Why Accurate Home Price And Sales Data Is Vital To Buyers and Sellers

I’ll concede the fact that not everyone is as much of a data geek as I am and, in fact, a more accurate statement would probably be that most people are not, including the majority of home buyers and sellers.    Sure, home buyers and sellers are interested in home prices and what the potential value of the home is they are looking to buy or sell, but most leave the real data analysis to their agent.  After all, part of being a professional real estate agent is knowing the market as well as knowing how to research the market and apply market data to their client’s situation.

However,  don’t assume all real estate agents are created equal in this regard and that they all know the market as well as they should or do the research they should.  There are many great agents that do these things very well but there are a bunch, probably an equal number, if not more, that don’t.  Even the agents that do it well are still limited to the data resources they have available to them.

The MLS is the best source of market data...

How Many Real Estate Agents Are There And How To Fine a Good One?

According to the latest estimates by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), there are approximately 2 million licensed real estate agents in the United States.  Last year, according to the NAR, there were a total of 5.341 million existing homes sold which equates to one agent for every 2.67 homes sold during the year in the U.S.  Wow, talk about competition!  Granted, not all licensed agents sell residential real estate as many focus us on commercial real estate, including industrial, retail, office, multi-family, and land, and others focus on farms, large tracts of land, recreational property, etc.  Nonetheless, there is still a lot of competition in the real estate industry.

As of last month, there are 1,327,880 real estate agents that are members of the National Associaton of REALTORS® (NAR) and, according to a survey done by NAR of its membership, 70% of their members (929,516) list residential real estate brokerage and their primary field of practice.

How to choose a good real estate agent….

One question that is frequently asked by people interested in buying or selling a home is how should they choose a real estate agent?  You can find extensive information on how to choose a good agent at AvoidBadAgents.com, but below is a list of questions to consider asking an agent you are considering working with:

  • Are you a full-time real estate agent?
  • Are you a REALTOR®?
  • How long have you been an agent?
  • What professional designations and industry awards have you received?
  • How do they communicate?
  • Do they know technology and does their firm use it for your benefit?
  • Ask to be walked through the sales transaction.