Profile picture for dreamhouseawaits

How should I pick a realtor?

We are looking to both sell our home and buy a new home.
However, we bought a house last time that had two realtors. One that 'supposedly' represented our interests and the other that represented the seller (both agents were listing agents though.) However, we were very naive and felt like the agent took advantage of our naivety. After closing on our house without an inspection, TONS of problems started to arise. Upon contacting the agent, they didn't seem to care. We were so naive before that we didn't know much about the home buying process including the absolute necessity of an inspection which our Realtor briefly mentioned as something that "some" buyers do.

Anyway, we have looked at a few houses again through listing agents and one or two showed us other listings. However, we are not sure if we are "sold" on any of the agents we met due to our encounter the first time go around.

Is this the norm type encounters? Once burned, twice shy.
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March 20 2011 - Cleveland
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Answers (6)

Wow....I am sorry that you had such a terrible experience. I would advise you to interview several agents and have them coach you through the process. Since you are buying and selling you would want to have the same agent represent you because one transaction is going to be contingent on the other. I KNOW that there are ethical Realtors out there that will help make these transactions run smoothly for you. You truly need to follow your gut.  
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March 21 2011
Profile picture for jdsdaddy
I'm sorry that you've discovered too late that the vast majority of agents will only work as hard as you make them, and be as deceptive as you allow. They rely on your trust and deference to their so called expertise to steer you into doing what it takes to complete the transaction, which really is their only goal.  If you haven't already, you will soon come to the realization that in a real estate transaction, there is only one person who is truly on your side, and that's you.

The best piece of advice I can give you?  Educate yourself about the process.  It's not brain surgery, though many agents would like you to think so.  The information is out there and readily available.  A bit of homework and legwork, and you'll be ready to be your own best advocate.  And don't forget to have your b.s. meter on when you get around to interviewing agents.  Good luck and don't get taken again 'cause this time it'll be your fault.

*My apologies to agents such as Roberto R., Debra R., Joan B., and Michael E., for whom I have loads of respect and admiration.  It's agents like these that keep what little faith I have alive.

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March 21 2011
All Realtors are NOT the same, and you have found this out through life experience.  I suggest you interview at least 3, go with your gut instinct on who is trustworthy and passionate about their work, and make sure the one you choose knows the market, uses technology, and has some great referrances as well.  Calling a couple references and the interview may be the most important task to do.  I would also recommend to call the Realtor on their cell or office line, and if they do not ansewr the phone or call you back within the hour, they either do not communicate well, or are too busy for you... communication is a key factor in working with a good Realtor.  Best of luck to you, and fee free to call me anytime!
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March 21 2011
Profile picture for klarek the realist
What you're describing is not uncommon.  There's an inherent conflict of interest in the system.  This is intentional, and leaves trusting people such as yourself at the mercy of greedy agents who just want to close the deal and get their checks. 

I'd recommend trying to sell it yourself.  For a few hundred dollars you can list it on the MLS.  Also, seek buyers that do not have an agent, since you'll be paying for them.  List your house competitively, keeping in mind that a buyer without an agent will save you - along with you representing yourself - over 5% of the sale price. 

When buying, take the same approach, don't hire an agent.  Find houses that are FSBO or will pay out to you the amount they'd be paying your agent if you had one.  This is a little tricky since the whole game is rigged to stop people from going around it; RE is run by a cartel unfortunately.

People who tell you that you need an agent are the types of people that profit from everybody assuming they need agents.  It's very self-serving, and dishonest. 
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March 21 2011
Dear Dreamhousewaits,
You have a right to be cautious as you don't want a repeat from your last experience. You may want to ask some of your homeowner friends for referrals. Yet, you have to feel comfortable with that the agent and that they are looking out for your best interest. But, the main thing to remember is that you have to educate your self about the process of selling and buying. You have to be pro-active and take on some of the responsibility of finding what you want.
Take care and best wishes for a better experience!
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March 21 2011
Keep looking until you find an Agent you're comfortable with. As an Agent I wouldn't limit myself to being one type of Agent (Listing/Buying). We are trained, tested and licensed to work either side of a transaction, so for your previous bad experience you listed above, the Agent that represented you was your Buyers Agent in that transaction.
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March 20 2011
 
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