An LO’s Guide to Choosing a RealtorJanuary 11, 2017

From someone in the real estate industry here in Reno – the term real estate “professional” gets thrown around lightly sometimes.  That may sound harsh but I just typed Reno into an MLS search for a realtor and got almost 2,000 results.  It’d be nice to think that all of those were market savvy, full-time real estate experts/contract connoisseurs/skilled negotiators…but that would be a bit naïve.  There are quite a few excellent agents and that’s who you want on your side.  So knowing that anyone can unlock doors and fill out contracts all day, how do you choose a realtor that will represent you well?  Here’s my inside advice, based on my experience as the other half of your real estate team.

  1. Interview more than one!

Don’t just call the listing agent on a for sale sign you saw and then agree to work them exclusively.  They might be the perfect agent for you, but you won’t know that for sure unless you interview a couple.  What do you need to look for during these interviews?  Read on…

  1. Ask about their schedule.

Is this their full time job?  That’s not necessarily a pre-requisite to being a good agent, but you’ll want to get a feel for what their availability to answer your questions and show you homes will be like.  Maybe they are part of a team, maybe they have an assistant to handle things when they aren’t in the office, and these maybes are important for you to know.

On a side note: This is a real job.  So once you hire an agent, treat them like a professional and call/text during reasonable hours.  They’ll respect your time in return.  *Note: I said reasonable not business hours.  Do business hours even exist anymore?

  1. Who do they know?

Just like everything in life, it’s all about who you know.  A well connected realtor can only mean good things for those they represent.  Check out what associations they are a part of and ask them how they network within the industry.  It’s not just about being aware of the newest pocket listing – it’s about them being able to recommend the best lender, home inspector and then interior designer.  More importantly, it’s about them having solid relationships with other agents in town so they can get your offer to the top of the pile or negotiate the best terms for your transaction.

My last bit of guidance would be to make sure you just like them.  You will be spending quite a bit of time with your realtor – driving around to look at houses or trusting them inside your home for showings and open houses.  So go with your gut too.  If you need a list of amazing agents here in Northern Nevada, I can definitely help you out!