But before you let your fingers do the dialing, consider the following criteria to find a Real Estate broker in your market:
1) Real Estate is Local: Real Estate is an extremely local phenomena and you should only work with agents who live or work in your immediate area of your home. Your agent knowledge of the local real estate market will be helpful and instrumental in pricing your home correctly the 1st time or you will be chasing the market which is not a desired outcome.
2) Licensed Activity: It might be obvious, but buying and selling homes is a licensed activity. You should take the time to check the status of your agent’s license to avoid any possible headaches down the road where the transaction could be challenged if you were represented by an un-licensed agent. You can visit California Department of Real Estate and enter your agent’s name to check for the status of their license.
3) References: With a medial home prices at $1M in Los Gatos and neighboring cities, buying and selling a home represents a substantial transaction. So, ask for references and interview them to find out if they would continue retaining this agent on their future transaction.
4) Flexibility: Find out if your agents commission in negotiable. Given the Super Hot Housing Market in Silicon Valley, we suspect you should be able to get a discount if you are selling your home. The buy side is a different story since it’s hard to find a decent fixer upper in Silicon Valley than finding Bin Laden’s body!
5) Comparability & Style: Keep in mind that the agent you retain will be representing you in negotiations and will be one of the principal signatories on the contract. If you see any mismatch in your style or his attitude, trust your instincts and keep looking for another agent. And if you are buying a home in this market, you will be spending a lot of time with your agent, so compatibility and style should be part of your consideration when selecting an agent.
6) Subject Matter Expertise: Just like any other industry, Real Estate is a technical field and experience in specific areas of Real Estate matter. For instance, if you are looking for a Residential property, it does NOT make sense to retain your cousin who is a Commercial Real Estate agent. Same goes for Short Sales, REOs and Auctions where you need to find an agent who specializes in your target market and understands your goals.
Now that you have some selection criteria look for agents who are recommended on Trulia and have been contributing to help both buyers and sellers.