How Do You Know A Super Real Estate Agent When You Meet One?

 Can You Recognize a Super Real Estate Agent When You Meet One?  Take This Quiz!

You have finally made the big decision to buy a home, and you’re ready to dive headlong into the real estate market! Congratulations!  Given today’s market and the great opportunities that abound in the Twin Cities Metro for homeownership, I applaud your decision.  But, (and yes, there is always a “but,”) before you take the plunge, just like every great athlete needs a coach, or every talented artist needs an agent, you need a Realtor© by your side, advocating for you.

“Why can’t I just advocate for myself?” you say.  Great question, and I am so glad you asked. An honest and ethical real estate agent will steer you in the right direction to not waste time spinning your wheels. He will offer expert advice when called for, even if it might not be what you want to hear, and will put your best interest at the forefront of any transaction.  Not only will he protect your interests, but he will also limit your liabilities and even save you money. 

“Wow,” you say, “having an agent will give me an edge!  I want one, but, with all those agents out there, how will I know a great one when I meet them?” Another great question! That is why I developed this easy, fun, and an easy little quiz to help you with your evaluation process.  Are you ready to answer a few questions?  Then let’s do it!

Finding the best Twin Cities Realtor on the Internet can be Like Attending the Mad Hatter's Tea Party

1. Knowing the internet is the best place to research and gather the information you need to begin your search for an agent online. 

Agent a) This agent has a very informative website with an easy-to-use and comprehensive application that enables you to search by various parameters and amenities.  You do not have to register online to search for homes, which you like. The agent has some feature listings, an attractive and contemporary site with lots of helpful tools designed to assist you in your search. There is also an active blog that not only gives you information on real estate but is also a great community news source, like event calendars and community highlights.

Agent b) This agent’s site is slow with a limited search tool for viewing homes.  The applications are not responsive, and the last blog entry was eight months ago.  You click on several links and get an error page rather than the expected information. Oops!

Agent c) This agent’s site required you to create an account by supplying your name and email address before you could search any information on the site at all.

I know you chose “a” as the correct answer. A great real estate agent today recognizes that a super website is necessary for this market. He knows his online presence will most likely be the first introduction to future clients, so he takes pride in his website and provides excellent information in the form of blog posts and updates.  He will also be active on social media like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Trulia, and Zillow.  He wants your home buying experience to be positive and as free from stress as possible right from the very beginning.

Find a local realtor that knows the community

2.  Since there are several communities you are considering as a future home, you ask your agent to give you some of the advantages and highlights of each. 

Agent a) This agent tells you about the schools and how they rate statewide; recommends nearby shopping and dining options, parks, open spaces, and recreation, and knows approximately how long your daily commute to work will take.  He may even know where to get the best ice-cream cone! He follows up with information about these communities with links to his website.

Agent b) Knows the school district the home is located in but not sure how it rates, guesses there is nearby shopping and restaurants but cannot recommend one and suggests you check the official town website for information.

Agent c) Gee, I didn’t even know these towns were in the Metro!

If you chose “a” as the Super Agent Response, you got it right.  If the agent answered, “b,” at least he is trying, and “c” probably can’t get around the Metro without his GPS and probably looks as frustrated as the man in the photo above.


Find a local realtor that treats first time home buyers like royalty

3.  Although the bank has pre-approved you for up to a $300K mortgage, you have communicated to your agent that you feel far more comfortable with a loan that falls around $250K.

Agent a) The agent tells you she understands but suggests you will not find what you are looking for at this price range and pressures you to look at higher price listings rather than let you move at your pace and on your timetable.

Agent b) The agent understands how you feel and only recommends homes that fall into this price range. The ultimate goal of the Realtor© is to find you a home that fits your needs, wants, and pocketbook. He doesn’t attempt to talk you up into a more expensive property.

Agent c) The agent gets pushy and loses interest in you as a client.

In this case, “b” is a Super Agent. He provides the same level of service and respect and works diligently to put you in the right home.  For an excellent agent, it is not just about the size of the commission check; it’s about providing superior customer service, building relationships, and growing his real estate business one satisfied buyer at a time. He never wants his client to be as miffed as the Duchess in the photo. The “a” answer is trying and maybe needs to develop more patience.  Lucky for you, the “c” agent will move on, hoping for that bigger and better commission. 


The Local Realtor Disappearing Act

4.  After looking at 15 properties, you have not found the one you want to buy. Since there are no more in the area you wish to view, you tell the agent you are taking a break, and if a home comes on the market that matches your criteria to call you.

Agent a) This agent tells you to remain positive because buying a home isn’t always easy or quick.  She tells you to keep checking out her website and applauds your tenacity for holding out for the home you want.  Although nothing yet becomes available in your price range, the following week, the agent checks in to see how you are doing and if you have found anything you would like to see.

Agent b) This agent tries to interest you in homes that do not have the amenities you want or in another community.  He calls you every day, “checking in,” and bombards you with property links via email. He is the Vampire Agent, and he wants to suck that sale up now! 

Agent c) This agent does his Houdini act and disappears. 

We know the answer here is “a.”  A great real estate agent realizes that purchasing a home is the single largest that most people make in a lifetime. While it is usually exciting, it can also be somewhat intimidating and even scary, sort of like having a Vampire. They are breathing down your neck! The last thing a super agent wants is to have his client purchase a home that will cause regret and unhappiness down the road.


When the Going Gets Tough, Does Your Realtor Have Your Back?

5.  You finally find the perfect property! Your offer is accepted, and you are on your way!  However, when you have your home inspection, some issues unforeseen and unknown to the sellers are discovered.  The repairs will cost several thousand dollars.

Agent a)  This agent advises you to walk away from the deal and make an offer on another property you were considering but did not like nearly as well as you did this one. He does not suggest you renegotiate the offer advising you it will probably be more trouble than it's worth. What he means is more trouble for him.

Agent b). This agent suggests a renegotiation of the offer, telling you the buyer to pay for half the cost of the repairs. 

Agent c) This agent suggests three options: 1) Walking away if you are uncomfortable purchasing the home. 2) negotiating a new offer where the seller would lower the asking price by the cost of the repairs so that the buyer can control who does the work, or 3) Have the sellers hire a professional to make the repairs with your approval.

In this case, the super-agent would be C.  He lays out the options that are available to you. Although other factors might indeed play into the negotiations, a new offer can be made rather than walking away from a home you want. Here is where an agent with superior negotiation skills wins the day. He has nerves of steel, like Captain Picard as a buyer’s agent, your best interest as the home buyer will be first and foremost when he presents the new offer.


So how did you do on my little pop quiz?  I bet you did great!  “Thanks,” you say.  “Now do you know where I can find a great real estate agent that knows the Twin Cities inside and out, has a passion for real estate and a genuine concern for his clients, and can tell me where to get the best ice cream cone in the Metro?”  Do I know an agent? Absolutely!  


Joe Houghton. The inspiration for the super-agent in my quiz and coincidentally named Super Real Estate Agent by Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business for several years. Joe is very honored by this distinction and works hard at living up to it. Give him a call.  He and the team are standing by, ready to help you with all your real estate needs!

Don't choose that Pitt guy! He's just a pretty face acting the part. You need the real deal for your real estate professional.


#1 By Hamid Grinage at 7/21/2015 0:57 PM

Love the humor, and use of pics.

#2 By Minnesota Media Group at 9/26/2017 8:11 AM

Love the blog and the links. Truly great info for how to choose a good realtor

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