Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/15/2017

When you're buying or selling a house, there's a lot riding on your choice of a real estate agent. The right one can help you sail through the process with a minimum of frustration and setbacks. The wrong one can cost you precious time, money, and opportunities. Although things like experience, credentials, and track record are key factors to consider, personality and "chemistry" are vital elements of a successful and productive working relationship. Measuring these qualities can be a little tricky, but if the agent makes you feel comfortable, listened to, and optimistic, then they're a good prospect for your "short list." While it is possible that the first real estate agent you interview will be a perfect match for your needs, goals, and personality, it's generally advisable to meet with at least two agents or Realtors before making your final choice. Having more than one point of reference helps you make the best, most informed decision. Other than measurable criteria, such as recent sales, how long those properties were on the market, and how many listings they currently have, here are a few personal traits worth paying attention to:

  • Excellent communication skills: This can run the gamut from being an attentive listener to having the ability to describe complex things to you in a way you can understand. This trait is especially important if you're a first-time home buyer or seller, and are relatively unfamiliar with the hurdles, requirements, and steps involved in qualifying for a mortgage, marketing a property, finding properties that meet your expectations (if you're in the market), and closing on a real estate sale.
  • A positive attitude: While you don't necessarily want a real estate agent who is always looking at the world through rose-colored glasses (unrealistically), you do want to be working with someone who focuses on solutions, rather then problems. Let's face it: The search for your dream home or the ideal buyer for an existing home can sometimes be a bumpy ride. That's why it's important to pick an agent who is proactive, resourceful, optimistic, and results oriented.
  • Responsive and accessible: A crucial thing to find out in your initial meeting with a real estate agent or Realtor is their preferred method of being contacted and how long they usually take to respond to phone messages and emails. The other side of the coin is the frequency with which they plan on contacting you with updates, progress reports, and reminders. Effective communication is always a two-way street, so if the conversation feels like they're talking at you, rather than to you, then you might want to point your search in another direction.
If all else fails and you're still not sure who would be the best real estate agent for your sale or purchase, then talking to a couple of the agents' past or present clients could be the deciding factor. Asking prospective agents for references and taking the time to contact a couple of them could reveal major strengths or shortcomings that you have yet to discover -- and would like to know.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/1/2017

Suburban homesBeing a decisive buyer will optimize your success and your time in today's competitive real estate market. A few decisions you should make before you and your real estate agent start actively seeking prospective properties and making offers to purchase include a definitive price range, a relatively specific location, and your ideal type of property, i.e. a house versus a condominium. Let's face it, you're busy. Sending your agent a precise budget, property type, and a short list of towns ensures you are making the most out of the time you spend visiting properties. Do your research beforehand and get to know the area and the communities you're looking in. You can save yourself some time by recognizing that a certain town may not make the best fit for you and/or your family. Ultimately choosing a maximum of four towns you'd be interested in will help you and your agent set up relevant showings. Deciding beforehand whether you wish to purchase a house or a condo is another great way to save time and ensure a proficient search, limiting the types of properties you're shown to the properties you'd be serious about buying. You don't want to continue to be shown properties that are too far out of your set budget and you certainly don't want to fall in love with a house that is $100,000.00 above your finances. On the other end of the spectrum, you also don't want to be shown houses that may be too small for your needs or that may not meet your ideal expectations when you have more money to spare. Understand that making decisions will optimize your search in the long run. Make decisions and stick with them, for now. If you simply aren't finding what you're looking for, you can always change your criteria further down the road. As your buyer's agent I won't be able to make these decisions for you, but I'd be happy to help you optimize your search and success.  





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 4/21/2013

Are you looking to hire a real estate agent to sell your home? Here are some must ask questions of real estate agents before you sign on the dotted line. 1. Do you work full or part-time as a real estate agent? 2. How many homes have you sold in my area and what was the price range? 3. What is your average days on the market until a house goes under agreement? 4. How many sellers are you currently representing? 5. At what price do you think my house will sell in the current market? And why? 6. What is your advertising and marketing plan for my house? 7. Can I see a sample of your marketing? 8. What kind of communication schedule can I expect from you? 9. How long have you been a real estate agent and how much education have you received? Do you have any special designations? 10. Is your real estate license in good standing and have you ever been subject to a client complaint? 11. Why should I hire you over your competition? 12. Do you have a website? What kind of online presence do you have? Lastly, don't forget to ask for testimonials or references.