Are real estate agent reviews reliable?

Lawrence Juntti
Lawrence Juntti
Published on January 16, 2018
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If you’re one of those people who won’t buy a product or use a service until you’ve checked the online reviews, then you must be pleased with the proliferation of review sites.  But do you ever wonder if a lot of the glowingly positive reviews are fake? Hey, I don’t blame you – skepticism is healthy. Thankfully, some sites, such as Real Satisfied, have strict policies to ensure that the reviews are from real people who’ve actually used the product or service.

It’s not as easy to find reviews of real estate agents as it is, say, a restaurant, but they’re out there; and, when it comes to something as complicated as a real estate transaction, it’s only natural to want to learn of others’ experiences with any particular agent.

But, again – are these reviews real?

Century 21 uses a third party (Real Satisfied) to reach out to Century 21 clients, after completion of the sale, with an agent performance survey – for reviewing, rating, and testimonial purposes.  These are clients who have actually done business with the real estate agent that they are reviewing, and are the actual reviews seen on the Century 21 owned web sites like this one https://www.century21.com/real-estate-agent/profile/lawrence-juntti (unfortunately not everyone responds to the survey). Each agent then is able to use their agent Real Satisfied reviews and testimonials on other websites like Realtor dot com (here’s mine https://www.realtor.com/realestateagents/Lawrence-Juntti). 

Having said this, I am certainly very aware that not all web sites use the client verification method for sourcing review testimonials. I do, however, think it’s safe to say that it would be quite difficult to submit a fake real estate agent review on a Century 21 owned website.

The search for representation in a real estate transaction is something that shouldn’t be entered into lightly – remember the person you decide to hire will be the person responsible for steering your transaction to a smooth and lucrative closing.

Choose the wrong agent and you open yourself to stress, aggravation and, possibly, loss of money

So, how do you find the right agent for your needs?  Starting online, looking for social proof, is a good place to start. So, yes, read the agents’ reviews on Realtor dot com and Century21 dot com, but don’t stop there. Check out agents’ websites, looking for evidence of their expertise and integrity.

 

Ask the right questions

Determine what type of agent you want to work with – what attributes are important to you. Most folks look for someone who are responsive – who actually returns their calls, emails and texts within a reasonable amount of time.  A complaint that past clients have been to known to complain about, is their agent didn’t listen to them.

Make a list of what’s important to you and use it as you interview agents, looking for cues that they are actually listening to you. While asking the right questions of the agent is important, listening to the types of questions the agents ask you is equally crucial. If you are a home-buyer, did he or she inquire about your loan pre-approval status and explain its importance? If you are selling your home, did the agents ask you about your preferred timeline?

Pertinent questions, specific to your transaction, are important signs that you’re interviewing a good agent.

 

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