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How to Choose the Right Realtor and Brokerage Company

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What is your goal in either buying or selling Real Estate? One of the primary answers would be to either buy or sell your property with the least amount of stress, time, while getting the best price.

There are approximately 5,487 Real Estate Agents working in Hawaii right now. This number has dramatically increased over the last three years as everyone and their Brother and Sister decided that getting a Real Estate license was the way to make money.

I believe the Public perception of Real Estate Agents is slightly below Used Car Sales People. ( I have nothing against Used Car Sales People!) What the Public does not realize is that approximately 90% of these 5,487 Real Estate Agents sell less than a few homes a year.

That leaves approximately 10% of all Real Estate Agents... doing most of the business!

Why is this Important to the Buyer or Seller? Each Real Estate Transaction is different. No two are the same. Each brings different challenges to the Realtor and the Brokers. It is not about years in the business for qualifying a Realtor, it is about the Number of Transactions! The more Transactions a Realtor has had the more experienced they are! It is that simple!

Over 75% of all buyers and sellers choose the Very First Realtor they come in contact with to trust with one of Life's Largest $$ Transactions. This is no way to choose a Realtor! This is especially true in a Market where the past few years has had a dramatic increase in Brand New Realtors.

If you want the Best Realtor and the Best Brokerage to handle your Transaction then I suggest you first start with the Brokerage Search.

First off, are they a "Major Player?" Find out such things as:
  • What forms of Advertising do they use?
  • What is their reputation?
  • What is the Average # of Transactions / Agent?
The Industry Standard in Hawaii for the # of Transactions/Agent is 4.31.

Other Very Important information to find out about the Brokerage might include how many Withdrawn Listings have they had? How many Expired Listings have they had? If you have access to the entire MLS, including the Solds you will be able to figure what % of listings this Brokerage is actually selling! You will see how many times they had to drop the price for a home. You will also see what % to List Price they actually sold the home for. This is all very similar to a Report Card for the Brokerage!

OK, you have done your homework and have decided upon which Brokerage to use. Now within the Brokerage find an Agent. The very same criteria you used to decide which Broker to use should be applied to the Agent.

Sellers and Buyers! The right agent will be someone who has the following qualities:
  • Communication Skills (Are they able to 'listen' to your needs and repeat them to you)
  • High # of Transactions (The avg. is 4.31/year)
  • % of Sold Price to List Price (Sales and Negotiation Skills)
  • Reputation (Ask for former clients whom you can contact)
  • Is the Agent Full Time?
In a Sellers case, see if the Agent is willing to leave you with data on the Market and a printed listing presentation and Marketing Plan for the Sale of your Home. Many Agents still believe in leaving you with nothing if you are not going to sign at time of listing presentation.

The Most Important Question of All:

Define your Goals and Expectations in writing to your future Agent and receive confirmation back from them in writing. (Do they match?!)

I hope this helps you choose the right Brokerage and Agent and achieves your Goals and Expectations.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me anytime.

Aloha,
Mike Gallagher, (R)

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