3 Ways to Find the Right Realtor


Congrats – you’ve made it! You worked hard to get your money right and you’re finally ready to find your perfect realtor. But how’re you supposed to find them?

Join Jeremy as he interviews Beth Ellis of Tim Ellis Realtors & Auctioneers on what it takes to find your perfect realtor.


Needs Assessment – once you find your realtor, wow them by knowing exactly what you’re looking for so they can help you find it.

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Contributors to this episode include:

Host – Jeremy Goodrich
Copy Editing – Talia Chakraborty

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Full Transcript:

McKenzie Goodrich:             This is the New Home Buyers Guide podcast brought to you by the New Home Buyers Guide, a comprehensive online course that lays out the nine steps to finding and buying your dream home. Get it now at newhomebuyersguide.net.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Hey there, new home buyers, it’s Jeremy Goodrich, your host for the New Home Buyers Guide podcast. And we are on episode nine and in some ways in episode nine, the ninth episode of this show, we’re digging into the thing that you kind of probably thought you were supposed to do first, right? Because you think you’re supposed to go out and find a realtor and then like that’s what happens. Like you go find a realtor and everything else works out and realtors are awesome and they’re going to be a center piece of the process and really the person that holds your hand during the home buying process. But as we’ve learned in previous episodes, there’s a lot of work to be done before you even contact that realtor for the first time. You got to work on your credit, you got to work on your down payment, you’ve got to get that pre-approval letters, which most good realtors are going to expect you to have before you even contact them.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Because really if you go out and you see a house and you love it and it’s awesome and it’s perfect and you don’t have the money to pay for it because that’s what the mortgage lender is going to do, right? Then you really can’t make an offer and your sort of stuck. So any good realtor knows that you’ve got to have the money side figured out before you even go out and look for houses. So here we are at episode nine and we are ready to go and find that person who can walk us through the process, who knows the local market and understands what’s going on with houses in the price range that you need to be at. What’s good about that price range, what problems you’ll find in that space, whether it’s really hard to find a home for say $200,000 if that’s what you’re looking for. Or if there’s lots out there on the market and you have some leverage in the way that you make offers and stuff like that.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Realtors obviously are the experts in not only how to buy and sell homes, but what’s going on in the home market in your community. And so the person you pick has got to be somebody good, somebody right for you, someone who fits your personality and is actually going to care about you, not just about making the money at the end of the deal. There are all sorts of great service providers out there in all industries, real estate, insurance like I am and everywhere else and there’s lots of terrible ones too. There are people who are out there really trying to make your life better, to really truly help you. And there are people that are just trying to make money off of you and of course everybody has to make some money, right? Like its part of business, but there’s people who are doing it in a great way and people who are doing it in kind of a slimy, crummy way.

Jeremy Goodrich:             And so what you want to do is figure out where are those good realtors are, the ones that are going to really help you. And I brought back someone who came to us in an earlier episode and she really is an amazing realtor that I respect so deeply and she takes such great care of her clients. And so I came back to her and I asked her to describe for us three things that we should look for when we’re trying to find the right realtor. And her name is Beth Ellis and she runs Tim Ellis Realtors and Auctioneers. Her dad started this years ago and then she took over and they both work together now as realtors and as auctioneers in that space. And so I asked Beth, how do we find a good realtor? And that’s what you’re going to hear in this episode today. Let’s get to it. Maybe one of the most important things you’ll do in the home buying process, how to choose the right realtor.

Jeremy Goodrich:             We are going to talk about the three steps to picking the perfect realtor. Obviously you want to work with a realtor that is the right match for you as a human being, you as a family, and that is going to help you to find your perfect home. And Beth’s going to explain to us three things that we should look for when trying to find that perfect match in a realtor. Right?

Beth Ellis:                           Right, right. So the first thing that I think is super important is to ask people you know, and you trust. So ask your family and your friends and your colleagues who they’ve worked with before, what the experience was like, if they would recommend the realtor that they worked with before, because those are people that you already know and trust and they’re going to give you recommendations of people that they already think are going to be a good match for you.

Jeremy Goodrich:             And are there, like when you’re talking with your mom or your friend or whatever, are there questions that you might want to ask that would help you to understand what that realtor is like or just kind of like, how did it work for you?

Beth Ellis:                           Right. Well I think how did it work for you is the best first question, but then I think you can talk a little bit more about the process. Things like how accessible was the realtor, how clearly did they answer your questions? How much time did they take with you explaining how the process works? For a first time buyer the process can be kind of daunting because they don’t really know what the expectations are, what the process is. And so they need to find someone who is familiar working with first time buyers and who is really patient and a good explainer of the process.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Yeah. So are there realtors that like to work with first time buyers and realtors that just don’t?

Beth Ellis:                           Probably.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Yeah.

Beth Ellis:                           Yeah, I think that’s a fair question. I like working with first time buyers. The thing that I like about it is it’s new, it’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s the biggest purchase they probably will ever make. And when I see a first time buyer at the closing table getting their keys, it’s pretty groovy.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Absolutely.

Beth Ellis:                           So that part of the process I really like, I think about when I bought my first house and kind of how that went. And so for me, I like that kind of client a lot because it’s a really happy experience.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Yeah. So when someone’s referring a realtor to you, the question, were you a first time home buyer when you worked with them, may or may not be a valuable question to ask.

Beth Ellis:                           Sure.

Jeremy Goodrich:             About that realtor.

Beth Ellis:                           Yeah. And a lot of people, I mean we’re a small town and I have lots of clients who I’ve done repeated deals with. And so a lot of the referrals that I get are from my clients who I’ve done three, four or five transactions with. They may have been a first time buyer with me or not, but I think just the fact that they keep coming back is a pretty good sign of the referral.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Absolutely. Okay. So the number one most important way to find the perfect realtor is definitely a referral.

Beth Ellis:                           Right.

Jeremy Goodrich:             And you’ll find a referral if you live in the town and have for a while, it’s probably easy because you have family and things of that nature.

Beth Ellis:                           Right.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Are there ways to get a referral in a town that you may be, you’re moving to, as opposed to one that you’ve lived in for a while?

Beth Ellis:                           The best way to find a realtor in a market where you’re not familiar, where you’re not living right now, is to read online reviews. My clients review me a lot and they are very clear and honest about what they say, what they think. They have, you know, if you go to Zillow and Trulia and the big online third party sites, buyers can look at those reviews. They can really dig down, they do a star program, but then they go back and they have a section where people can write whatever they want. And those are really helpful because I think that helps people get kind of the vibe of the person. So if the review says they answered all my questions and they were really great and they were accessible and I felt like I was taken good care of, that kind of gives you a sense of the person.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Right, absolutely. So they’re going to be maybe good for a good first time home buyer because you know you’re going to have questions.

Beth Ellis:                           Right.

Jeremy Goodrich:             And that kind of thing. Okay. So really your number two, I think we dug into it there was, is online reviews, would that be the second way to find the perfect realtor for you?

Beth Ellis:                           Right. Online reviews or the other thing that they could do if they’re coming here for a job, if they’re coming to IEU or [crane or cook 00:08:48] or Bloomington hospital system, whatever it is, they can also connect with those employers. Like I work with a lot of the IEU schools and departments where they connect me with their new hires. Well, the new hires don’t know me, but the new hires know the people who are hiring them. And that’s another good connection for out-of-town people.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Okay. So if you’re coming into a town for a job, most of the time we are in some way or another-

Beth Ellis:                           Right.

Jeremy Goodrich:             If we’re changing from one town to another, there’s a reason we’re doing so.

Beth Ellis:                           Right.

Jeremy Goodrich:             And so connecting with whoever’s bringing you to that town and saying, “Hey, who are the great realtors to work with in the town?”

Beth Ellis:                           Exactly. Because the employers are not going to send you to somebody who’s, well frankly not very good because they want you to take the job and be happy here.

Jeremy Goodrich:             All right. Okay, cool. So connecting with an employer, that’s almost a third one here, I’m not sure what number we’re on, but we’ve got, you know, getting referrals, looking at online reviews, connecting with your employer and kind of get a referral from them. And so do you have others there?

Beth Ellis:                           The best final step for making your decision is to actually meet with the realtor in person. And I would recommend this for any new buyer to actually set up an appointment to meet with a realtor in person, talk through the process, see if you’re compatible with your style, with your work schedules, and see if it’s a good fit. So I recommend that every new buyer sits down face to face for an hour with the realtor and make sure that it’s a good fit.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Okay, cool. Well Beth, thank you so much for sharing those three different ways that we can find the perfect realtor for us. If someone wants to find you, how can they do so?

Beth Ellis:                           The best way to find me is by email and my email is beth@timellisrealtors.com.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Cool. Thank you so much.

Beth Ellis:                           Thank you.

Jeremy Goodrich:             All right, so there it is. Beth just broke down some serious knowledge for us. We started off with finding referral sources in the town that you already know, maybe that is family or friends, maybe that could be an insurance agent or a lender. If you already know one of those elements, an insurance agent, a lender, or a realtor, ask that person you trust for the other two and get a referral from them. So really those referrals are the number one thing Beth said helps you find the right realtor for you. If you’re moving into another town, looking at online reviews and really finding someone who has, has online reviews and has reviews that fit your personality style. When people are talking about their experience with that realtor, it sounds like someone who you could really connect with, that makes total sense.

Jeremy Goodrich:             The third one was to talk to, you know, especially if you’re moving into a town that you aren’t familiar with, talk to whoever recruited you to be there. If you are coming to a town for a new job, talk to those folks about who their suggestions are for a realtor in town, because they obviously want you to be happy at your start of your new job or whatever you’re doing in that town, and they’re going to refer people that they know are going to be the best for you. And then finally Beth’s bonus, fourth thing to do was simply sit down with that realtor, connect with the person, see if you vibe with them, see if they are the type of person that you want to interact with. And one of the most important decisions you’re going to make in this element, this part of your life, and simply vibe off of them. See if you like what you see, see if you feel like it’s going to work and then you’re going to be able to connect.

Jeremy Goodrich:             So thank you so much to Beth Ellis for talking to us about that. If you want to find her, look up to Tim Ellis Realtors and Auctioneers online. You can find her if you’re around Bloomington, Indiana. If not, use her advice to find the best realtor for you. Okay, and now some action steps, so first, head over to Instagram and follow us at New Home Buyers Guide. We put lots of stuff up there, great posts, great information, just trying to kind of create a community in that space. If you want to go to the posts with the Red House on The Hill, that’s our podcast logo, and you can share your questions, your comments, give us some love, give us some hate, whatever. Do that in the comment section, we want to hear from you, we want to know what you learned and maybe what you want to learn in the future that we didn’t hit on today.

Jeremy Goodrich:             Okay, one more thing. Home buying is tricky, the process has clear winners and losers. You know that because I was a loser the first time I bought a home and home buyers remorse is real. Sometimes you just truly get it wrong, so you need to know if you’ve got your financial ducks in a row and to understand the timeline that you’re going to go through to anticipate the hidden costs and all the steps along the way. How are you supposed to do that when you’ve never done this before? We totally get it. Well, easy. You’re going to go to the newhomebuyersguide.net. That is newhomebuyersguide.net and sign up for our e-Course. You’ll get walked through the process step by step. Think timelines, checklists, videos, expert interviews, and more. It’s like this podcast, but totally beefed up and ready to walk you step by step through the process. Remember, you are about to make one of the biggest purchases of your life. Do yourself a favor that will last maybe the next 30 years and head over to newhomebuyersguide.net. All right, until the next time, happy home buying.