Choosing real estate agent means asking quesions

Articles about picking the right real estate agent/broker appear regularly in newspapers, magazines and blogs, including a piece in the Washington Post that highlights the desirability of obtaining references.

Another one that I recently came across is from a publication at which I once worked, Money magazine, which headlined the piece “7 question for your next real estate agent.”  (Using a number is supposed to increase readership.)

The first question either buyers or sellers are supposed to ask is this: How long was your drive over here?  New Yorkers easily could substitute walk or bus, subway or taxi ride.

Some would contend that “elevator ride” is the more appropriate gauge since it can be helpful to have the assistance of a broker who is intimately familiar with a single building because of co-op board peculiarities, financial stability and amenities.

Although it can be useful for out-of-towners to seek representation from a broker with comprehensive knowledge of one neighborhood or more, I am  in the camp of believing that someone who has lived in the Big Apple for years can be of immeasurable help as well.

The magazine goes on to list six more questions and explain why they are important.

Among them for sellers: transaction history, Web site, success rate, pricing advice and commission.  For buyers, the big question centers on pocket (unpublished) listings.

An important omission in the piece relates to references.  One of the best ways to choose an agent is to ask folks you trust about buyer or seller representatives they can recommend.

When all your questions have been answered, perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that real estate agents are independent contractors.  It is almost, though not entirely, irrelevant with what brokerage firm they have affiliated themselves.

 Tomorrow: Psychodrama

To take your own bite out of the Big Apple, you have the option here to search all available properties privately.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
Web site

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