I am always researching and educating myself and my team about current real estate trends, it’s been my life’s passion for over 20 years! I recently came across a great article in the Seattle Times, it’s a great read and it’s why my clients have chosen a local broker like me to represent them during one of the largest financial transactions of their life! I pulled out the part of the article that is really important for you, but you can read the full article here is you want to: https://projects.seattletimes.com/2018/how-to-buy-a-home/
You can find 500 Yelp reviews about your $4 cup of coffee, but there’s surprisingly little information on how to find someone who will help you with your biggest purchase and earn a commission that averages about $25,000 in Seattle and is paid by the seller. A lot of buyers use referrals. Others simply click on buttons from Redfin and Zillow that appear next to home listings — but beware, those are generally just advertisements from realtors. Just like you would visit several houses to find the best fit, do the same with realtors: Interview at least a few to see how you’ll get along and test out how well they know the market.
You can also test out realtors in the real world by going to open houses. Tobias Nitzsche and his wife were looking to buy a house here last year but found out they didn’t really like the first realtor they picked. Then they ran into Stephanie Spiro at an open house for a home she was listing, and found her to be so helpful and friendly that they hired her for their own home hunt.
Realtors are an extension of the “location, location, location” mantra in real estate: Most realtors have one neighborhood they know really well but things can get dicey if they start venturing into new territory. Look for people who have already done lots of deals in the neighborhood you want. Seattle-based Redfin, in particular, is a source of fascination for buyers because it generally offers lower commissions — as low as 1 to 1.5 percent of
the purchase price, compared to traditional brokerages that usually charge 2.5 to 3 percent.
But traditional brokerages derisively refer to Redfin as a “discount brokerage.” Fichthorn said they first tried touring homes with Redfin, using a feature on the company’s website where you can click a button to “schedule a tour” even if it’s not a Redfin-listed house. The Redfin employee would quickly respond and unlock the home for a tour but had no clue about the house’s details and couldn’t analyze whether the price was fair — she was just there in hopes of signing the buyers up to be assigned to one of their agents. They wound up going with a realtor from a traditional brokerage — though they found him through a similar tool on Zillow, which lets brokers pay to put their face next to listings they’re not associated with.