Knowing Who You Are Working With When It Comes to Buying Home

By: Joe Cline - Austin Real Estate Broker

The real estate industry is made up of mostly agents with less than 2 years of experience in real estate. Sure they may have 5-10 years of marketing and sales experience listed on their website along with the grey hair that age brings, but have they really been selling and buying real estate for that long? Let's take a look at a few tools that you as a consumer can use to do your homework on your agent.

Call the Austin Board of Realtors and ask if there are any complaints against the Realtor. Most boards will not divulge all information about complaints against their members, but if the agent is held in high esteem you may get some information about that aspect of their business.

Check with the Texas Real Estate Commission about any violations that they may have on the agent AND the agent's broker. These range from administrative violations to ethics and misconduct. You can check the website records at

Check out their education records at the Texas Real Estate Commission as well. If you want a professional, you want to make sure they stay abreast of legal issues, breaking real estate issues, and are the type of agent who seeks to be informed and educated when it comes to dealing with your home sale or purchase. You can check an agent's education records here:

Ask for three references and call them! Good agents will be able to give you at least three good references. If they can't or the references are not elated with the agent's performance, you can do better.

Call the agent's broker and talk to them about the agent's experience and education. Brokers like to hear from their clients and also will be happy to tell you honestly about the agent and his/her experience.

Ask the agent about thier sales performance in the last 5 years. Some agents get their license and do nothing with it for many years, then enter the business and can advertise that they have been an agent for 15 years, when in actuality they have never sold a home or are very inexperienced. A good agent will be a full time realtor with no other job and should close at least 2 transactions a month.

Go with your gut it's usually right! Happy house hunting!

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