Business

How to ... Find a real estate agent

Gaven Green stands outside one of the condos he owns.

"Go with someone you can get along with, that’s a priority. I bought my first condo in Birchwood two and a half years ago, and a second one just recently as an investment. Both of my agents understood my needs and made it work for me.”
Gaven Green, Bellingham
Gaven Green stands outside one of the condos he owns. "Go with someone you can get along with, that’s a priority. I bought my first condo in Birchwood two and a half years ago, and a second one just recently as an investment. Both of my agents understood my needs and made it work for me.” Gaven Green, Bellingham JOSIE LIMING THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
  • “Whether planning to purchase or sell real estate, to find an agent, start by asking a friend, family member or lender for a referral for someone they’ve worked with,” says John L. Scott Real Estate agent Peter Roberts.

“And if you have specific needs, like a language barrier, or special housing preferences, ask an office broker to refer you to someone who has the best skills in that area.”

  • “Choose an experienced real estate agent,” says Mark Brown, an agent with Windermere Real Estate/Whatcom Inc. in Bellingham.
  • “Fifty percent of the agents out there have five years or less experience and may not be as familiar with the market. In addition, find out if they are full time or part time. Full-timers tend to be more committed to keeping current. Ask if they have a resume you can review.”

  • Don’t go it alone, both agents stress. “There is a danger of missed opportunities if you’re not working with a professional,” says Brown. “Anyone can show you houses, but you need to have someone who understands home values to offer the appropriate price and negotiate for you.”
  • “Web sites are OK for research, but don’t choose an agent just by the quality of their site,” says Roberts. “How much they spent on their site isn’t necessarily reflective of an agent’s skills and experience.
  • "Looking at houses online is fine, but real estate is a ‘high touch business,’ and the Internet is ‘no touch,’ ” he adds. “Having a real person to talk to you, understand your needs and help you through the process of making the biggest purchase of your life is invaluable.”

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