There are thousands of Realtors® across the country, so which should you trust when you need to buy or sell a home? Narrow down your options by looking for these signs that indicate your Realtor® is trustworthy:
Unique Marketing Strategies
If you are selling your home, you should ask each Realtor® that you interview how he plans on marketing the listing to potential buyers. Most Realtors® will suggest listing it online and hosting a few open houses, but what else?
If a Realtor® suggests a unique marketing strategy for your home, this is a great sign that you should trust him. Why? Thinking outside of the box and implementing creative marketing strategies shows that the Realtor® is committed to his job and willing to go above and beyond to sell your home. This is the type of Realtor® you want on your team—so listen closely during interviews to hear what Realtors® have to say about marketing.
Test your Realtor’s® neighborhood knowledge to determine if you should trust him with selling your home or finding your next home. How many homes has he sold in the neighborhood within the last year? What are his favorite qualities about the neighborhood? How does he think the neighborhood will evolve over the next several years? See how comfortable he is answering these questions to determine the extent of his neighborhood knowledge.
Why is this important? Sellers need to know that their Realtors® truly know the neighborhood so they can price the home and market it appropriately. If a Realtor® is unfamiliar with the neighborhood that you want to move into, he may not be able to find you the best deal since he won’t know exactly what to look for. Don’t believe a Realtor® when he says that he has extensive neighborhood knowledge—put him to the test and find out if he is trustworthy.
There are dozens of websites that allow users to leave reviews about Realtors®, so you should take the time to read some of your Realtor’s® reviews prior to working together. If there is one bad review and a handful of glowing recommendations, you shouldn’t take the bad review seriously. However, if there are reviews from multiple people that all say basically the same thing, there is probably some truth to what is being said.
Ask For References
Online reviews are helpful, but you won’t have the opportunity to ask the person who posted them any questions about their experience with the Realtor®. If you want to engage in conversation with a former client to learn more about what it’s like to work with a certain Realtor®, ask him for references. This way, you can ask specific questions such as “Did he pressure you into raising your budget?” or “How would you rate his negotiation skills?” The answers to these questions will help you determine if the Realtor® is someone who is truly working for you, or if he is just working for a paycheck.
Track Record for Success
In other industries, a person’s level of success does not always correlate with his trustworthiness, but in real estate, it typically does. Successful Realtors® have clearly won the trust of other clients and helped them either buy or sell a home. People won’t buy a home that they’re not in love with, or agree to sell a home for an unfair price, so a Realtor’s® success does tell you about their trustworthiness and competence.
You can either ask your Realtor® about his success, or you can try to find information online. Websites such as Zillow and Realtor.com® will have information on your Realtor’s® previous listings, but it may not be complete or entirely accurate.
Strong Online Presence
In today’s world, a lot of a Realtor’s® work is done online on social media, listing sites, and through email. If your Realtor® is not tech-savvy or does not make an effort to create a strong online presence for himself, he may not be fully committed to his job. Google your Realtor’s® name to see if he has a LinkedIn profile, and whether he is connected to a lot of other agents in the area. Networking is an important part of a Realtor’s® job, so he should be doing this on LinkedIn or other social media networks.
You should also look at the quality of his website. Does he provide a lot of information in each of his listings? This shows that he spends time thinking about what to say and how to sell a home. A strong online presence indicates that your Realtor® is passionate about his job and will work tirelessly to help you buy or sell a home.
A trustworthy Realtor® will have a professional attitude and take pride in his work. Realtors® who take a long time to respond to your emails or who say they will follow up with you on a matter but never do are not being professional. Likewise, Realtors® who are late to appointments or constantly reschedule with you at the last minute are not behaving in a professional manner. Not only does this indicate that a Realtor® is unreliable, but it’s also incredibly frustrating to deal with.
Energy Efficient Knowledge
Trustworthy Realtors® want what is best for their clients. Therefore, if a Realtor® is eager to help you understand the importance of energy efficiency, you know that he has your best interests in mind. For example, let’s say a Realtor® uses the HomeSelfe RE app to show you how you can improve the energy efficiency of your home before putting it on the market. This Realtor® is going above and beyond to show you how you can increase the listing price of your home and put more money in your pocket. Realtors® can also use the app to show buyers how they can improve the energy efficiency of their new home to help them save on utility bills. Realtors® aren’t obligated to do this, so this is a sign that you are working with a dedicated, reliable agent.
Trustworthy Realtors® are dedicated to finding you the home of your dreams. During the first meeting with your Realtor®, he should ask you to describe some of the must-haves in your new home. If you mention that you absolutely must have four bedrooms, but the Realtor® continues to send you listings for two or three bedroom homes, he was clearly not paying attention during your conversation. This indicates he is more concerned with making a sale than he is with finding you a home that meets your needs. You shouldn’t trust a Realtor® who cannot demonstrate that he is able to listen to you and put your needs first.
Up-to-Date With Industry News
It’s important to find a Realtor® who stays up-to-date with industry news. Does your Realtor® know what trends buyers are looking for this year? Does he know anything about the current interest rates on home loans? Are home values in your area expected to rise or fall in the next six months? These are areas that he should be familiar with, so if he doesn’t have the answers to these questions, he may not be as trustworthy as he claims to be.
When it comes to figuring out if a Realtor® is trustworthy or not, trust your gut! If you get a bad feeling about working with a Realtor®, it’s best to find another one who gives you confidence that he is able to handle the job.