Richard Montgomery column: Three choices to find a real estate agent

8:10 AM, Apr. 12, 2013  |  Comments
  • Filed Under

Q. I need to locate a reliable and trustworthy real estate agent in my area qualified to submit a bid on a HUD home. What's your suggestion? The property is located in Roseville, Calif. - N.A.

A. There are three basic choices today for a person seeking a real estate agent:

? 1. Do it yourself. We are all equipped with different skills and experiences. Often, those life experiences parallel the skills that are helpful in selecting the right real estate agent. Some of us with different skills may feel uncomfortable asking the tough questions and knowing what to look for in the answers, or what the follow-up question should be. Many of us with assorted skills and experiences pick agents for all sorts of reasons and have a good experience. This choice is the most common of the three.

? 2. Educate yourself about the best ways to find an agent, and then do it yourself. More people today are investing time in learning about how to manage the purchase and sale of their largest investment. Sorting out what makes the best sense with your own personal circumstances requires some time and effort. One thing most experts do agree on is that consumers who inform themselves are more likely to experience an error-free transaction. This choice continues to gain popularity among real estate consumers.

? 3. Engage a third party to find your agent. While real estate agent referrals have been a part of the industry for generations, only recently have real estate consumers become aware of this practice through the transparency of the Internet.

Type "find a real estate agent" into Google to see about 292 million results. Finding an agent for real estate consumers is an uncommonly large and competitive business. Organizations like the National Association of Realtors, online real estate aggregators, individual real estate companies, online mortgage lenders, a variety of "Find an agent" companies and more are in this space. All of them have their own philosophies, methods and tactics for connecting consumers to a real estate agent.

When we choose to have a third party find an agent for us, we have a reason. Some of the common reasons are:

? The property to buy or sell is not close to their current residence.

? They did not realize until now this service existed.

? They had an unpleasant experience in the past, and decided to try a referral service.

? They do not have the time to execute the work involved themselves.

There are no guarantees.

No matter which of the three methods chosen, you cannot know for certain how well the agent will perform until you work with them. The advent of the Internet and the ability to search for information has allowed real estate consumers access to information like never before.

Real estate is a subject widely written about and there are many contradictory opinions, myths and self-serving information available online. A real estate transaction is complex with many moving parts. Important decisions are often made quickly in an emotional environment. An error or omission in one area can be overlooked until the consequences show up somewhere else in the transaction.

Choose your agent as though the HUD home you want to see and make an offer on will not ultimately close. You may eliminate it upon inspection; it may be in escrow before you can act or a variety of other elements may eliminate it. It is highly possible your relationship with the agent will outlive this one potential offer. Make certain you ask the agent if they have the required HUD certification to write an offer on a HUD home if you decide to find your own agent.

Armed with this information, my suggestion is to do what makes the most sense for you.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
579 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
862 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
1025 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
1278 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports


Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports