Portland Real Estate Agent Reviews – A Guide
Do a Google search for real estate agent reviews and you’ll get plenty of options. But which sites should you trust? Are any of the reviews verified?
The three major sources of real estate agents reviews you may want to consider. Zillow.com, Realtor.com, and Yelp.com all have ways to search for agents and their reviews. Here are the direct links, Zillow.com has “Agent Finder”, Realtor.com has “Find Realtors” and Yelp just has its basic search bar. Zillow is by far the best place to look, Realtor second, and Yelp is the least important (I will explain).
Pro tip: There are a number of other sites to ignore. Most of the other sites that pop up when you’re researching for good real estate agents will only give you results of real estate agents that are paying money to show up in their paid list.
I recommend that you visit all three websites and skim over the reviews for any real estate agent you’re considering working with. Type in Portland, Oregon, and a long list of agents will come up. Here are some tips for navigating from there:
Zillow is by far and away the best place to check for real estate agent reviews. They verify all the sales that happen, connect the dots between the client and the address and the recorded sale with the local MLS. You can trust that those client reviews are the most accurate ones available as they are to a reasonable degree verified by an independent party – Zillow. This is why we keep most of our reviews (100+) on Zillow. Not only are the reviews more trustworthy but you can search by city and even down to zip code. You can see the past transaction history for that agent in the last twelve months. So, let’s say a real estate agent has 100+ positive reviews but five transactions in the last 12 months – that tells you something right? They used to be very active but now they are mostly out of the game. I think virtually every potential person looking to hire a sellers or buyers agent should look them up in Zillow first to find out if that person is active and if they are active in the area the client wants, are they highly reviewed?
This service is not as easy to use as Zillow’s. The first agent that showed up when I searched to test it out – didn’t have a single review. However, you can put in a real estate agent’s name and get some good information. You can typically find out how long they have been licensed and you can see some recent activity (though it is not nearly as accurate as Zillow’s information). All and all, it is not a bad place to do a second check.
Yelp is the least important site to check for reviews for a few reasons.
- First, it puts paid advertisers at the top. It’s confusing because even if you filter by “Highest Rated”, you’ll get the paid ads on top of the search results and the real estate agents that are paying Yelp are more likely to show up as well, below the ad spots. So generally you’ll find the real estate agents on Yelp that Yelp wants you to find, those paying the service.
- Second, anyone can leave a review for a real estate agent whether or not they ever worked with that agent, ever met that agent, or ever even talked to that real estate agent. You also see a lot of friends, family, and co-workers reviews on Yelp – simply trying to help out that agent. There is no verification process Yelp uses to determine if that person was an actual client. I know this from checking out the site and also from personal experience. We had someone from New Mexico that we never met, never talked to, leave a bad review. We believe they called someone else in Portland about one of our listings, didn’t like what they said, then left us a review (the wrong agent). I contacted Yelp because I thought Yelp only wanted actual customer reviews on their site, but Yelp did not seem to care to filter posted reviews.
Although reading reviews online is a quick and easy way to narrow your search for the perfect real estate agent, it shouldn’t end there. Meet the real estate agent in person. And when you meet with them, ask for hard data — it’s perfectly acceptable to ask an agent you’re considering to provide some basic information about their experience. After you get the hard data, verify it. Ask them how many homes they’ve sold in Portland in the past year, and whether they sold for the asking price. If you’re a buyer, ask them how often they are successful in having offers accepted by the listing party. Are they familiar with the particular Portland neighborhood you’re interested in? After the real estate agent has answered your questions, verify it best you can online and give the agent an opportunity to clarify if things don’t match up.
Using the right real estate agent, one who is experienced, active, knowledgeable, and well reviewed is the most important factor in the success of your next real estate transaction.December 9, 2016