Real estate agents are among the last of the professionals we need to do business or close a sale. There are so many things that we can do on our own "self service style" now that we couldn't do 5 or 10 years ago - we can book our own travel, buy our own cars, purchase just about anything online. But, buying or selling a house just isn't one of them.
Sure, there are For Sale Buy Owner people, but 95% of people in the United States use a professional real estate agent when they're faced with buying or selling. There's too much at stake - too much cash involved, life savings, the risk of lawsuits - that most people don't want to take this on themselves. And its such a complex transaction, that exactly what they should do - trust a professional.
But how do you determine who's a good real estate agent vs. a great one? You wouldn't randomly select a doctor or a lawyer or a dentist. Those are the other professionals we must use to navigate special transactions, and you don't make light decisions when it comes to your health. But, there's a lot of mixed information about real estate agents, and nothing as stringent as medical school, internships, or the Bar exam to really prove that you have the chops as a real estate agent to do a great job.
So we turn to technology to help us figure out who might serve us as the best agent. Just like you'd choose a back specialist if you had back problems, you should find a real estate agent who has experience with the type of house and neighborhood you're looking for, and that price range. Real estate agents specialize, too. The top specialists tend to be experts in a specific neighborhood or school district, a specific price range, and a specific home type. Someone who's an expert in lofts and apartments in the Mission district isn't going to be an expert in single-family residences in Palo Alto. Someone who lives in Newport Beach is just going to know the Laguna Beach area better than a great real estate agent who lives and works in Laguna Beach.
And every state has it's own special form of real estate transaction. A great realtor in Rockville, Maryland won't be able to help right over the border in Arlington, Virginia. The laws, zoning, transaction requirements and escrow regulations are all different, not to mention agents usually aren't licensed in multiple states. There are more than 72,000 real estate agents in California, and large numbers in the Florida, Georgia and New York. Evaluating them all is virtually impossible, but that's what you need to do to figure out who's got the most experience with the house you care about.
When you're buying or selling a home, you need to find a professional real estate agent that is experienced in the exact neighborhood you care about. They need to have a proven track record helping others just like you, and the best way to know whether they're good or great at their job is to look at their past sales history. A new company, Agent Ace, helps you do just that. You really can find the best agent now, regardless of where you're looking and what your price range is.