Does it Matter?
Yes, it sure does!
So, Why does it matter, and How do you go about finding the right one?
First, All Real Estate agents are NOT the same. Some questions to start off with:
- Are they a Real Estate Agent, or are they a REALTOR®?
- Are they a full time agent, or part-time agent.
- What experience do they have? At least a little?
- Do they work for YOU or for the Seller?
1. Real Estate Agent or REALTOR®
There is a difference. Most people tend to use the word Realtor® when describing all real estate agents.
– A Real Estate Agent is pretty much anyone who has a real estate license.
– A REALTOR® is a real estate agent who is also a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, and they are held to a higher standard of ethics.
You can read more about the differences here: Real Estate Titles Explained
2. Full time or Part Time?
It seems everyone knows someone who has a real estate license.
Admit it, someone you know has told you at some point or another that they hold a real estate license for the following reasons:
- “Just in Case” – you know, just in case someone I know wants to sell or buy a house.
- “For Referrals” – if someone I know wants to buy or sell a home.. i’ll make a referral fee off of the sale.
- “Something to Fall Back on” if my current career doesn’t work out, I’ll have a real estate license to fall back on
- … and the list goes on….
There are many reasons, and ones you should keep in mind when selecting whether or not to use them for one of the most important transactions of your life!
Just because someone is part-time, doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be able to do their best. I know a lot of fantastic part-time agents. In fact, we have part-timers on our staff, but they are backed up and heavily supported by our Full-Time Agents!
Take all of the above into consideration when choosing someone. Having someone who does this as a full time career and not just a weekend hobby, might be an important consideration.
3. Experience Matters
Would you consider getting a root canal from your friendly neighbor who fixes car for a living but watches a ton of DIY Videos on YouTube? No? Yea, me neither.
There is a plethora of information you can find about real estate all over the internet. But it doesn’t replace the need for an experienced real estate agent to guide you through the process at the same time.
Ask your agent some questions. How many homes have they sold? How long have they been in the business? What are they going to do for you?
And folks, please don’t do your agent’s job for them. I can’t tell you how many buyers call me to schedule appointments when they are working with an agent. They do their own research on the houses, schedule their own appointments, even sometimes show up without them and yet that same agents expects to collect a paycheck when the property closes? Do you see something wrong with this picture? Let your agent work for you!
Feel Funny asking them these questions? There’s another way. Just Google them!
I’ll be willing to bet you can find lots of great info on them, and if there is a lack thereof.. then that should prompt you to want to investigate them further.
Did you know you can look up any real estate agent’s license online to see when they actually started their career, as well as any current disciplinary issues?
Check it out ➡ Research a Real Estate Licensee
*Remember, all agents had to have their first start somewhere. So even if the agent is fairly new, they may be willing to work really hard for you! Just ask my customers from 13 years ago!
4. Does the Agent work for the BUYER or the SELLER?
Did you know that when you visit an Open House, and make an offer on that house, that more often than not that agent MAY NOT REPRESENT YOU! They may represent the Homeowner!
Think of it this way: You are the Fish. The Open House is the Bait. Don’t bite without a BUYER’S agent of your own beside you, who can protect your interests and help you negotiate.
Not sure? Ask. However, By Law, a real estate agent is supposed to provide you with a Mandatory Agency Disclosure at the first meeting to discuss a specific property.
(With Open Houses, this disclosure is supposed to be posted at the open house, although most buyers fail to even notice this!)
If you visit a house for the first time with a massachusetts real estate agent, and they do not provide you with this disclosure, they are breaking the law!
This disclosure clearly explains to a consumer who that particular agent works for.
Want to Learn More?
We created a full page of Buyer Information to help in your research. Check it out.