10 Questions to ask your Real Estate Agent

10 Questions to ask your Real Estate Agent

Do you ever drive down the interstate and wonder, “How did they get a driver’s license”? I ask the same question in my profession. I run up against agents that seem like they just fell off the turnip truck. I shudder to think what kind of job they must (not) be doing for their clients. Many times throughout my career, I have done the job of the other agent, simply out of necessity to get to the closing table and make sure it went smoothly for my client. In order to have a better chance at making sure you have an agent that is knowledgeable and is not going to cave under pressure or get you into legal issues, here are 10 questions to ask: 1. Are you a REALTOR®? Anyone who goes through the classes and passes the tests can be a real estate agent, but let’s be honest, it’s not that hard to get a license. Once you get a license, you are a real estate agent. Only agents that are affiliated with the National Association of Realtors can call themselves Realtors. Realtors are held to a higher standard. We abide by a Realtor Code of Ethics. They are our standards of practice in the way we treat others and how professional we are. We can be fined, have our license suspended or lose our license by violating any of these. 2. How much education do you have? As licensees, we are required to have 16 hours of continuing education every 2 years. How much education does your agent get beyond that? There are professional designations that give an agent education in a specialized area of real estate.  Most professional agents will do more than the required education, read books, or attend conferences that sharpen their real estate tools. 3. How long have you been an agent? I was once a new agent. I had a wonderful mentor that took me under his wing and taught me how to list a house, how to stage a house, how to sell a house, and how to work with buyers. If I needed anything, at any time, he was there to help. I say this because it’s not necessarily a bad thing if your agent is brand new. They may have a lot more time to devote to you since they may not have as many clients as a seasoned agent. Typically, the longer they have been working as a real estate agent, the more scenarios they have run up against and the better equipped they are at handling them. 4. Are you a full time agent? In fast paced markets, you need a full time agent. If your agent has another...

Read More

Getting Engaged?

Getting Engaged?

I remember it well. December 25, 1998 – Christmas morning. The solitaire diamond was hiding on the tag of a sweater I had been eyeing. My boyfriend was so nervous, he forgot to ask the question to make it official. Eventually, he did and I said yes. But did we really know what we were in for? Did we know each other well enough to commit to eternity? Would I always have his back and would he support my dreams? These are questions we needed to consider before we signed that legally binding contract. It’s very similar to choosing a real estate agent. First of all, are they just a real estate agent or are they a Realtor? Do you even know the difference? Will they have your back and support your dreams or are they focusing on their own agenda? Do you trust them with what might equate to hundreds of thousands of your hard earned dollars? Evaluate those questions now before committing. Just like dating, there are numerous ways to meet a Realtor. Personal referral from a friend or a pushy relative, at a social event, or even online are all great ways to meet. It’s up to you to take it from there and see if this is a mutually beneficial relationship worth pursuing. Communication is key. Both parties must communicate to make it work. If you have a skeleton in your closet, get it out now. It will come out sooner or later and it’s better to be in control of the delivery. If you’re not happy with how the relationship is progressing, speak up, don’t expect the other person to read your mind. In the end, you either want to stick with it for the long haul or you want to move on. No relationship is without its trials but with a solid foundation and mutual respect, it can last a lifetime, even when engaging a Realtor. Join me next time for 10 questions to ask when interviewing a real estate...

Read More

Why Pea Soup?

Why Pea Soup?

Have you ever had someone give you a nickname that just stuck? In school, I was always Michelle until I became a pompom girl – you know, the girls that dance on the sidelines and at half time – suddenly I became Shelly. Then I graduated, both literally and figuratively. Shelly seemed so juvenile. I was 17. Fast forward a few years, OK, a lot of years. I got married and my husband began calling me Sweet Pea and as happens a lot with nicknames, it got shortened. Hence Pea. Now for the soup part. Any recipe for soup I have ever seen is a little bit of a lot of things mixed together that turns into (hopefully) a delicious pot of goodness. When I thought about my vision for my blog, I wanted to be sure people could hear my voice through it all, whether I’m giving statistics or telling a story about funny things that happen in real estate. I will give tips and tricks, have guests share their expertise and throw in some of my colorful music experiences. So, if you decide to join in on the fun, here is what you can expect: Property information Entertainment Advice SOUP – open up a cookbook or a can, pour yourself a drink, and enjoy! Since most people at a party end up in the kitchen chatting, I want to encourage conversation. Comment, ask questions, agree or disagree, that’s what makes life interesting. Let me know what you’d like to hear about. This is not a one-sided conversation, so interact and have fun. Image courtesy of Apolonia at...

Read More