Numbers Count: Finding an agent who’s right for you

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Numbers count. They matter to bankers and to prospective homebuyers, sellers, and real estate professionals. Here’s my take on the key numbers on the housing market this week.

The numbers: Real estate professionals surveyed by real estate media company Inman said their industry’s biggest challenge is “low-quality agents.” Respondents were concerned that a decline in public perception is raising concerns about the value real estate agents and brokers provide in the home buying process, according to a report published Aug. 13 (see report highlights here [1]). Seventy-seven percent of respondents listed “low-quality agents” as a challenge for the industry, followed by “Multiple Listing Services that don’t adapt to broker and market needs,” and “a broken overall consumer real estate experience.”

Graph showing top challenges facing the real estate industry [2]

Source: [3]


What counts: Given how important a home purchase or sale is, we all hope we’ve picked the right person to help us through the process.  As a potential buyer you want an agent who will work hard to find the right home for you and guide you through the process of making an offer, negotiating with a seller and closing on a transaction. Ask a prospective agent a lot of questions (real estate site Redfin has 15 questions to consider asking [4]).

For example, you may want to ask:

  • How many homes has the agent found for buyers in the past year?
  • How will the agent communicate with you?
  • Who else in the agent’s office will be working on your behalf?
  • Can you speak to references?

Similarly, choosing a listing agent to sell your home is a big deal since you want to get the best price and ensure a deal closes as planned. provided some useful tips [5] in an article last year, including questions to ask an agent such as:

  • How many sales did you complete last year?
  • In what price range do you sell most of your homes?
  • What is your marketing plan for my home? How many websites will include information about my home? Where will you look for buyers?

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[1] see report highlights here:

[2] Image:


[4] 15 questions to consider asking:

[5] some useful tips:

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