Real Estate in Grinnell
Matt Karjalahti
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Research Your Agent!!

This is something that has come up lately and it’s been on my mind.

For many people the purchase of their house is one of the biggest investments of their life. the New York Times had a great article that really help catalyze it for me.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

So, why not know who’s working for you? Google your agent before they work for you and find out for yourself. The Online marketing sites like Realtor, Zillow, Trulia, etc. and some of the social networking sites like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, etc. can be a great place to start to find the answers to some pretty basic questions that can actually help you make that determination.

1, Are they a full time agent?
There are some awesome part-time agents out there who really know what they’re doing, but for me, I know that I’d want someone who took their job seriously enough to do it exclusively.

2, How much do they sell annually?
What is their volume? I don’t know about you, but if I’m spending 100k+ I’d want to make sure that agent had established resources and reliable processes to draw from as they need.

3, How long have they been in Real Estate?
Do you want your house to be the first house that agent has ever sold?

4, What are their specialties?
Like other fields, Real estate is broad and it can be easier to specialize within it.

5, If you’re selling, what kind of marketing are they doing for the properties that they already have listed?
Any agent can get a listing and sit on it. For me, I know it takes a lot of hard work and sometimes very specific marketing to elevate properties to a level that makes a real difference.

6, Has anybody reviewed them?
Look for good reviews!! They are out there and they are easy to find. Clients with bad experiences often do not write them or theirs may not get published.

7, What kind of License do they have?
That’s right, there are different licenses for selling real estate. When agents first start out they get their Sales License, but after 2 years they can attend additional training, test, apply and receive their Brokers License. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the broker in charge or broker owner of their office but it does mean that this agent has been successful at this enough where they might be.

8, Are you working with an Agent who works for a Broker or are they the Broker?
In really big real estate offices, some Brokers may not have a lot of additional time or less flexibility of time that available to buyers and sellers. -Versus- a full time agent that focuses primarily on sales while not getting bogged down by their admin labor. This is less of an issue in smaller offices where the broker needs to actively sell to make a living and a lot of times selling Brokers can do pretty awesome work!

9, Have you found any professional profiles that the agent has published?
A lot of real estate is networking. the people who are good at putting themselves out there for you to find usually have some professional profile somewhere. What does their profile tell you? How do you feel about the information they put out there for you to see? You’re comfort with who works for you is important. This person is going to get to know a lot about you. Income, marital status, family status, social security # to name a few. These things can come up in many places legally/socially for your transaction.

I know there are many different factors for many different people and many other questions that you could be asking in search of your real estate agent. The bottom line remains, search for a good qualified professional to help you with your major purchase.

More great info about real estate agents and what it takes to become on at IAR website http://iowarealtors.com

State Regulator for Brokers and Agents. https://plb.iowa.gov/board/real-estate-sales-brokers-still-under-construction

Great source for national info http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD

Posted on January 15, 2015 at 1:49 am by Matt Karjalahti

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    5user2065666

    The main thing that stands out working with Matt is it was clear his goal was helping me find a home that I would be happy with now and for years to come. His realistic, easy-going, and common sense approach helped me feel comfortable working with him. ... (more)

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    The whole process of buying a house from start to finish which was about 10 months for us was made extremely easy with all of Matts knowledge and expertise. He not only knows about buying and selling houses he is also highly knowledgeable about the whole... (more)

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    We were first time buyers and new to Grinnell. Matt listened to how we described our ideal home AND how we described the level of work we wanted to put into remodeling a home. He also paid attention to who we were and how that translated into our needs in a... (more)

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