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Elizabeth Weintraub

Evaluating Your Real Estate Agent

By April 6, 2007

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Knowing which questions to ask a real estate agent during an interview is one thing. But figuring out how to evaluate the answers you receive is an entirely different matter. For example, say an agent tells you that her 2006 statistics show a 99.7% sales-to-list price ratio. What does that mean and why do you care?

If you're a seller, you care deeply because it says the agent prices her properties right and she's aggressive at demanding her sellers get full price without concessions. Besides, last year was a slow market in many parts of the country, and many homes weren't selling at all; so 99.7% is a fabulous ratio for last year as a listing agent.

However, if you are a buyer, it means the agent probably can't negotiate worth a hill of beans, and you'd be better off hiring somebody else. Because in a buyer's market, most buyers are winning offers at least 3% below list price, not 3 tenths of one percent. So make sure the agent is separating the ratios for her listings and sales, and ask for both figures.

But that's just one example. Here are nine other ways you can use when evaluating agent answers.

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.


April 8, 2007 at 8:13 pm
(1) Richard Bolen says:

Like your articles and your writing. Have added you with link to our sidebar under “Real Estate Resources.

Our blog is rather new, but is coming on quickly. Our goal is to provide the real stats all the time, with difinitive looks at all market conditions, by overall market and each specific neighborhood.

Have a few weeks to go to finish our first phase of this, but enough is there already to see what we’re doing. Many consider it a public service. A very web , real estate 2.0 kinda thing.

We’re also presenting this informtion and teaching it to the public in our quarterly real estate seminars.

Really liked you recent article about the biggest mistake a seller can make. We will shortly write our own version of this idea, and reference you as the source of it.


Richard Bolen
Lake Tahoe Real Estate Blog

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