[Published July 16, 2015, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section and in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers]
What is it about real estate that attracts so many people to the profession? There are so many real estate agents struggling for market share, that it’s rare for a new licensee to make it. Most give up after a year or two treading water and exhausting their all-too-small nest egg trying to make it.
As I monitor m`y closest real estate market — that of the City of Golden — I am amazed at how many homes are listed by agents I have never heard of and may never hear of again.
For example, in the last 12 months there have been 186 closed transactions in the City of Golden reported on REcolorado, the Denver MLS. Those 186 homes were listed by 138 different real estate agents. Only 22 agents had more than one sold listing in the last 12 months, and 11 of those had only two. Where do all those agents come from?
With that many agents splitting up the business, it’s hard for any one agent to break through or to do enough business to (a) support his or her family and (b) develop the expertise that only comes with doing many transactions.
It seems logical that an agent with 20 years in real estate has a higher level of expertise than an agent with 10 years in the business. But if that 20-year agent has completed only 20 or 30 transactions and the 10-year agent has completed several hundred transactions, which agent would you say has more experience?
When you’re interviewing listing agents, how do you know which is which? You could ask for a list of the agent’s closed transactions for the past year, both on the selling and buying side. Don’t just ask for the number, ask for the list. How many are there, what’s the price range, what is the ratio of closed price to listing price and the number of days on market?
Nowadays, any agent can produce that list in less than a minute using the MLS. I did that myself in a listing appointment last week. (Screen shot at right)
Then ask for testimonials, or ask for the names and phone numbers of past clients, and call one or two. As I mentioned last week, www.RatedAgent.com is a website which actually surveys past clients and displays their ratings and comments. Using that website can help you make a good decision.
Read my own reviews by former clients at www.JimSmithReview.com.