them questions: how long have they been in the business, what made them interested in real estate, do they have client referrals, what do they offer their clients, how often will they look at homes, whatever you want to know. Keep a journal of those you meet and rate them on a scale of 1-5.

Watch how they treat others coming into the open house. Do they great everyone? Do they seem happy? Knowledgeable? Do they talk positively about the home? This plays to their character.

If you like them, find them on social media. You can see how they interact socially. Do they like or comment on your posts? Or are they only talking business? (and you may only want them to talk business — this is where you can check them out on another level; whatever it is you are looking for).

Now, I may want a specific characteristic in my Realtor and you may want others. Make a list of what you’d like and keep notes on those you meet or speak with throughout your process.

You will know your Realtor when you meet him/her. That’s how we found Sarah and Cherie.

As I mentioned earlier, our previous Agents didn’t reach out to see how we were doing or if we were ready to look, etc. EVEN THOUGH I posted about packing and driving across town to look at a house. Nothing. Crickets. (Prior to that, we “worked” with 2-3 others… but they did not work out).

We actually met Sarah and Cherie at an open house. We were just looking at areas; certainly NOT ready to list our home or think about submitting any offers. We both immediately loved them. They were personable, knowledgeable, and respectful. I told Sarah about our other agents. She didn’t push or badmouth, but she also stayed in contact. We developed a friendship online and actually knew some of the same people professionally. At this time though, we still weren’t ready to commit.

We hadn’t yet decided when I drove across town to look at a house – which by the way was NOT as nice in person than in pics! Anyway, I parked down the street as I was early and thought the gal setting up the yard looked familiar. Low and behold – it was Sarah! After talking with her and Cherie again at that open house, it was locked in. I just knew.

Go with your gut. Put put yourself out there. Ask around. Go to open houses. Talk. You will find the right one. And remember – if you don’t, you can fire them and find another. It’s OK.

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