Current statistics presented by the C.A.R. Chief Economist. (click on title)

How To Pick A Real Estate Agent Who Will Work Hard For You!

You've probably heard a family member or friend say, "I'm going to get into real estate and make a pile of money"! That&'s probably why there are so many real estate agents. In some cities, almost one percent of the population either has or at one time had a real estate license.

The truth is, you can make excellent money selling real estate – but few agents actually do. Most agents are part time. And only a small percentage of real estate agents do the majority of the business.

You need a full-time real estate professional who loves to sell real estate. For them it isn't work, it's pleasure. She or he is up by seven every morning, out in the field, going to preview other agent's listings. She or he knows the inventory in your market. And when it comes time to sell your home, your agent packages and markets the property well. Your agent is at local board meetings, pushing your home to other agents. And you need your real estate professional, after all, if you have a $20,000 tax question, you would seek an accountant's advice, right? If you have a $275,000 real estate question, you need your real estate professional!

A real estate agent must know the local marketplace. This takes years of studying the markets and continually staying apprised of what homes are for sale. And while you are looking at the decor, layout, and functionality of homes, she is looking for structural soundness, resale ability, and appreciation potential of the property.

How do you find the agent who is truly excellent?

Pay attention to the agents who continually"farm" your neighborhood. This includes informational reports, post cards, just listed and just sold postcard, calendars, holiday cards, etc. Most agents who work that hard to earn your business by spending the time and money to consistently mail you will also work equally as hard to sell your property. They're motivated and hard working. Most real estate agents will tell you privately that these marketers are usually good real estate agents. When you are ready to sell, whether you have a cousin who is a real estate agent or not, you owe it to yourself, and your family, to pick up one of those pieces and at least call the good real estate agent for an interview. This is a business transaction!

Referrals from friends and family can be another way to find an agent. But be weary! Friends may receive some type of compensation for recommending their favorite agent. Furthermore, just because the agent is a good family member of friend doesn’t mean she or he is a good real estate agent. Your friend or family member may be recommending this agent out of a sense of obligation. This is a business transaction. You need a competent professional!

Check in the local home magazines or online through social media. These are often a good place to find good real estate agents. Be careful if in agent has too many listings in the magazine. Perhaps they are spread to thin, or doesn't focus on working with buyers. Finally, keep an eye on yard signs in your neighborhood. If a particular agent has many different listings in your neighborhood, the chances are good she or he is in contact with buyers looking in your area.

What To Ask Them

Once you've done your research, call each agent. Pay particular attention to how long it takes them to call you back. You want a real estate agent who promptly follows up with buyers! Also, get a feel for their personalities over the phone. Do you think you can work with each person?

When You Finally Meet

Ask your real estate agent to discuss their marketing plan. Ho dothey plan to sell your house? If the agent does not discuss marketing channels like the Multiple Listing Service, sending your home fact sheet out to the agent community, classified or magazine advertising on the Internet, most likely they don't have much of a strategy. The marketing program is critical to generating demand for your home!

Once you're confident in the agent's strong marketing plan, make sure the agent walks you through a seller's net sheet clearly explaining the numbers and what you can expect to receive from the sale of your home. Furthermore, a good real estate agent will explain the necessity of not overpricing your home. After investigating your home and researching the competition, she or he will recommend a narrow range of prices. Of course, you ultimately determine the selling price, but your agent's recommendation indicates at what price your home will actually sell.