Finding an agent can be difficult. In Grass Valley alone there are over 20 different real estate offices. While some of the offices are connected by the same managing broker, each office offers a very different experience. Everything from the location, office layout, and office environment are unique to each office. Once you’ve picked your company and office, it’s time to decide on an agent. So how do you pick your agent? Do you pick the first agent you see? Do you pick the newest one? The oldest one? The one with the most sales? For many home buyers and sellers, picking an agent is not that easy. We’ve laid out five things you should look for in an agent.

Real Estate Agent vs. Realtor®: Before delving into what you should look for in an agent, you should first know the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor®. A real estate agent is someone who has a real estate license. This means they took all the classes for the license and passed the test. A Realtor® is someone who has their real estate license and is a member of the National Association of Realtors®. A Realtor® must uphold the standards of the association and its code of ethics. Therefore, all Realtors® are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are Realtors.

  1. WIIFME? What’s in it for me? What is the agent offering to do for you? There are lots of questions that go along with this thought in mind. What is their plan for selling your home? What are they doing to keep you informed? Are they sending you suggestions? Going out with you at times that work for you to tour homes? These are just some of the many questions you should ask yourself when finding an agent. What you should focus on is finding someone who is going to work for YOU and not the other way around. Good agents will set up appointments, great agents will ask you what time you want to meet.
  2. What are other people saying? Find some reviews on the agent that you want to work with. You can usually find out what people say by doing a Google search. Read up on what people say about the agent. Be sure to take the reviews with a grain of salt. Sometimes the people who are reviewing are mad that things didn’t go exactly the way they wanted. Other times friends and family write reviews, but they have never actually worked with the agent. Always ask the agent if they have any testimonials they want potential clients to read. Those testimonials will help you develop a more rounded view of your agent.
  3. What do they do? What lengths is your agent willing to go to get you what you want? One of the big things that helps sell homes these days are social media posts. Is your agent posting about your home on their professional pages and getting people clicking? Are they making sure that your home stays in the forefront of other agent’s minds? One of the best ways to do this in the Grass Valley area is to put the home on the MLS tour. The MLS tour is a meeting of agents to promote homes in a targeted area. On tour day agents open their listed homes and have other agents come through from 10 am to 2 pm. This way agents don’t have to make an appointment to preview a home. They can look at it and then let their buyer know if they think it will be worth a second look. Also, see if your agent’s company has a tour day for homes listed in the company. Coldwell Banker has a business meeting and tour every Tuesday. This way our agents can get previews before everyone else.
  4. Do they ‘get’ you? You don’t necessarily want to marry your agent, but you will be spending a lot of time with them. Do you feel comfortable with them? Can you get in the car with them and drive all over Nevada County looking at homes? Most, if not all, agent’s in our area are kind, personable people. They are great people who love to help people find or sell their home. But don’t think the only agent you should work with is one that you get along with. Work with someone who gets what you want. Do they get that you absolutely need to live in a single level home? Do they respect your wishes and aim to help you find what makes you happy, even if it’s outlandish? Keep in mind that your agent has a pretty good idea of what’s out there. Don’t get frustrated with them if what you want isn’t currently available. Usually they are trying their best to get you what you want.
  5. What does their company do? Your agent’s company is responsible for training everyone in the office. Agents will usually do what they are told is new and relevant. Check out the company’s website or Facebook page. What does it look like? When was the last post? What kind of content are they posting? Are they posting links to random videos or links to homes that are recently listed, sold, or in escrow. What the company offers is a good reflection of what you’ll get. Look for a company that is a good mix of relevant content and consistent posting.

While this list isn’t a catch all, these are still important questions to ask in your search to find an agent. You might come up with your own questions. You might even think that something I’ve listed isn’t relevant to your search. But this is still a great guide for any buyer or seller looking for an agent.

As always, you can always get in contact with Coldwell Banker Grass Roots Realty. We’re here for you!