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7 tips for picking a great real estate agent


When you’re selecting a real estate agent, you obviously want the best. But with agents promoting themselves through yard signs, online ads, direct-mail postcards and even sponsored public benches, how do you cut through the hype? “We don’t have the ...

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Ultimately, what you want is someone who is actively engaged in a particular area and price range

You'll want an agent to demonstrate knowledge of the area and homes in your price range.6

Look at the agent’s current listingsCheck out an agent's listings online, says Brobeck of the Consumer Federation of America

Places to look include the real estate agency's website and sites such as Realtor.com, which offer a searchable online database of properties in the multiple listing service.Most buyers start their search online, and you want an agent who uses that tool effectively

"A key thing is an attractive presentation on the web," Brobeck says.Look at how closely the agent's listings mirror the property you want to buy or sell

Are they in the same area? Is the price range similar? Does the agent have enough listings to indicate a healthy business, but not so many that you'd be waiting days for him or her to return your call?7

Gauge the agent’s knowledge of the areaA good agent should know about other properties that are available in the area, Irwin says

Mention a house in your area that recently sold or is for sale.If the agent knows the property and can give you a few details, that means he or she really knows your area, he says

"You want someone like that, who's on top of the market." Go to MSN Home require(["refreshPdpModules", "c.dom", "c.sso"], function(refreshPdpModules) { try { define("c.financeajaxrefreshstart", 1); refreshPdpModules(); } catch (e) { define("c.financeajaxrefresherror", 1); } }); require(["refreshPdpModules", "c.dom", "c.pdp"], function(refreshPdpModules) { try { define("c.financeajaxrefreshstart", 1); refreshPdpModules(); } catch (e) { define("c.financeajaxrefresherror", 1); } }); require(["jquery", "binding", "LocaleSettings", "c.pdpready"], function($, binding, utils) { utils.PostAjaxComplete(); }); require(["jquery", "binding", "LocaleSettings", "finance.ajax.done"], function($, binding, utils) { utils.PostAjaxComplete(); }); define("LocaleSettings", ["utils"], function() { var settings = {}; settings.numberGroupSizes = "3".split(" "); settings.numberDecimalSeparator = "."; settings.numberDecimalDigits = "2"; settings.numberGroupSeparator = ","; settings.currencyGroupSizes = "3".split(" "); settings.currencyGroupSeparator = ","; settings.currencyDecimalSeparator = "."; settings.currencyDecimalDigits = parseInt("2"); settings.currencySymbol = "$"; settings.currencyPositivePattern = parseInt("0"); settings.currencyNegativePattern = parseInt("0"); settings.percentGroupSizes = "3".split(" "); settings.percentGroupSeparator = ","; settings.percentDecimalSeparator = "."; settings.percentDecimalDigits = parseInt("2"); settings.percentSymbol = "%"; settings.percentPositivePattern = parseInt("0"); settings.percentNegativePattern = parseInt("0"); settings.shortTimePattern = "h:mm tt"; settings.monthYearPattern = "MMM yyyy"; settings.monthDatePattern = "MMM d"; settings.dayDatePattern = "ddd MMM d"; settings.negativeSign = "-"; settings.defaultDatePattern = " MMMM d, yyyy"; settings.monthDayYearPattern = "M/d/yyyy"; settings.longTimePattern = "h:mm:ss tt"; settings.dateSeparator = "/"; settings.timeSeparator = ":"; settings.indexdetailsurl = "/en-us/money/indexdetails"; settings.stockdetailsurl = "/en-us/money/stockdetails"; settings.funddetailsurl = "/en-us/money/funddetails"; settings.etfdetailsurl = "/en-us/money/etfdetails"; settings.commoditydetailsurl = "/en-us/money/markets/commoditydetails"; settings.watchlisturl = "/en-us/money/watchlist"; settings.commoditiesNewsurl = "/en-us/money/commoditiesnews"; settings.currencyConverterUrl = "/en-us/money/currencyconverter"; settings.serpUrl = "/en-us/money/serp"; settings.milestoneDigits = "1000,1000000,1000000000,1000000000000".split(","); settings.milestoneWords = "k,M,B,T".split(","); settings.isUserAuthenticated = "False"; settings.currenciesUrl = "/en-us/money/currencydetails"; settings.marketDetailsUrl = "/en-us/money/marketdetails"; settings.homepageScreenersUrl = "/en-us/money/homepagescreeners"; settings.screenerAddFilterUrl = "/en-us/money/getscreenerfilters"; settings.filterResponseUrl = "/en-us/money/getfilterresponse"; settings.presetScreensUrl = "/en-us/money/getpresetscreens"; settings.realTimeQuotesUrl = "/en-us/money/realtimequotes"; settings.autosuggestControllerUrl = "/en-us/money/autosuggest"; settings.searchresultsPageUrl = "/en-us/money/searchresults"; settings.heroChartUrl = "/en-us/money/stockdetails/herochart"; settings.stockDetailsFilmstripUrl = "/en-us/money/stockdetailsfilmstrippartialpage?symbol=BBJVJBB"; settings.partnerButtonUrl = ""; settings.locale = "en-us"; settings.language = "en"; settings.country = "us"; settings.PostAjaxComplete = function(alwaysReset) { var pagingSection = binding.get("pagingSection", ".pagingsection"); // }; return settings; }); .bingNewsContainer h2::after, [data-aop="financeportfoliobingnewsmodule"] h3::after, .bingNewsContainer #pdp-module h3::after { content: "News from the Web"; } //> 1); } } else { // if we got here, we didn't find anything but script

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Try again later. setTimeout(checkAndSetAdContainerVisibilityRec, contentCheckTimeout); } } } function checkVisibilityAndUpdateRenderDataContextForElement(renderData) { if (!renderData) { return; } evaluateAdContent(renderData); } function evaluateAdContent(renderData) { var adContainer = renderData && renderData.elem; if (!adContainer) { renderData.adSizeType = AdSizeType.Inconclusive; } var adIframeCollection = adContainer.getElementsByTagName("iframe"); var evaluationResult; for (var adIframe, ndx = 0; (adIframe = adIframeCollection[ndx]); ++ndx) { // skip script-only iFrame elements var body = ((adIframe.contentDocument || (adIframe.contentWindow || {}).document) || {}).body; if (!body || !body.hasChildNodes()) { continue; } var childNode, hasChildDiv = false; for (var index = body.childNodes.length - 1; (childNode = body.childNodes[index]); --index) { if (childNode.nodeType === 1 && childNode.nodeName !== "SCRIPT") { hasChildDiv = true; renderData.adSizeType = evaluateElement(childNode, renderData); if (renderData.adSizeType === AdSizeType.NonPointSizedAd) { return; } } // Bug 1715559:[dl_ux][FF9.0] [Win7] - Advertisement is overlapping destination section // For FF lower versions (FF9.0), index may be negative and hence cause js errors // Add index value check to solve the problem if (index <= 0) { break; } } if (renderData.adSizeType !== AdSizeType.NonPointSizedAd && hasChildDiv) { renderData.adSizeType = evaluateElement(adIframe, renderData); } if (renderData.adSizeType === AdSizeType.NonPointSizedAd) { return; } } // extract the characteristics of the div immediate children var adDivCollection = adContainer.getElementsByTagName("div"); for (var adDiv, ndx = 0; (adDiv = adDivCollection[ndx]); ++ndx) { renderData.adSizeType = evaluateElement(adDiv, renderData); if (renderData.adSizeType === AdSizeType.NonPointSizedAd) { return; } } } function evaluateElement(element, renderData) { var maxWidth = evaluateElementDimension(element, true, discernibleAdWidthThreshold); var maxHeight = evaluateElementDimension(element, false, discernibleAdHeightThreshold); renderData.width = maxWidth; renderData.height = maxHeight; if (maxWidth > discernibleAdWidthThreshold && maxHeight > discernibleAdHeightThreshold) { return AdSizeType.NonPointSizedAd; } if (maxWidth > 0 && maxHeight > 0) { return AdSizeType.PointSizedAd; } return AdSizeType.Inconclusive; } function evaluateElementDimension(element, isWidth, threshold) { var dimensionProperties = isWidth ? ["width", "offsetWidth", "scrollWidth"] : ["height", "offsetHeight", "scrollHeight"]; var pixelStyle = isWidth ? "pixelWidth" : "pixelHeight"; var dimensionStyle = isWidth ? "width" : "height"; var totalProperties = 3; var maxDimension = 0, dimension = 0; for (var i = 0; i < totalProperties; i++) { if ((dimension = element[dimensionProperties[i]]) > maxDimension) { maxDimension = dimension; if (maxDimension > threshold) { break; } } } var elemStyle = element.style; if (maxDimension <= threshold && elemStyle) { if ((dimension = elemStyle[pixelStyle]) > maxDimension) { maxDimension = dimension; if (maxDimension <= threshold && (dimension = parseInt(elemStyle[dimensionStyle])) > maxDimension) { maxDimension = dimension; } } } return maxDimension; } function setAdContainerDisplayState(elemId, doShow, adSizeClassname) { var adHtmlContainer = ((document.getElementById(elemId) || {}).parentNode || {}).parentNode; if (!adHtmlContainer) { return; } adHtmlContainer.style.display = doShow ? 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