Checking Out Your Real Estate Agent on Zillow or the MLS

Chatham County Real Estate Broker Eric Andrews discusses checking out your real estate agent on Zillow and determining their level of professionalism.

Speaker 1:           What can you look up about a real estate agent on Zillow and the MLS?

Speaker 2:           There’s a lot of information on the internet… Zillow. One of the things that you can look up on an agent with Zillow is you can see how many sales they’ve had and how many sales they’ve had in the last year. I think that’s hugely important. You can see an agent has 600 sales, they’ve been around for a long time. And if they’ve had 50 sales in the last year, they’re chugging. They’re doing quite a bit. People do reviews on the agents but there are very few people that are going out there and doing a whole lot of negative reviews. Most of the time as agents, we’re asking our clients “hey, that transaction went pretty well. Were you happy?” Your sale went well? You got the money that you want? Your house that you bought, you love. Will you please go on Zillow and do a review?” So those numbers are pretty high and the reviews aren’t super accurate. And then of course you’ll have all these four and five stars and one person gets mad and then you get a zero.

Next thing you know, your rating is three and a half. One bad one can mess up your average. There’s some information on Zillow that the public can look at and see that this is a good agent. This is an agent that has a lot of productivity and a lot of experience. You look up an agent that has one listing in the last year or two sales in the last year. Doesn’t mean that they’re a bad agent, but it usually means that isn’t their full time gig and they’re not really making a career out of it or they haven’t been successful enough to make a career out of it.

The information that you can find on MLS is a little bit more fun. As agents, we can look up another agent and I can see how many listings that you have now. How many do you have under contract right now? How many listings have you sold in the last year? And how many times have you represented a buyer and had a sale in the last year? And those are pretty strong. Those are good facts. So when you are dealing with another agent and you want to know… When I get a contract from another agent, I’m doing my research on MLS immediately, and I’ll say “oh, Susie Brown, never heard of Susie Brown before.” And then I’ll look up Susie Brown and I’ll say “well, Susie Brown has had 15 sales in the last year. She specializes in apex carry. She’s a strong agent. I know I’m dealing with another professional.”

I deal with another agent and they don’t call me and they email the contract and they don’t have a due diligence check ready for me. And everything seems off. And I go onto MLS and I say “oh, this person’s had their license for three years. They have zero listings right now. They haven’t sold a listing in the last year. And they’ve had three sales in the last three years.” I’m not dealing with the same level of professionalism if it’s over that period of time.” Also, you’ll see that how long the agent has been active on the MLS. And right now we call 2006-2007 the grand culling. If you have an agent that was around in the early 2000s and they’re still around now and they made it through that bad time, they were probably a pretty good agent because we lost a lot of agents during that time. It was tough. So I think it’s really important.

And having said that, we were talking about comps and prices earlier. If you’re dealing with an agent and you see that they sold 15 houses in a particular neighborhood, don’t call up that agent and say “where did you come up with that price?” They know what they’re doing. They are a strong, dominant agent in that specific market. Be a little bit more informed before you challenge someone and realize who’s doing what and what kind of expertise they have.