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    Seattle Realtors

    Most real estate agents are Realtors, which means that they belong to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and thus are governed by the association’s guidelines and code of ethics. There are some real estate agents however that do not belong to the NAR and there are some real estate offices that are not members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). The NWMLS is basically a clearinghouse for information (or a database) on nearly all the homes listed for sale by real estate brokers in a given area. The North West Multiple Listing Service serves the greater Seattle area.

    The advantage to working with a Realtor who works with an office that is member of the NWMLS is this: When a broker lists a home for sale they enter it into the NWMLS database and then all the participating agents in that area are able to log on to the NWMLS and see that listing. If you list your home for sale with a broker that does not belong to the MLS, then most agents would not be able to see your home online.

    The National Association of Realtors reports that 90% of the real estate business in any given market is carried out by only 10% of the agents in that market. This means that the average home buyer in the Pacific Northwest has about a 10% chance in finding a really good Seattle Realtor.

    People have asked me how would I go about looking for a good Seattle Realtor. Here is what I would tell them:

    David's Tips for Finding a Great Seattle Realtor

    • Find a Realtor that has a long proven track record of success. An experienced Realtor will usually have 10 or more years of experience as both a Buyer’s agent and as a Listing agent. Having experience in both transaction roles will give the Realtor a better perspective of the market and how to best help their clients succeed.
    • Here’s a biggie. Look for a realtor that has overall market experience. Neighborhood experts are not as effective in helping clients as those who understand the total market. Buyers today are usually looking in a price range and in several different neighborhoods. There is more than one neighborhood that will usually work for a buyer today. Thus, when selling your home you are then also competing with other homes that are not in your specific neighborhood. A thorough knowledge of the overall market is essential for pricing and marketing a home correctly so that it sells for the highest price.
    • You also want a realtor that has a good understanding of the home building process. Someone that understands what it takes for a home to have “good bones.” You need someone that can walk in a home and evaluate how well or how poorly that home was originally built. Does it have a cinder block foundation, or is it built on slab, and what are the downsides with that. People today can cover up a lot with paint or decoration, your Realtor needs to be able to see right through the superficial.
    • One of my favorite truisms is that “success breeds success.” A Realtor that has been successful over the years is usually going to assist you in being successful with your home purchase or home sale. Any agent to be successful has shown a real knowledge for how to negotiate in your best interest. Truly successful negotiations are usually a “win win” situation for both the buyer and seller. There are times a buyer or seller can get a screaming deal so-to-speak, but those are rare, even in today’s market. A successful deal has to work for both parties and those skills in a Realtor are again priceless.
    • Then the last and yet one of the most important qualities to look for in a Realtor is the ability and confidence to be able to tell their clients the truth about the home, the home buying or selling process, and their particular situation as it relates to either buying or selling. Talk with your Realtor’s past and present clients to get their take on how well the Realtor performed. It is also very important that your Realtor is a good communicator with you, the other agents involved and even the lenders and escrow companies.