A good realtor will not just tell you what you want to hear. They won’t “talk-up” a house that you’re thinking about buying and they won’t tell you the house you’re selling will get a high price in a bad market. They tell you the truth, the hard facts. That’s why some of the best realtors get passed up by people who don’t know better. It’s also why you see so many houses in today’s market that have a “Price Reduced” sign on them. These houses were not priced realistically to begin with and as a result have been on the market too long and will now be unable to pull in their top potential price. Why? It is most likely because someone didn’t listen to their realtor about how to price the house or because they picked a realtor who didn’t have the experience to price it correctly.
Find your agent first, interview a realtor. If you’re selling, ask them how they would go about deciding on a good price. In today’s market, the best answers are not necessarily the ones you want to hear. But the best realtors take the harsh realities into consideration and give you the full story up front. They don’t sugar-coat or play games with you. Ask a lot of questions and look for realtors that give you full answers that are based on current realities, not pipe-dreams. There are plenty of agents out there who will tell you exactly what you want to hear to get the job. That’s not what you need. The most important factor is that you find someone you can trust.