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Real estate agent rating website may be inaccurate for consumers

5/15/2012 | Real Estate Blog

San-Francisco-based real estate search engine NeighborCity recently lauched AgentMatch, a service advertised as seeking to connect high quality real estate agents with home sellers and buyers. According to a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article, though, the new search engine may not be entirely accurate about agents’ qualifications. Part of the issue is suspected to be that the website is not correctly identifying townhouses as condos. In Philly’s older rowhouse neighborhoods, townhouses can be condominiums┬ábut are rarely so.

Another point is that it isn’t clear whether the service really responds to the needs of consumers, who often choose their agents based on word-of-mouth recommendations rather than their business model or the company they work for. Most often, potential buyers are looking for a good reputation, trustworthiness, and market knowledge.

Buyers also tend to gravitate toward agents who are not known to be pushy, who are familiar with the neighborhood in which the consumers are shopping. Experts in the field also say that experience is an important factor to look for, and that an agent should be prepared to provide a market analysis and marketing plan.

For many people, purchasing real estate will be the largest transaction they go through. It is critical that those looking at purchasing property obtain answers to their questions and receive good guidance. While it isn’t required for homebuyers in Pennsylvania to secure an attorney, it is recommended to do so. An attorney will be able to provide impartial advice and ensure that a transaction is free from legal problems.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, “Home Economics: How to rate a real estate agent,” Al Heavens, May 12, 2012