Well just like so many other areas of the US, there is definitely no shortage of real estate agents in the Town of Mammoth Lakes. In fact, there are approximately 150 licensed agents in Mammoth. But this doesn’t mean that they can all best serve your needs. So how does one figure out how to find the right Realtor?
Whether you are a Buyer or Seller in the Eastern Sierra seeking the assistance of an experienced real estate professional, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- DO YOUR RESEARCH – With so much information online these days, it’s easier than ever to do a little online reading about an agent before you decide to call or email them. Read up on their website and find out who they are, what else they do, and get a better feel if they are going to have the right personality to mesh with the type of person you are. Take a look at their reviews. Yelp! is a great resource that posts real reviews from real people. Other places to see reviews can a Testimonials page if the agent has one. MLS syndicators like Trulia and Zillow also has sections for past customers to write reviews about their agents. Just be weary of when companies like this advertise an agent as a ‘Pro’, as all that really means is that they are giving that company a monthly fee for their picture and profile to be advertised in such a manor. Zillow calling someone a ‘Pro’ has nothing to do with their actual job performance.
- WHO DOES THE AGENT WORK WITH? – Most agents are affiliated with a Brokerage. But some are on their own and just operating as sole proprietorship’s. Now although there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, my 13yrs of real estate experience has lead me to believe that working within a brokerage brings a higher level of agent knowledge and talent. Constantly being surrounded by other agents and brokers helps to keep each staff member up to speed on current real estate law, town news, local events, proposed restrictions, upcoming changes and so much more. Often times these crucial details can be the difference between a disastrous or a smooth escrow transaction.
- FULL TIME vs. PART TIME – I’ll keep this simple! If you were going in for a heart surgery, do you want a doctor that just operates part-time, or one who is a full time heart surgeon? See where I’m going with this? A full time agent will have the skill set and experience to make sure 100% of your real estate goals are met!
- RESPONSE TIME – So you have reached out to an agent, most likely in a phone call, email, or website inquiry. Have they responded back yet? You want to work with an agent that is responsive from the get go! If they are slow about responding to a new buyer or seller, how might they be once your house is listed, or you are in an escrow? Often times, especially in hot markets, timing is the key to successful closing. Believe me, it can be frustrating for any professional to have to be available 24/7. But this is the career I chose and if I’m going to be a Realtor, that means I need to be reachable almost always. I pride myself on the fact that both my staff and my clientele know that I’m always checking emails and messages, regardless if I’m on top of a 14,000ft peak, enjoying fresh powder turns on Mammoth Mountain, or on one of my European bike tours. My quick response time translates to more real estate closings!
- DON’T SETTLE – Perhaps you have started the buying process with an agent. Well if after a few phone calls, emails, or possibly even a property showing appointment, you just aren’t getting the information and guidance you had hoped for. Then find a new agent! Don’t settle! This is a big investment; for some it may be the biggest investment of their life; so don’t settle for meritocracy. Your chosen agent should be timely and prepared in your dealings. If you meet with them to see listings, they should have a professional buyer presentation ready for you that includes printed material applicable to the properties you are about to see. This gives you something to reference back to when you are back home weighing your purchase options. An empty handed buyer’s agent is unacceptable in my eyes. Same goes for you sellers. You want your agent to meet with you and be prepared. They should have already researched recent sales comparables and comparable active listings so you two can talk details about a listing strategy to sell the home in a timely manner for top dollar.
I could probably list a handful of other important criteria, but in my opinion and experience, these are the top five to focus on. I hope this article helps you find the right agent for the job!!!
Written by Eric Leach / Broker of Resort Property Realty, Inc. / 800-921-6520