Signs of a Good Real Estate Agent – What You Need to Know has a great network of realtors

If you’re ready to start the home buying process, choosing a good real estate agent is definitely important. A good agent can mean the difference between finding a home you love and ending up with a home you hate for a price that’s too high. Finding a quality agent can take a lot of work and sometimes it’s difficult to know what you should be looking for.

The most important thing is to understand what makes a good agent and warning signs that may let you know that the agent you’re considering isn’t right for the job. To help you make the best possible decision, here is a look at the signs of a good agent and signs of a bad agent. With this information, you’ll find it easier to find a great agent to work with, whether you’re ready to start the home buying or home selling process.

Signs of a Good Real Estate Agent

First, before looking at the negative side, it’s important to know what signs to be looking for in a good agent. Know what qualifications you should be looking for to ensure you choose someone who is qualified for the job. The following are some of the top signs of a good real estate agent you should look for before making your final decision.

Good Sign #1 – A Solid Educational Background

One of the top signs of a great agent is a solid education background. When you’re ready to start the home buying process, look for an agent that is certified to practice. You may want to ask to see diplomas or certifications earned. Not every agent has a college degree, but those with at least an associate degree or a higher degree will have excellent skills that will improve their success in the field. A degree also signals that the agent has great career ambition as well.

Good Sign #2 – Plenty of Related Experience

Plenty of related experience is a great sign when looking for a quality agent as well. If you’re ready to begin the home buying process, you don’t want an agent that is only experienced in selling homes. For those trying to sell a home, a great buyer’s agent may not be the best choice. Ensure the agent has experience related to the type of real estate transaction you’re interest in pursuing.

Good Sign #3 – Reliability

Reliability is one of the top signs of a good real estate agent. You want someone who will quickly answer your emails or phone calls. Check to make sure the agent shows up on time, if not early, to appointments.

Good Sign #4 – Excellent References

Good references are also a sign that you have found an excellent agent. Before you hire a real estate agent, make sure you as, about references. If they hesitate to provide references, there may be a problem. Once you have the references, make sure you check them out.

Good Sign #5 – Accommodating and Helpful

When you’re involved in the home buying process, the main goal is to find a home that you love. You know what you want and a good agent should be accommodating and helpful as you try to find the perfect home. They should be more concerned about your wants and needs than making a fast commission.

Good Sign #6 – Local Knowledge

Local knowledge is a sign that you’ve found an excellent real estate agent. You want someone who knows the area very well, which will help them be successful in helping you. Check to see if the agent works in the area on a regular basis and ask for local information to help you decide if they have sufficient local knowledge.

Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent

As you look for a quality agent before you start the home buying or selling process, it’s just as important to know the signs of a bad real estate agent. Hiring a bad agent can be disastrous, whether you’re trying to buy or sell a home. To help you avoid making a bad decision, here are a few of the signs that should tip you off that this agent isn’t for you.

Bad Sign #1 – The Agent Doesn’t Listen to You

If you’ve encountered an agent that just doesn’t seem to listen to you, run in the other direction. As you start looking for a home, you know what you’re looking for, what you can spend and the time frame available. If the agent fails to listen to what you tell them, it will become more difficult to find the home that you want.

Bad Sign #2 – Inexperience as an Agent

The home buying process is a big move and it will affect the rest of your life. You don’t want someone who is inexperienced working with you as you look for a home. Agents that don’t have experience and credibility can have a tough time helping you win the bid. Also, if your agent only works this job part time, it could be a clue he or she is not experienced enough to be successful in the field.

Bad Sign #3 – You Feel Pressured

When you meet an agent and they begin pressuring you in any way, this should instantly be a red flag. In some cases, agents may try to steer you towards home that they or their brokerage are listing. If you get the sense that you are being pressured into something you don’t want, this is not the agent for you.

Bad Sign #4 – Behind the Times

Take a look at how the agent works to sell homes or find cheap homes for sale. Are they making the most of technology today? A good agent won’t be behind the times – they’ll be using online listings, social media and other current methods of searching for a great home.

Bad Sign #5 – Few Successes in the Past

When you check out an agent before getting involved in the home buying process, check to see how successful the agent has been at helping people buy or sell their home. If you notice they have a poor rate of success, this agent is not a great choice for you.

Bad Sign #6 – Unethical or Manipulative Actions

Last, any unethical or manipulative actions are also signs that you’ve encountered a bad agent. If they appear to be doing anything underhanded or the agent tries to get you to do something unethical, avoid doing business with them.

Buying a home can be an exciting experience, but it can quickly become frustrating if you don’t have a good real estate agent on your side. Don’t start the home buying process without a quality agent. Use these good and bad signs to help you make a wise decision.

The Case of the Missing Bank Foreclosure Listings

2013 brings reduced foreclosure listingsOne recent complaint of many homebuyers is that foreclosure listings are extremely hard to find. Since all reports point to the fact that foreclosures continue to abound, the missing bank foreclosure notices are definitely a mystery for many.

A look at the legal notices section of local newspapers is no longer offering the listings that prospective buyers are used to. So, where have these listings gone and is it still possible to find helpful bank foreclosure listings today?

First, let’s answer the question of where these listings have gone. It’s true that buyers will find very few foreclosure listings within newspapers today, which used to be a popular sport for prospective homebuyers to begin their search. It’s also important to note that foreclosures are still occurring on a regular basis, so notices haven’t dried up because there are no foreclosures on the market anymore. The problem is that actual listings of these properties seem to be missing in action.

The main cause of missing bank foreclosure notices happens to be the fault of a system called the Mortgage Electronic Registration System. This system was started by several banks along with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The purpose behind the MERS was to help make it easier to track mortgage paperwork and keep track of the owner of mortgages whenever they were sold.

The result of this system taking over was the foreclosures no longer ended up being filed with the county clerk’s office locally. Instead, foreclosure paperwork had to be filed with MERS. This led to MERS started to begin foreclosure proceedings when mortgages were not paid.

A recent court case took this procedure to task, ruling in favor of a homeowner that contested that MERS had no right to initiate foreclosures, since the homeowner had no contract that was with MERS. Now, loans that have gone through MERS have to go through the courts for foreclosure proceedings. Although this is not required for loans that did not go through MERS, with the huge amount of loans that went through this system, many of these foreclosure proceedings are going through the courts now instead of being dealt with in a non-judicial way.

Those bank foreclosure properties going through the courts don’t have to be listed in newspapers, which is why many homebuyers are noticing that there are few foreclosure listings found in local newspapers these days.

While homebuyers may find a few listings now and then, many are wondering if it’s even possible to find more foreclosure listings to help them obtain a home at a low price. Although the newspapers may not be any help anymore, it still is possible to find a good bank foreclosure. Buyers having difficulty finding listings will find excellent foreclosure listings at at a time when listings are no longer being displayed in other forums.

Instead of finding one or two local listings in local papers, homebuyers can search through a full database of listings for bank foreclosure properties at An easy to use search engine allows buyers to filter results by state, county and city. The advanced search engine allows buyers to search in even more detail, choosing search criteria like the number of bathrooms or bedrooms needed or even the square footage of a home.

Homebuyers interested in bank foreclosure properties will still find many excellent opportunities available across the country. Foreclosures have not slowed down; it’s just more difficult to find them. However, offers a helpful tool for buyers, allowing them to find the foreclosure listings they are interested in while narrowing down the search to ensure they get the most helpful listings for their specific needs.